Think Like Shredtown

Think Like Shredtown

Get your creative juices flowing with one of the most inventive crews in wake

A how-to on "being creative" is not something we have time for, nor the psychoanalytical credentials to delve into. What we can do is hope to inspire you with some insight into where the most creative minds in our sport draw inspiration from and how they carry it out. The Shredtown crew has proved to be much more than a flash in the pan, and they have been pushing the jibbing envelope since their first Web clip dropped in 2009. They make a loud statement in their rather large contribution to Slingshot's team video Lipsmack, showing that creativity on a wakeboard is not limited to what you do in the air, but can be approached on a whole different platform.

We got the chance to chat with Shredtown and see where their minds were specific to each feature they were photographed on. That is where the end goal is, of course: finding that inspiration to do something unique, make it look good and show the world. These guys have been successful in doing so thus far, and we are looking forward to their next batch of ideas.

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Chris Abadie Pipe to Wall | Photo: Bryan Soderlind

Davis Griffin - Our creativity is spawned from our inability to remain satisfied with anything.

Bring in the New:

When I first saw a glimmer of light in my hopes of becoming a professional wakeboarder, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get anywhere doing what had already been done. I think we all knew that, and that’s what we’ve always been about.

Lately I’ve been getting my inspiration from the smallest rails in the park. I used to be all about going huge, but now I’m having the most fun and learning a lot from the little things. It allows you to work on your switch game and lets you focus on technique and style rather than effort. Although this particular feature doesn’t fall under the “little things” category, I like to think: less rail, more style …

Before we settle on any idea we have to consult the snowboard gods. They tell us whether or not it would be a good idea and if it would be cool or not. Then we build whatever it is. We’ve really honed our building skills over the past years of obstacle construction. It’s something we really enjoy doing, and a different side of Shredtown no one really gets to see (unless you come here, then we make you build shit too). We still ride boat to get in touch with our roots, and winch season is about to be here so we are all stoked for some road trips and new scenery.

The Shot:

Shooting photos is a rare occasion here in Texas, so when Bear (Bryan Soderlind) comes to Shredtown it’s like a photofest free-for-all. We take pictures all day and all night — it’s so sick. I did this back tail like 100 times trying to make it look super chill.

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Davis Griffin Back Tail | Photo: Bryan Soderlind

Andrew Adams - We don't limit ourselves to the ideas of the mainstream.  To keep things fresh we are always changing the ways we ride our wakeboards.

Rewarded with Fun:

We are heavily influenced and inspired by snowboarding and the creative aspects that snow has tapped into. When we started to get into wakeboarding we noticed how many possibilities there were within the sport, and how so many ideas have not been put into action yet. From the beginning we have always done what we had the most fun doing, and pretty quickly we found building and hitting new creative obstacles was what we enjoyed the most. We put a lot of time and effort into building a lot of the features we hit but there is nothing more rewarding than building something crazy and then taking that first hit on it. Overall, we are constantly looking for new things to be done and more creative obstacles to build — that’s what pushes us to continue to wakeboard every day.

The Shot:

While we were filming for Lipsmack a couple of us started talking about doing a one-footer off a pole jam we had. We tried it a couple of times but it never ended up working out. A few weeks later I was riding at Hydrous Wake Park for the day and happened to think about the one-footer. I tried it a couple of times that day and it came pretty easily. I was stoked because it was such a crazy feeling that you aren't used to. We flew Bryan Soderlind out to Shredtown to shoot some photos for us and I knew that the one-footer was something I really wanted to focus on that trip. I did some Indy one-footers and the photos were looking awesome, but I knew I wanted to grab it differently. The next set I started to grab them tail and everything came together on a couple of the photos. We ended up getting some really good stuff from the shoot.

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Andrew Adams One-Footer | Photo: Bryan Soderlind

Chris Abadie - An essential aspect of creative riding is not being afraid to fail.

Getting creative:

I think everyone wants to be a little different, set apart from others in some way. This is where creative juices start and outside-the-box thinking comes from. “How could I do this in a way no one has thought of?” or “What will make me stand out?” You need to have something unique to be looked at and acknowledged. Being creative is having fun and fooling around with ideas till something good comes out of it. It can’t be taken too seriously. People are always judging what we are doing, and it’s “whatever” to us. I love the way we shred and the result at the end of the day. It’s not always that we’re doing something first and totally new, but we try to add some kind of twist or tweak to the setup or trick being tried.

The Shot:

People have been doing firecrackers down stairs for forever in other board sports, so why not throw a set out in the water? So we framed out some stairs on our floating barge, put a 24-foot corrugated tube up to it and made it happen. Andrew decided to try to go up the stairs and got worked. With some things it’s questionable if they will work, but there’s only one way to find out. The risk might be high sometimes, but riding away is the most rewarding feeling that I strive for.

Chris Abadie Gap to Firecracker | Photo: Bryan Soderlind