What’s your philosophy at The Boarding School?
I want to give people the experience they want. Not everybody is going to come and learn everything they want, but they can have the experience they want and still leave with a ton of stuff to work on and a ton of great memories. Our goal is to have people be able to leave with a new understanding of their riding so they can continue to progress after they leave. No matter what level you are, we want you to keep having fun because once you stop having fun, you’re going to stop riding.
What’s it like having three private lakes at your disposal every day?
It’s a lifelong dream come true. The first day we were there and riding, I honestly could have cried. It felt like I’d officially made it. I’ve been working in coaching for a long time. I’ve had a lot of coaches help me over the years and influence the way I do things. I love doing it and really feel like I’m living a dream.
I had a guy a couple weeks ago that was a total beginner with a ton of bad habits. We spent the entire week trying to fix his fundamentals just so he could jump the wake properly. On the last set of his last day he wanted to go for a full wake jump, and he made it. I was probably more excited than he was. It was awesome. I live for that feeling.
It doesn’t matter what level a rider is, it’s awesome helping people learn new things and grow.
What kind of riders and riding do you cater to at TBS?
I’d say 70 percent of what we do is on the beginner or intermediate level, but we get advanced riders too. There is a kid from Israel right now — Guy Firer — who’s staying for three months. He’s really good at the park but hasn’t ridden a boat much. It’s going to be really fun working with him. And you’d be surprised how many 40-year-old-plus rippers there are that are coming to learn a 7 or their first mobe. It’s awesome.
TBS is now located at what used to be the Projects, which has a ton of history for wake. Rumor has it you’re bringing some of the old rails back?
Yeah, we have two that are up and running now. We’ve got some of the other old rails stripped down and ready to be rebuilt. It’s really fun for us to bring them back to life. People come to camp and recognize them from old photos or videos and ask to have their picture taken with them. The Projects was one of the most important places for the progression of wakeboarding and wakeskating. It’s cool to pay homage by rebuilding some of that history.
Your history and relation to the sports give you a unique perspective. Where do you see them going in the future?
I think there is a lot of room for growth still. I think we’re going to see more things where companies and groups are offering experiences to people — different types of demo days or camps, etc. The level of riding is so crazy right now, it can be hard to relate to, but the fun of being on the water cuts across all lines. I think we will continue to see people coming into the sport that way with those kinds of experiences and then falling in love and becoming bigger and bigger fans.