Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have your own piece of wakeboarding nirvana? What about taking that piece and finding a way to structure it so that it can provide for you in the real world while also helping to promote and grow the sports you love? Enter Quinn Silvernale, his business partner/buddy Luke Tilt, and Valdosta Wake Compound. What started as a pipe dream for these two college friends has become a reality — and VWC has quickly become the “it” park among pros and fans alike.
Located right off Interstate 75 in a tiny town just north of the Georgia-Florida border, VWC is a DIY park rider’s paradise. You won’t find plush amenities or high-tech imported features, but you will find one thing in spades: passion for wakeboarding. The vibe at VWC oozes the core mentality so many wakeboarders share: Wakeboarding is and should always be about fun. We chatted with Quinn about how VWC came to be and what makes it so special to him and everybody else who rides there.
Where did the idea for VWC first come from, and what made you think it could work?
The idea started in college. Being in Valdosta made it hard to get a lot of riding in, since there aren’t any big lakes. My friends and I were always talking about ideas and “what if’s” at that time because the struggle to get on the water was so real. Eventually, my roommate, Luke, and I wrote all of those things down because we felt like, in the off-chance that the opportunity to make any of them happen should arise, then at least we would be somewhat prepared. Those ideas later became structured into our business plan that we presented to investors and banks.
What is your goal with VWC, and what do you want people to think of when they talk about it?
The overall goal is to do our part to make our sports as dope as humanly possible. Everyone who works at VWC is dedicated to the progression of wakeboarding and wakeskating. We are all very passionate people working for the common goal. Nobody is working there because it’s a cool job at a cool place. I hope that people can see that and see how much work the crew puts in for no other reason than making wakeboarding and wakeskating better.
What is the best part about what you do, and what is the hardest part about what you do?
The best part is getting to work with some of my best friends every day. Our crew is epic, and without them VWC wouldn’t exist. The hardest part is not having a big corporate budget to pay all those guys the millions of dollars I feel like they deserve and to build everything that we want to build. But finding creative ways to make an affordable build happen is our specialty.
Does the reality of work and business stuff take away at all from the fun of operating your own park?
The business can definitely weigh on you sometimes, but looking at where we started to where we are now always puts it into perspective for me. We had a lot of fun getting to this point, and there is always more fun to be had.