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Throughout the years, Shasta has been known as one of the coolest wakeboarding lakes on the West Coast. Being from the West Coast, everyone I know has plenty of stories from visiting Shasta. This winter while I was injured, I decided it was time for me to experience it for myself, so I put together a couple riders from the area, got CWB and Epic Boats on board, and started setting my plan into motion. The riders to join me on the trip were fellow Washingtonian Chris Craig, Oregonians Robby Carter and Alex Scaglioti, and Cali riders Raequel and Shawna Hoffman, and Derek Cook. I was stoked to get Sean Waston (the photographer), and filmers Spencer Norris (The Arrival), and Damon Chamberlin (The Faction Video) out there to document the whole thing. I’d been on a few houseboat trips before this, but nothing could prepare me for our trip to Shasta.
The trip got off to a rough start for me. I had a two-hour wait in Sac airport for Sean’s flight to arrive, but fortunately this gave me the time figure out why I had paid $25 for my luggage to travel to Atlanta while I was in Sacramento. With Sean’s arrival we were finally on our way to meet up with Damon, who was pulling the Epic. Unfortunately he blew a tire on the boat trailer, delaying the trip. Knowing that we had to grab a week’s worth of food for everyone, we took off as soon as we could. Costco was the first destination and I felt like a kid in a candy shop. We were buying everything I loved to eat; I was hoping there’d be someone there to cook it. This was a good thing until we got back to the car and realized that we didn’t have a cooler to put anything in; so everything was thrown in the back of the truck and we raced the last hour to the lake.
The story behind acquiring our houseboat and its captain is definitely on the unusual side. During the planning portion of the trip, Randy Scaglioti, Alex’s dad, mentioned he’d talked to someone on wakeworld who had a houseboat and may be down for the cause. That person was Kimmy Pop, and she was more-than-stoked to be involved. Her only request was that her dog Emmy, a black lab, could come along. The deal was set and we had ourselves a little slice of house boating heaven.
Late Monday night, we pulled up to the resort almost exactly the same time as Shawna and Gina Hoffman showed up, pulling their Epic boat. After some technical difficulties, we made it to the houseboat with all the supplies. Kimmy’s houseboat was, to say the least, a little old school. But what it lacked in waterslides, it made up for in homeliness. As we unpacked everything Rob Carter and Spencer Norris pulled up bringing with them an uncharacteristic breeze to Shasta. The best place to sleep on the houseboat was the roof, where the night sky glistened with countless stars (not as gay as it sounds). We all went to sleep ready for tomorrow’s epic day of riding the legendary Shasta butter.
Tuesday morning came quick, along with enormous disappointment. The wind was a consistent 25 mph, with gusts of 40. We had no worries, as we still had to move the houseboat, and get the rest of our riders. Unfortunately, the houseboats steering cable was temporarily broken, so maneuvering it proved to be impossible. Luckily, Rob Carter was up for it. As he piloted the Epic boat towing the houseboat out and away from the marina, the 40 mph gusts really started flexing their muscles. Before we knew it, the wind was throwing us into a collision course with a whole row of houseboats. We frantically ran around to help somehow, but it was a lost cause. After the crash and the confusion got sorted out, we ended up getting help from the marina to get out. I guess next time I’ll accept the $65 offer to have the boat moved for us. During the houseboat mayhem, Damon was able to get the other Epic working, and in the water. Finally, everything was in place, except for the winds. It was decided we should ride anyway, so after filling up at $5.50 a gallon and picking up Alex Scagliotti, we headed out. Everyone rode, and was stoked to be at Shasta. Shawna Hoffman definitely showed us how a chick should ride, grabbing everything and taking it big. Raequel Hoffman, our other rider, unfortunately couldn’t ride as a result of an ACL sprain she received at the Texas Pro Tour Stop. Luckily, she was the cook I had been dreaming about, and cooked up a storm all week. We ate like kings.
Wednesday started the same as Tuesday, with winds cutting through our sleeping bags, waking us up to another terrible day. Rob Carter, a Shasta expert, knew of a natural waterfall we could slide down with a cliff drop only a short hike from the lake. We journeyed out and it was one of the coolest things I’d ever done. The cliff drop doesn’t look that bad, but when you’re jumping into a pool with a three-foot diameter area deep enough to land in, it gets gnarly pretty quick. I stood on top of it for a good 15 minutes, and finally jumped after everyone started leaving.
We headed back to the houseboat to grab some grub, and search for butter. I’d invited Derek Cook on the trip months before, but he was uncertain if he’d be able to make it, and never let me know one way or another. During our late afternoon meal, to my surprise, Derek hopped onto the boat after catching a ride from the marina locals. Apparently after watching our houseboat try to get out of the marina, it wasn’t hard for someone to know who we were. I was stoked to get Derek out there as his riding style is definitely different than anything I’d seen. We took some quick evening sets, but the winds were still in the 20
mph range, but Alex Scagliotti stomped his nine, getting everyone pretty stoked. Coincidently, team O’Brien was also having its photo shoot one arm down the lake at the same time, which meant a quick drive-by was in order to party a bit with them. That night, per Kimmy’s request, we watched one of her favorite movies, “Defining the Sickness”. It was a movie of some crazy stunts, and a lot of motorcycles burning out in circles. Needless to say, ‘defining the sickness’ did define the sickness and quickly became the saying of the trip. As we went to sleep under the stars, the wind started to calm and everyone was looking forward to a day full of glass.
I awoke Thursday morning with my air mattress totally deflated and a sore back, but looking forward to breakfast, courtesy of Raequel Hoffman. We then headed out in the search for calm water. The Pit Arm didn’t look too bad, and we quickly got our shred on. Everyone killed it, and was able to look past the less-than-perfect conditions. That night, we got our rave on when Kimmy brought out a couple dozen glow sticks. Alex Scag and Shawna were definitely the ones to lead the way, with Kimmy right there in the mix. After the glow sticks died, the fun was over.
Friday morning we awoke to a perfect day! Shasta finally was living up to its reputation by delivering a sheet of glass as far as the eye could see. Everyone had a little extra jump in their step, and was stoked to get out on the water. The whole crew headed out shortly after sunrise. Derek Cook rode first, and by the time he was done; I think everyone was up and ready to go. The style he threw down was crazy, especially that early in the morning. I was “sleep driving” the chase boat, and the thought of getting in the water wasn’t on the top of my list. Rob C rode next, and showed his signature style in every trick he did; it almost looks like he’s snowboarding on the water. He ended his set with a couple of his big backside 180’s into the flats, my personal favorite of his tricks. By now, everyone left was itching to ride, and Shawna got the chance to go next. I’d never seen a girl poke out her grabs before, so I was definitely stoked to see her ride. Not to mention she could spin like a top. That girl’s got game, and quite a few more years ahead of her to bring women’s wake to the next level. It was finally my chance to ride. Having glass out on Shasta was perfect, and it was one of the most fun sets I’ve had. The wake was Epic, the tunes were bumping, and it was just a good time to wakeboard. After getting my fix, Alex Scagliotti rounded out the riders. Alex went big and tech, a combination not many can pull out. I swear his knees are made of steel, because it would be impossible for anyone else to go that big on every trick.