2011 Orlando Diaries Part 5

Matt Bibby, Adam Levitt

Here's a few more photos from the past few days. I've been hanging with a pretty big Canadian crew since the last post. We do some wakeboarding, but mostly talk about all things Canadian, like Bloody Caesars, hockey, Tim Hortons and snowboarding. We had a private session at OWC before they opened and the crew had a good time.

aaron rathy, adam levitt, kevin henshaw

Aaron Rathy getting his press on while Kevin Henshaw's head gets the killer angle.


Dustin O'Ferrall, SBC Wakeboard, Adam Levitt, OWC

Straight off the snowy slopes of British Columbia, cover boy Dustin O'Ferrall grabs Stalefish over the hip.

Robbie McMillin, Adam Levitt, OWC

Robbie McMillin gots the Front Boards on the locks.

Dylan Miller, Adam Levitt, OWC

Dylan Miller (aka Dillion Dollar Baby, Dillionaire Millionaire, Dilly Willy, Dills Mills, Dairy Queen Dilly Bar, Spits Hot Fire) slays more tail than your average high school jock. Get it; tail press?

Kevin Henshaw, Adam Levitt, OWC

Kevin Henshaw, not Wake Skiing.

Steel Lafferty, Adam Levitt

Steel Lafferty jumps very high and grabs his board in all the right places.

Kevin Henshaw, Adam Levitt,

I feel like I've seen this shot of Kevin Henshaw somewhere before.

Ben Greenwood, Adam Levitt

Benny G!

Matt Bibby, Adam Levitt

Matt Bibby's Tuck Knee grabs are upping wakeboardings cool factor one trick at a time.

Dustin O'Ferrall, SBC Wakeboard, Adam Levitt,

Someone's looking for photo incentives. Dusty O finishing off the day.

Posted: April 14, 2011 at 03:13 PM
By: Adam Levitt
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2011 Orlando Diaries Part 4

Adam Levitt

In an effort to get more content posted on a regular basis, I'm scrapping all of those words that just get in the way. From this point on, this will be a photo blog with a few extended captions to explain what's going on. Enjoy.

I'm a few days behind, so let's start where I left off. Saturday morning I met up with Dean Smith, Oli Derome, Collin Harrington and Jeff Langley for an early morning shoot on Clear Lake. Here's a few snaps that I like.

Adam Levitt, Oli Derome

Oli Derome styles out a method over the Clear Lake bridge.

Adam Levitt, Jeff Langley

Jeff Langley, Mute Half Cab Roll

Collin Harrington, Adam Levitt

Collin Harrington, tail poke perfection.

Dean Smith, Adam Levitt

Dean Smith back on the water after a nagging ankle injury.

Saturday evening I headed over to Aaron Rathy's to check out a new rail he, Oli Derome and Bob Soven had recently finished building. I got a bunch of great shots, so good that I'm saving most of them for the magazine but here's one of the B+ shots.

aaron rathy, adam levitt

Aaron Rathy, Front Lip on his new corrugated pipe rail.

Sunday morning I headed out to Maitland to meet up with Anthony Hollick, Nick Jones and Scott Stewart. Let's just say that was one of those shoot where nothing goes right. Multiple boat issues meant I was only able to shoot Anthony.Sometime you have to expect the unexpected.

Anthony Hollick, Adam levitt

As you can see conditions were epic, too bad the boats failed to cooperate.

Anthony Hollick, Adam levitt

Hollick looks pretty pissed about the boats while cranking out this Method.

I took Sunday afternoon off to go meet up with Pat Panakos, but was full-on back to work Monday morning with an early shoot with Shaun Watson, Kyle Rattray and Trevor Hansen on Lake Hiawassee in Orlando.

Shaun watson, adam levitt

Watson with an Ole 5 off the Double-up.

Kyle Rattray, Adam levitt

Kyle Rattray, Batwing to blind

Trevor Hansen, Adam levitt

Trevor Hansen, Toeside Backside 180 Nose grab.

Monday afternoon I headed back out to Clermont to shoot with Rusty Malinoski. I was getting some GoPro footage riding right behind Rusty with the camera monted to the helmet I was wearing. I had a few issues with waterspots, but got some footage.

Rusty Malinoski, Adam Levitt

Screen capture of Rusty Malinoski from a GoPro. Exclusive video on SBCWakeboard.com coming soon.

So now you're fully caught up on my adventures around Orlando. I'm off to OWC in the morning, then out to Clermont if thr weather holds. Stay tuned for more photos from my trip.

Posted: April 11, 2011 at 11:13 PM
By: Adam Levitt
(0) Comment/s
2011 Orlando Diaries Part 3

X Star

So my idea of writing a daily blog has failed miserably. I can’t say I’m too surprised, this happens every year. I have grand aspirations of making daily post and being organized to some kind of schedule, but it never happens. The main problem is I’m so busy, basically working from sun up to sun down that by the time I get home I barely have time to download my photos and log the video footage let alone write a blog. For example, it’s currently 11:40 PM and I’m tying to get through this, but honestly I can see myself falling asleep in the next ten minutes.

Since I’ve fallen behind, let me back up to yesterday. Like the last few mornings, I spent a few hours catching up on emails and getting some other web work done with the plan to head out to Rusty Malinoski’s house to shoot with him, Dylan Miller and Robbie McMillin. When I pulled in to Rusty’s mid-afternoon he was slightly more hyper than usual, which is saying a lot for those who’ve ever met him. The reason for his excitement was we were going to break in his brand new X-Star. Because we wanted to film from a few different angles and because his boat was still on the trailer, we decided to drive over and ride on Lake Minnehaha instead to Rusty’s home lake. I should also mention that the weather was awesome, hot and virtually no wind; it felt like early summer. Other Clermont shreds were taking full advantage of the conditions as well. We saw Steel Lafferty’s boat, Amber Wing’s boat, Trevor Hansen’s boat and Benny G’s boat.

We got to the ramp and Rusty backed the boat off the trailer and went out to get the ballast filled. When he pulled up to pick us up the boat was so slammed it looked like it was going to sink. Of course, Rusty took the first set and totally killed it. Who else other than Rusty could break in a boat by stomping a 1080 of the very first double up the boat had ever driven. After riding a couple more passes and crushing a few double-ups it was Dylan’s turn. Dylan recently joined the Slingshot wale team and he looked good riding their new board. During Dylan’s set Kyle Rattray called us from shore telling us to come pick him up.  Kyle and Robbie each took sets and we rode for a few more hours until we were close to running out of gas and the light started to fade. We pulled the boat out, trailered it back to Rusty’s and then went out for a team dinner for some wings and beer.  The highlight was listening to a few rednecks discuss Middle Eastern foreign affairs in the bathroom; there was a lot of talk about “the Jews and Arabs” and how Israel is going to kick the crap out of Iran. Enlightening to say the least.

The next morning I was off to visit the human wake-trick encyclopedia also known as Harley Clifford. Harley was more mellow than his usual self when I pulled in at 7:30 AM probably due to the fact he rode 6 times the previous day and went out to a movie at midnight. Harley managed to convince Brian Grubb, his neighbour, to come drive chase boat for us. Grubb pulled up to the dock in what I can only describe as the baddest looking boat ever, a fully blacked out Malibu LSV 23. You’d think this boat came directly out of Batman’s arsenal of vehicles it looks so bad ass. I jumped in with Grubb and we headed out on the lake. I was shooting photos, so Harley was going big and poking out a few different grab variations. I got a bunch of good shots and then pulled out the video camera. Harley saw I switched to video and proceeded to stomp a wake to wake Back 9 for his very first trick. The rest of the time it was hammers all the way down the lake; it’s seriously crazy how consistent he is. When Harley was finished, Grubb took advantage of the glassy conditions and went for a set as well. Look for videos coming soon of both Harley and Grubb.


Harley going big


Grubb and his pimped out Malibu LSV 23

Later on that afternoon I ventured out to Phil Soven’s house in Windermere. Bob Soven and Oli Derome are living at Phil’s as well. I decided to film with Oli riding just behind him and shooting with my GoPro on a pole. We got some cool footage but I quickly realized how out of shape I am; I only managed to ride four passed before my arms quit. I filmed Bob from the towboat; he had a minor knee injury over the off season, but he’s back riding almost at 100%. I also shot with Phil, but the light got dark quickly and we had to deal with a couple of slalom skiers carving up the glass.

Oli Derome

An Oli Derome screen capture from the GoPro footage.

So that’s two days squeezed into one post and I’m sure they’re only going to get more sporadic from here on in. There’s still lots of work I need to get done for the next issue so it’s looking pretty hectic for the next six days. I will definitely be posting some quick updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages so please tune into those.



Posted: April 9, 2011 at 02:57 PM
By: Adam Levitt
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2011 Orlando Diaries Part 2

Reed Hansen, Adam Levitt photography, wakeskating

After a good night’s rest from a long day of travel and taking care of some Internet business back at the condo most of the morning, I ventured out towards Clermont to Kevin Henshaw’s house. Henny was out at The Projects taking down his rail that will be features in Sean Kilgus’ new movie, Defy. James Balzer, his wife and son have been staying at Casa De Henshaw for the past month and I wanted to catch up with them.

When I pulled up to Henshaw’s, Reed Hansen’s unmistakable black El Camino was also in the driveway. Reed was pulling James for a set so I waited until they finished then jumped on the back of the Sea Doo to shoot Reed. Next level doesn’t even come close to describing Reed’s level of riding. I think he stomped almost every flip trick he knows in the first two passes. James commented that Reed doesn’t fall because it makes him bored. This seems like a good philosophy to have, maybe every wakeskater and wakeboarder should share this outlook on life.

Reed Hansen, Adam Levitt photography, wakeskating

Reed Hansen, Backside Flip. Levitt photo

Reed Hansen, Adam Levitt photography, wakeskating

Reed Hansen, Back Lip.

Reed Hansen, Adam Levitt photography, wakeskating

Reed Hansen, Frontside Heelflip.

Reed finished up his Sea-Doo set, but both he and James still wanted to ride. Steel Lafferty’s brand new X-Star was parked at the dock, but he wasn’t home so James tried tracking him down on his phone. After chilling on Henshaw’s front porch for a while, we finally got the green light from Steel to use his boat so we headed out on to Lake Minnehaha. Both Reed and James got in good sets as the sun started to head towards the horizon.

James Balzer, Adam Levitt photography, wakeskating

James Balzer, wake to wake Shuv.

James Balzer, Adam Levitt photography, wakeskating

Learning by osmosis? James already teaching his son River the ways of the wakeskate.

Kind of a mellow day to kick start the trip but a good one all the same. I have no real plans for tomorrow morning, but I’m headed back out to Clermont again in the afternoon to meet up with Rusty Malinoski, Dylan Miller and hopefully Kyle Rattray, if he gets back from the Boarding School in time.

Remember to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for real time updates throughout the day.


Posted: April 6, 2011 at 11:25 AM
By: Adam Levitt
(0) Comment/s
2011 Orlando Diaries Part 1

Orlando, Adam Levitt, Wakeboarding

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting longer, the sun is starting to feel warm again, the birds are starting to chirp and the snow is melting (although I did manage to sneak in one last pow day on Whistler two days ago). All these signs can only lead to one conclusion; it must be time for my annual springtime visit to Central Florida. I’ve got 10 days to kill and keeping busy isn’t going to be a problem. I’m travelling heavy in the tech department with an iPhone, a laptop, 2 DSLR’s (one for photos, the other for filming) and a GoPro so I could very well be documenting every second of this trip. Are you really going to be interested in what I had for a bedtime snack?

For those of you geographically inclined, you’ll probably notice that Vancouver is a really long way away from Orlando. So far, in fact, that this first post is dedicated to the late John Candy and his classic film, Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The reality is there’s no quick way to get from one corner of the continent to the other, but the journey in itself is usually a good story.

The day started really early as I headed to the Vancouver airport (YVR) at 5:30 AM. YVR was recently voted best airport in North America, but starting a trip there is both a good and bad thing. It’s awesome because there’s rarely any crowds, there’s good places to eat and there’s free high-speed Wifi throughout the terminal, but the problem is every other airport from there only goes downhill. It’s kind of like dating a supermodel when you’re seventeen, every girl from then on is only going to be a letdown (I'm not talking from personal experience, just guessing). To borrow a phrase from the immortal John Cusack in Hot Tub Time Machine, YVR is the Great White Buffalo of North American airports.

I checked in at YVR and my flight was looking pretty full so I decided to bite the bullet and upgrade to an extra legroom seat. Insert rant about airlines here: I know airlines are really struggling these days, but when did it become acceptable to charge for extra leg room? I’m not talking about upgrading to business or first class either, it was just a couple of extra inches. It’s essentially a tax on tall people. How about a fat person tax considering everyone in North American seems to be getting heavier? I guess it’s also the norm to pay for checked luggage as well even though I only had one normal sized bag to check.

In the end the upgrade was worth it because I had an empty seat beside me and I got close to a 1000 free channels on the headrest TV. Since there’s no such thing as a direct flight from Vancouver to Orlando I had a stopover in Houston. The Houston airport, despite being named after George Bush, actually isn’t that bad. I’ve flown through there a few times and they’ve got a good Mexican place in their food court called Papasito’s Cantina. I grabbed a chicken burrito/black bean burrito for lunch and waited for my next flight. I warned you I was going to document everything.

airplane, adam levitt, crowds
The very back of the plane. Can't even see the front.

With lunch out the way it was time to head to the gate for the second leg of the trip. I’ll just be blunt and say flying to Orlando could possibly be the least favourite of all my flying experiences. It’s usually a really short flight, but the plane is always packed families and amped up kids all hyped up to see Mickey, Goofy and Donald and for some reason I always get the worst luck with seats. This flight was no different: I was in the second to last row of the plane (which seemed to go on forever as I was walking down the aisle). Thankfully it went pretty quickly and I even managed to grab a few z’s.

stopwatch, iphone, adam Levitt

Total door-to-door travel time. It was a long day.

Usually when I’m down here in the spring, I opt for the couch surfer route, crashing anywhere between The Projects and Clermont. This year I’ve decided to go the high-roller route so I’ve got a condo to myself in Lake Buena Vista. Hopefully it allows me to get some serious work done.
That’s about all for day one, but thanks for tuning in. I’ll be providing brief updates though our Facebook and Twitter pages. I’ll also be providing some random Central Florida observances on my personal Twitter page, so check that out as well if you’re so inclined.



Posted: April 5, 2011 at 11:59 AM
By: Adam Levitt
(0) Comment/s

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