"Let's try here..."

“Let’s try here…” photo: budds

Choose Your Own Adventure

If you’re as old as me you remember the books with the title above. In them you could choose what you wanted the character to do: Turn left or turn right. Follow this piece of evidence or ignore it. I would flip through the pages as fast as I could, excited to see where my decisions would lead. And ultimately I’d read each book again and again and choose differently each time, just to see the various outcomes. In life we all have the desire to choose our own adventure – to actually make that decision, follow that idea, and go do something. But all too often we’re too occupied, nervous, or practical to do it. So instead many of us find adventure in others’ adventures – in magazines like this one – where professional athletes get to travel to exotic locations, ride the best conditions, and “live the life.” It doesn’t have to be that way though. Let this issue of Alliance Wake be a reminder to you that you can choose your own adventure, and to have an amazing one isn’t as hard as you might think.

Truth be told your best adventure is what you make of it. As exotic as the life of a pro rider might seem – and it is – you don’t have to be a pro rider to have an awesome experience with your wakeboard/skate/surfer. You also don’t technically have to have the latest/greatest equipment either. The cover of this issue is a prime example of that. When Lake Tahoe wakeskater Jen Gilan-Farr approached me about doing a girls-only wakeskating road trip through the Sierra Nevada mountains with her infamous outboard “shark” boat, I thought it was perfect, but I also had reservations. Much like Jen was nervous at the beginning of their journey into the mountains, as an editor I was also nervous. Could they pull this off and fill the requisite pages? Or would it flop and I’d have to scramble to plug in Plan B? Ultimately though I knew the potential was more than there; and I felt that given the opportunity, Jen, with her easy-going nature and dogged determination, would make it happen. “Into the Sierra”, while basic in so many ways, is one of the coolest travel pieces we’ve published in a while, and as you flip through this issue I encourage you to take a close look at the story and appreciate it for what it truly is: a group of friends hitting the road in order to have fun on their wakeskates.

In vein similar to that of “Into the Sierra” we also had a few friends from the Billabong team – Brian Grubb, Cody Hesse, and Brenton Priestley – wander out to a different part of Florida for an adventure of their own. The Suwannee River is famous in Florida and beyond, mostly because of that classic tune that you are probably too young to know of, but it isn’t well known for wake sports. The reality is though that it’s perfect for some great adventures – another backyard spot that just needed a little more exploring in order to reveal some truly unique potential. The Suwannee covers a huge portion of Florida and its changes in depth and surroundings are as varied as it is long, but that just means more opportunity to find and do some cool things. As you’ll see in the story, these guys, with the help of photographer Bryan Soderlind, were able to have a very different, but very fun time in a place not at all far from their actual homes.

Despite what the hyper-curated social media accounts may say, you don’t need to be a pro rider or photographer to get rad shots, or to have an epic adventure. Those perfectly timed images of “wanderlust” and “explore more” and “camp vibes” aren’t too hard to get, and they definitely aren’t out of your reach. Now more than ever there are tons of great opportunities to have a wake adventure of your own; be it with a boat, a winch, a PWC, or some different cable parks. Adventure is all around you, all you have to do is choose to go for it.

Enjoy the ride,