Posted by Armada Wake Company in Aug 14, 2009, under wakeboard
RING RING RING… RING RING RING… RING RING RING
4:45 in the morning and our hotel phone is ringing. What the heck is that all about? It takes a minute for it to settle in. The first night of sleep in two days and now the morning wake up call. We had decided that we were going to wake up early and get a session in before meeting up with Daman and Cristin to head out to Echo Bay and see what was going on with the guys from Wake LV. We are all just kind of laying there trying to make sense of being on vacation and waking up at 4:45 am. I start doing roll call to see if everyone is awake, as if anyone could sleep through the loud telephone rings, and when I get to Andrew’s name, we hear a “yup”. Its still kind of blurry at this point but when the light gets turned on, we see that not only did Andrew not have a pillow, but he tucked himself inside his shirt for warmth. He didn’t have a sleeping bag either. We all felt a little bad but chuckled at the same time. We had left a key at the front desk for Andrew and I figured he would have a pillow or something so I told Katie not to worry about it when she kept asking if we needed to get him anything before he showed up. I said naw, don’t worry, he will sleep in the bathtub if he needed to. Well, Andrew didn’t complain at all but the best part was, there was a sleeping bag within arms reach or he could have taken the blanket off my bed because I was so tired I wouldn’t have even known but he was too nice to even turn on a light and just curled up on the floor and toughed it out.
We all got up and I found my phone which was in the bathroom… weird… and I had a text from Daman that said,” time to wake up. I’m going to bed now, see you in a bit.” The text was at 3:25 in the morning. I knew he wouldn’t be ready to go very early so we decided to go right out by the hotel for a few sets and so we met Emily and Rudolph down at the truck and Andrew thawed out being as it was 90 degrees already. The only problem that we had was there were 7 of us and only room in the truck for 6. I knew this wouldn’t be a problem since a few weeks prior Daman and I rode in his boat for probably 20 miles through city streets and even on the freeway with the stereo on and nothing happened. (I have to say that we are professionals and this is not to be done at any time by any one.) So someone who shall remain nameless jumped at the chance to ride in the boat down the hill and through the pay gates. We knew this was a sign of good times. Once we got down to the water we saw that the conditions were the same as the previous day and we were instantly stoked and no one was tired anymore.
Nick went out and got a quick set in and then Rudolph got back out there. Just like riding a bike, man. He was jumping the wake and doing some grabs and just had the biggest smile on his face. Everyone took their turn but the water was getting a bit chopped up from boat traffic already and we also knew that we had a 45 minute car drive to Echo Bay so we pulled the boat out and headed back to the hotel with the stow aways in the boat laying down so as to not draw too much attention to us. Emily and Rudolph needed to check out of their room because they were driving home today so she could do her triathlon on Sunday. They checked out and decided they would drive to Echo behind us which solved the boat stowaway situation. As we were heading in to the dock Daman had called to say good morning, a bit tired I might add, but he was awake. Perfect timing. We were pulling the boat out and he was getting ready and it was Faustos burritos for breakfast again. I couldn’t be happier.
We met Daman and Cristin at their house and then we headed off to Faustos. I screwed up Daman’s order and he said, “ didn’t you tell him it was for Daman?”
“No. WTF. Why would I say that. I don’t even know these guys.” I told Daman. Apparently all I had to say was that it was for Daman and they would have had it right. Now that’s service. We got our burritos and headed to 7-11 for some drinks and gas and headed out. Daman and his Wakesetter and me with my boat and Rudolph following, we were a posse for sure.
45 minutes later we were in Echo Bay and launching the boats. The conditions were even better here than they were when we first went out in the morning. The shoreline here was softer, not as many cliffs, which made it perfect. The boat wakes didn’t roll back out, they just washed up on shore. This didn’t really matter because there were no boats in sight. I had been texting Gary Martin from Wake LV trying to find them but the directions he gave me were “go out of the marina to the right and turn left at the islands, gray and red boat.” That was the last text I got before my phone lost service. The conditions were so good Daman said “screw this Easter egg hunt, I’m riding. Its way too nice to just drive around.” I wasn’t sure if they had two boats from Wake LV, a gray one AND a red one, or if it was a gray and red one, so we rode and searched. I’m not going to lie, there was more riding going on than searching but in these conditions, could you blame us. Kate Ybarra took some photos from my boat as we chased Daman in his boat getting some really good shots and then Nick hopped on Daman’s boat and Kate got some more great shots of him. We were all super stoked to be in a new area and it was cool to get a different view of wakeboarding from a chase boat. The stereos were blasting, everyone was vibing and Nick was feeling it. He decided he would try a trick he had only landed one time before, the raley. It’s like a superman behind the boat. He cut out so far that he could touch my boat as we chased him and charged the wake and hucked it. It was awesome. Everything from the huge spray that he threw up from his cut into the wake, our view from the chase boat, and the fact that he landed it first try. This was a weekend of first tries for the Armada team rider. This set the tone for the whole day. Everyone felt the vibe.
We all stopped and everyone jumped in the water to cool down and hang out for a few minutes. We didn’t see a gray boat or a red boat or a gray and red boat, or even the Wake LV houseboat for that matter. We went out of the marina turned right, went through the islands and went left but nothing. Daman wanted to ride some more so I jumped in his boat and he, myself and…. Shoot, sorry buddy, I cant remember Daman’s friends name, headed out. I’ll call him Wilbur. Daman, Wilbur and I headed out. I waved bye to my boat, wife and crew of seven people. Little did I know it would be an hour or so before I would see them all again. Wilbur was up to ride first in our little crew of 3. He grabbed the life jacket that fit and stood up and Daman and I laughed at him. He grabbed the girls life jacket. It was the best fitting one being that Daman and I are some hungry Jacks but our laughing mad him take it off and put on a men’s jacket. He got out and rode for a bit and was jumping the wake consistently, something that he had yet to do behind Daman’s boat. My guess is that it’s because he stepped up to the mans jacket, it gave him extra courage but it was cool. Daman was up and he wakeskated a bit and again, I open my big mouth and say “ dude have you wakeboarded since you tore your ACL…” he said “no” and I said “No better conditions than these to give it a whirl.” He agreed and strapped in for the first time in like 2 years. This was cool, and sketchy for me, since it was my idea. It was cool to see him wakeboard again but he now has two kids and more responsibilities and his wife would kill us both if he got hurt again. After we finished up we saw my boat and it was kind of packed so I stayed on Daman’s boat and Cristin came with us. She was ready to wakeboard now. She rode for a bit and we stopped again and my boat was nowhere to be seen again. We jumped in the water and floated for a bit and I was told I was getting sun burnt so I asked for some sun block. Cristin said it was a spray that the kids use and Daman said “ I got it. I’ll spray your back”… a little gay yeah but I was burning… I stood up and he started spraying and I rotated and was thinking man this sun block smells familiar…. Just then Wilbur says, “ Isn’t that glass cleaner?” Just then it clicked… Daman was spraying me down with glass cleaner. They had a great laugh and I jumped in the water to rinse off and found the right sun block and took care of it for myself. We all were hanging out in the water and a little ways away Daman noticed a houseboat on shore. He tossed Cristin and Wilbur some floaties and the flag and we left them floating and motored over to the houseboat. Johnny from Wake LV was there and we chatted for a minute and he said that Jenacee Jackson from the Hyperlite It Girls team was out doing some clinics on a red and gray Supra boat. Now Gary’s text made sense. We headed back over to Wilbur and Cristin and picked them up and then back to the houseboat. After hanging at the houseboat for a bit, my boat came rolling up. It seems Nick and Andrew had taken over driving and coaching, which was fine with me because they both knew what they were doing. Katie yells to me, “Tony, get in the boat and watch me”. Apparently while I was with Daman and Cristin and Wilbur, the Armada boat was going OFF.
Katie, Kate, and Emily were crossing the wakes with confidence and Katie was almost clearing the wake. Rudolph was clearing the wake every time with stylish grabs and shifties and Andrew was as close to landing tantrums as you can get. He had never done them before today and he was landing them, just popping the handle. You usually pop the handle when you are tired and he had no sleep so I’m sure that had a lot to do with him not hanging on. Katie and Nick went out for a doubles set so that Kate could get some shots of Nick jumping and doing grabs over the top of Katie and he also threw some tantrums over her. Perfect photo ops. We started heading back to shore and we saw Daman paddling out 100 yards from shore. He was on the wake surfboard. The wind came up a bit so it was time to surf.
Daman hitchhiked a ride but I didn’t have a rope to surf with so we picked him up and headed back to the houseboat and got the surf rope from his Wakesetter and also picked up Cristin and Wilbur. Now we had rear ballast and 10 people plus gear on my Malibu V Ride. The surf wake was awesome. Everyone was having a great time and after about 30 minutes of surfing, we noticed that the wind died again. The lake was glassy again. Emily and Rudolph needed to leave soon so we tossed some people off the boat and took them out for “ one more set” the worst saying in action sports. Rudolph was having a great set and then Emily went out. She was cutting out and caught an edge. She went down. It didn’t seem to be bad but she was in pain. We all could see it. We pulled her in and she couldn’t stand on it. All she could think about was her triathlon. We all played doctor and gave her our diagnosis but it didn’t matter. It was their last set and they needed to go. We took her and Rudolph in to the marina and helped Emily to the car and wished her good luck. She insisted she would be fine.
It was now getting late and the sun was setting. My boat was almost out of gas and I wanted to say good-bye to Johnny and Gary from Wake LV but the light was perfect. I emptied all the ballast and pulled the wedge up to conserve fuel and Katie jumped in for some photos. The lake had glassed over and the sun was setting. Katie and Andrew rode on the way to the Wake LV houseboat. Andrew really wanted those tantrums but he was spent. Just no more energy. Katie rode the rest of the way and as we rounded the island and hung a left, Daman was coming our way. Kate jumped onto Daman’s boat and Nick jumped into the water. Now that we had the chase boat back and potentially a tow boat if I ran out of gas, I filled up all the ballast. Nick got out and Kate got some great shots of him riding behind my Malibu. These were perfect since we hadn’t really shot any Malibu photos yet. I needed some shots of my boat so that I could send them to Lani at Malibu Boats since she supported us and sent us out some books and a huge banner. The lighting was perfect and the weather was perfect. Kate got a ton of great shots from the chase boat and Nick hit some double ups and some huge stylish grabs for the camera and he was done. He climbed into Daman’s boat and we headed back to the marina. We had the boat lights on at this point as it was near dark. We cruised next to Daman and Kate snapped some epic photos. These are my favorite photos because I rarely see my boat because I’m always driving and there aren’t any lakes close to where we live that you can drive at night. So I was really happy. We goofed off a little and I told everyone to “buff up” because I knew these were going to be great photos and didn’t want anyone saying, “no don’t use that shot, I don’t like the way I look.” We got to the ramp and loaded up and wiped the boat down with flashlights because it was dark out now and headed out.
As we were leaving, Daman just pulled away from me. I just figured it was because his car was new and my truck was tired. He pulled over and gave me directions to get back to the hotel and took off into the night. It took a few miles and I kept seeing water splash out of the boat. I pulled over to check the drain plugs and they were out. I checked the ballast and they were full. So hear I am on the side of the road dumping 900 lbs of water into the desert. It really made me have to pee. While I was draining the ballast, everyone else was previewing the pictures in the truck on Kate’s camera. It sounded like they were watching fireworks to me. All I could hear coming from the truck was OOOHHH…. AAAAHHHHH….. OOOOOOH… THAT WAS RAD….I LIKE THAT ONE…. It was funny actually. I wanted to wait to see the pics when we got home because I knew the small screen on the camera wouldn’t do justice to the talent that Kate has. The ballast finished draining and we were off again. Everyone passed out on the way back to the hotel. Once back at the hotel, Andrew checked into his room… he went from sleeping on our floor freezing with no pillow to having a room in the “tower” with two beds to choose from.
We got back to our room and looked for the thermostat to turn down the a/c. I looked in the usual spot where it should be and it was just a metal plate. I said “hum, maybe we cant change the temp. Maybe that’s why the rooms are only $29.95. Everyone was so tired they just agreed and Katie put a towel over the vent and called to get a wake up call at 5:30 so we got to sleep in. We were all tired but Katie and Nick wanted to go downstairs to the casino. Apparently Katie loves slot machines. She doesn’t really know how to play but loves the lights and sounds. I had to pull her away from the quarter slots really quick. I pointed her towards the nickel slots before she lost everything we own. She was happy and my wallet was happy. I gave her a 20 dollar bill that she put in the machine. She played two games and cashed out. You should have seen her eyes light up when 390 or so nickels came pouring out of the machine. It was like she just won a million dollars but in reality she had lost 10 cents. I now know how to entertain her in the casino. I made fun of her for a minute then we rounded up Nick and Kate and headed back to the room to sleep for a few hours….