Jan 18, 2008

Author: Hilary Tenwesteneind

The secret of success is nothing more than doing what you can do and doing it well. At least that’s how it is when two young entrepreneurs, Emily Pattison and Garry Munce are concerned, as they geared up for their second annual Sattelyte Wakeskates team trip this past July 2007. As the first Canadian Wakeskate company, I guess you could say this trip differed slightly from the familiar flights to Florida and back, and was more than their regular visits to Surf Expo or OWC. This time the team traveled to Las Vegas, ventured to the famous Lake Havasu, surfed in Huntington Beach and back to Reno filming and documenting the entire way. I think it’s safe to say at this point, that Sattelyte has come a long way. They’re a long way from the wood working shop in Emily’s garage and are much more than the scraps of wood the company started as in 2002. Now with a team of 10 and growing, Sattelyte is quickly becoming a household name, distributing boards in major retail outlets around Ontario and sponsoring riders from here to Japan.

With an extensive background in wakeboarding, Emily Pattison had a dream to follow. As the sport evolved, so did she, taking full advantage of the resources at her fingertips. She, along with her partners, decided that if they were going to do anything in this business, they were going to do it themselves. With help from business partner Garry Munce and PR extraordinaire, Gavin Jocuis, the small business with a big heart wasn’t going to stop for anybody. Sattelyte made waves by securing their presence at local Ontario Jeff Engen. Joicus photowakeboarding competitions and snagging some of the province’s top riders, now veteran Sattelyte members. Nic Harlos, Evan Reid and Matt Sachitiello were the first three to show their support and join the team. Lucky for them contests in Ontario were just beginning to have their own wake skate division. People were starting to recognize the riders consistently claiming the wake skating portion, many of who belonged to the baby company Satteltye Wakeskates. Now four years later, team managers Garry and Emily deal globally, with riders and distributors in Florida, Arizona, Nevada, California and Japan.

 Somehow I find myself entangled in the second annual Sattelyte team trip, one van, 8 dudes and 6 soggy pairs of wake skate shoes later. The crew will shoot in crazy locations for their next team video, (name TBA) as the follow up to their first video produced in 2006, Satterdays. The adventure started in Las Vegas, the grown up version of Disney Land. Here beer came from a vending machines, was consumed on the streets and in copious amounts. The boys ended up wandering around, somehow finding a crew of locals while the ladies/mothers of the trip found themselves in an impromptu bachlorette party. Apparently there was no time to waste as Nic Harlos battled to find a chapel open at 2am to marry him and his girlfriend Caroline. Why not… When in Rome, right? Unsuccessful and one ring pop wedding ring later, we rose the next day foggy and ready to trek across the desert to Arizona. Arriving in beautiful Lake Havasu City, team riders Jeff Engen and Brandon Livermore were prepared and did not disappoint. They presented the guys with nothing less than a 20-foot start rail, made portable by a tractor-trailer supporting it. With little hesitation the rail was sessioned for the better part of two days as Engen proved strong with tricks like his backboard to 270 shove out and Harlos’ front side flips. Nic also proceeded to board slide the rail and clear out about 15 empty beer cans, sending them flying in every direction; quite possibly the highlight of the day, and a definite crowd favourite.

Moving on a day or so later, we packed up and made our way to California. We stopped in Cardiff to say hi to the folks at Alliance and to surf the flat summer waves. Feeling warm and fuzzy in the heart of the O.C. we decided to head to Huntington Beach where the girls searched for Carey Hart and the boys found a bar that served Jack in a bucket. With food in our belly and liquor in our blood, we finally laid our heads to rest getting ready for the last leg of the trip.

Jeff Engen, Backside Lipslide. Joicus photoMuch to our content, the nights of dingy Californian hotels were over as we arrived at team rider Keaton Bowlby’s sprawling property in Reno. We poured into the gated community, disrupting the neighborhood and claiming residence at Keatons. Apparently we weren’t the first wake skate team to take advantage of Bowlby’s secret hideout, aka his private slider lake complete with basketball courts, beach volleyball courts and about only five other residents to share the water with. There wasn’t much to complain about, lounging on the dock catching rays with mountains in the distance, where the snow on the peaks was the only sight that reminded us of home. In the new found water wonderland, the guys did what they came to do, rode hard, built rails and captured some epic shots. Harlos landed a switch front-board on a potentially sketchy up rail, Keaton followed closely with a backboard to kick-flip out. We met Grant “the Golden Boy” Roberts later that day, who quickly took the role of Sattelyte’s only Californian team rider. So we filmed through the sunshine and the snow, and after a gracious stay at Uncle Chip’s and a beautiful wedding surrounded only by the stars and close friends, the tired shred team from Ontario piled in the van and headed back to Vegas.

After it was all said and done, one thing was evident as I packed up my suitcase to head home. For the first time in a long time, I was given a window into what this company really is about, and it couldn’t have been made any clearer. I learned that true success and happiness is the fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration. For a team that is made up of 10 different personalities they all have one main thing in common, and that’s passion. A passion for the sport, a passion for supporting something they believe in and a passion in a product that they’re proud of. Another successful team trip deep, and another promising year ahead complete with the tapes to prove it. For the team riders and founders of Sattelyte Wakeskates, they couldn’t possibly ask for anything more.

Joicus photoA special thanks goes out to the Engen family, the Livermore family and the Bowlby’s for the unimaginable hospitality. Also to the cast and crew of Sattleyte, who is all a part of building this business. Gavin Jocuis (marketing and PR), Jordan Jocuis (photographer) Dan “Ginger” Hughes (filmer) and to the newest member of the family, Caroline Harlos (photographer, and for being the better half of Nic Harlos).


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