Team Slingshot Charges Charleston

Wakeboarding in one of America's most historic cities

Jeff McKee's new backyard looks different than most wakeboarders'Steffen Vollert

Earlier this summer Slingshot team manager and rider Jeff McKee had some of the team join him in his new home of Charleston to ride and enjoy all the historic city has to offer. When most people think of Charleston they don't think of wakeboarding, but if you don't mind the saltwater there are numerous options to choose from with some very unique backdrops. From giant military ships and freighters to the region's famous low-country grasslands and marshes, Charleston has it all. Take a look at some of the photos and video the crew got while they were there, and read on for Jeff's version of the story.

A bunch of the Slingshot team was at the Valdosta Wake Compound for the Yard Sale, so when it was all done I packed Dylan Miller, Steffen Vollert and Alex Graydon into my truck and make the five-hour drive back to my new home, Charleston, or "Chucktown" as the cool kids all it. Charleston is known more for its history, foodie culture, and "southern charm" than anything else, but there's a large boating culture here as well. Not much of that boating included wake boats though. Most are either sail boats or fishing boats, so when we roll around in the G23 it certainly gets people's heads turning.

Not your normal boat for Charleston.Steffen Vollert
Built in 2001, the Ravenel Bridge has come to define the Charleston harbor.Steffen Vollert

We started our first half of the week in the Charleston Harbor Riding up the Cooper River and then out to the Stono River where we found plenty of calm water, epic scenery, and more dolphins than we could possibly count. The guys were definitely blown away by the change of scenery from our usual Orlando boating routines, so I was stoked to play host as they looked wide-eyed onto the massive tanker ships, sailboats, and more that all make up Charleston harbor.

Big boats and little boats and Jeff McKee upside down.Steffen Vollert
Dylan Miller checking out some of Charleston's on-water views.Steffen Vollert

For the last two riding sessions we headed back to Wadmalaw Island where people say things like “I appreciate ya buddy." That immediately became Dylan's go-to phrase for the remainder of trip, and he's probably still using it regularly today. The waters are a lot more mellow back in the creeks of Wadmalaw, but the tides can be tricky, which I have learned the hard way. More than once I've invited a crew out to ride only to realize the tide is too low to get the boat off the lift, or to get out of the creek and into rideable waters. We timed everything right this go-round, and on our first session out we were convinced we were swarmed by so many dolphins eager to surf our wake we were convinced we were actually going to pet some. At one point with the boat stopped and the dolphins still swarming I got into the water to splash around, until I saw a strange dolphin with two fins instead of one who was moving a lot slower than the others... AKA bull shark. Needless to say we didn't hang around to say hi.

Jeff's daughter is always game for going out on the boat.Steffen Vollert

All-in-all it was rad to have the guys join me in my new hometown and showcase what Charleston has to offer. There is a ton more potential beyond what we were able to do and I'm excited to keep exploring these parts and having more guys out over the next few seasons!