After a sleepless night filled with anticipation I rolled out of bed at 4:30am, stuffed some last minute items into the already slammed VW, fired it up and hit the road – 5am sharp…right on time. With Kubichek! blaring through the speakers and the hatchback filled with banners, grid, swag, dozens of Remotes, Integrity’s, and Cassette decks I was quickly doing triple digit speeds with the biggest smile across my face and adrenaline running through my veins onto the steering wheel.
This is always my favorite time of the year. The summer riff raff crowding the lakes making chop in the butter pulling tubers at 9am, the jet skiers acting like they were Kenny motherf*#cking Powers, and the wakeboard boats with loaded boardracks of $900 setups doing power turns are home for the season. What they left behind is our haven – buttery and barren canvas for one of the best weekends of our lives: Nor Cal Convergence 2012.2!
After we decided on solid camping spot off the beaten path it was build time. Scott Starkweather from Nor Cal Hyperlite, Trey Wiles, and LP team members Keaton Bowlby, Myles Vickers and Leif Erkkila headed the crew out to the water with wood, pipes, screws and tools in hand. What grew out of these guys’ creativity, passion, stoke and downright skills was awesome. A rail park appeared just off the shore in mere hours and included flat bars, inclines, and kickers made of pipe, pvc, trex…you name it, we had it. As the park became dialed and the surplus of winches were fired up, in came the skis and boats that were generously towed out to help add a little wake to the event. The diversity of not only the rails, but also the availability of ski/boat riding really set the tone – it was a wakeskater’s dream. Once everyone got settled into their place in line behind their methods of pull – NCC was ALIVE.
Each year I’m blown away on the talent that rolls out to OUR event. Seeing pros like Grant Roberts and young phenom Austin Polterock booting huge wake to wake 3’s and Original Wakeskates/LP Legends team rider Rich Facciano and LP teammate Jen GilanFarr popping everything huge using the wake as their personal playground only proved that boat is still alive and well which is dear to my heart.
On the tech side, Leif Erkkila, Alex de Guzmon, Keaton Bowlby, Evan Gambetta, Myles Vickers, and Reed Watson straight destroyed the rails. Front blunts, noseslide front big outs, and a 270 to front board…believe it! Winches weren’t the only source of power burning gas… the ski’s pulled riders all day long with Tyler Rossi, Garrett Fleming , Ben Reilly and Kyle Vickers throwing hammers on the perfect Camp Far West glass. Just as inspiring as the above, it’s always a pleasure to witness new participants such as Andy Polterock and Kevin Mac Nally get their first ever winch pull and Brian Rhodes getting his first rail hit. This is what makes Convergence so special.
As the sun went down each night, the ski’s were beached, boats anchored and winch handles idled in along the waters edge. During this time most events would die off, but this is just the beginning for this group. For me, other than riding amongst the greats who traveled from all ends of the Nation to join this epic event – this time of day is one of my favorites. The smell of grilling infuses your soul, fires start illuminating the tranquil shoreline, laughter echo’s throughout the campsite and life changing conversations are sparked between old and new friends. Over 70 diehard wakeskate enthusiasts made good old Camp Far West the place to be that weekend. Witnessing pro’s, legend’s, local ripper’s, and first time wakeskater’s together as one makes me feel so blessed and thankful for our amazing scene, vibe, and team of Nor Cal friends. THIS IS WAKESKATING.
I’d like to thank the following (amongst many I’m sure I forget) for amazing support:
Photographers/Filmers-Rusty Skinner, Alex de Guzmon, Jim Dunigan, Scott Alexander, Fil Lowe, Austin Polterock, and Drew Glickman. Boat/Ski Support-Chris Patterson, Robert Ruiz, Matt Ludwig, Tyler Rossi, Trey Wiles and Ryan Shuppert, the LP Team-Keaton, Jen, Myles, Leif and Rich.