Ambush Hosts a Fun Day of Wakeboarding for a Good Cause
My sunglasses saved me all day last Saturday at Terminus Wake Park. Not only was the sun brighter than a St. Pauli Girl sign in a college dorm room, but I had to make sure that I kept my man card securely in my back pocket. There were so many touching moments at the Ambush Gives Back benefit event that the ever-present smile on my face occasionally gave way to a certain level of emotion that I’m not accustomed to at an Ambush event. Ambush Gives Back B4BC Benefit was rewarding and fulfilling in so many ways.
The motivation for putting on our inaugural Ambush Gives Back event was the fact that two of the three women in the Ambush founding family are breast cancer survivors. Our family has had two unbelievably positive outcomes when it comes to battling and defeating breast cancer. Other families have not been so fortunate. In a gracious effort to pay it forward, we wanted to put on this event to help raise money for Boarding for Breast Cancer (B4BC), a charity whose sole purpose is supporting those in the action sports community who are affected by breast cancer.
The most moving part of the Ambush Gives Back benefit event was the affirmation of how tight-knit the action sports community really is. Families came from all over to be a part of the fundraiser. Bob Soven, Melissa Marquardt, and Alexa Score took time out of their chaotic summer schedules to ride with their fans, give them a few pointers on the cable, and help raise money and awareness for B4BC. Top local cable riders donated money to compete for a pair of custom Liquid Force x Ambush Board Co. x B4BC wakeboards. And, nearly everyone on site bought raffle tickets. In short, everyone came together as one big family and helped raise $6,624 for B4BC.
Even though the event is over, you can still support Ambush Gives Back and B4BC by making a direct donation here. You can also get yourself one of the remaining limited edition custom Liquid Force x Ambush Board Co. x B4BC Wakeboards.
Our good friend and team rider, Wesley Mark Jacobsen, not only filmed this, but is one of the handful of riders shredding Valdosta Wake Compound to pieces. You are going to need to set aside 12 minutes of your day and watch this three times in a row! Once it hit Alliance Wake the internet was briefly shut down, but thankfully it’s back up and running for your pleasure. This is some heavy wakeboarding. 100%!
Riders: Quinn Silvernale (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), WMJ (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), Terry Bailey, Blake Bishop (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), Justin Lee (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), Nick Gaddy (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), Nick Mertes (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), Cole Vanthof (Ambush/BuyWake Team Rider), Wes Huber, Crosse Bearden, Cody Oxford, and Jefferson Mathis.
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A few of us decided to grab some of the industry leading surfers and give you a little inside look and share our thoughts. Our main goal is obvious…we just want to ride behind our Nautique Boats G21 w/ NSS as much as humanly possible every week. We loaded the boat full of boards from Hyperlite, Slingshot, Ronix, Liquid Force, Byerly, and Inland Surfer. We even have a little sneak peak with a 2016 Slingshot that you’re sure to love!
*** Videos require buffering so just press play…wait till it’s fully buffered then press play again.
This was my first time riding one of Hyperlite’s Dura-Shell construction boards. The Dura-Shell construction really adds some needed durability to the surfer and also sheds a TON of weight off the board.A few things I noticed when picking up the board for the first time was the overall weight. Sucker is LIGHT. I also really liked that the board had a hard edge profile that ran tip to tail. For a skim-style board, this is essential since this style of board is typically pretty loose on the water. Finally, the fins. This surfer does not come with a traditional surf (fish-shaped) fin, instead it comes with 3 – 0.8” P-Wings that provide just enough grip while allowing you to free up the board easily for spins and shuv’s.
After my set on the board, I had to really adjust to how loose it was. I ran it with two of the 0.8” P-Wing fins in the outside positions. Centered up on the board it had just enough edge-hold to carve around without any worries, but if you started to cheat your feet towards either side of the board to gain more edge hold the board did free up unexpectedly causing me to slip out several times. Stay centered on the board and you’ll be able to cruise in the pocket, drift back, and set up for tricks very easily. Next time, I will try it with one center fin in the back to see if I like it better.
Overall, the Hi-Fi wasn’t my favorite ride ever since I tend to like surf-style boards over skim-style. But, if you’re into skim-style boards this one is going to be your jam! Pick one up and give it a shot…the 2015 Hyperlite Hi-Fi won’t disappoint.
The Ronix Koal Powertail was a good time after a bit of getting used too. At first, I kept slipping out on my toes at the top of the wave unexpectedly. It felt solid and stable at the bottom of the wave but as soon as I got to the top I would get sent to my face. Super weird, but it could’ve just been the fact that I haven’t ridden a different board in awhile. Other than that, I liked the big shape, it really added some stability and drive and with some time I think I’d really like it. I’ll give her another shot for sure!
The word “skim” usually denotes a board that is super loose on the surface of the water. Skim style wakesurfers are typically made for more advanced wakesurfers that want to be able to whip surface 360s, boost airs, and pop shuvits. And, although the Liquid Force TC Custom Skim is built for that, I was pleasantly surprised by how stable the board was. The board has a more locked in rail-to-rail feel that can be utilized when performing more surf style tricks. And, the board can easily be broken free when attempting skim style tricks. It’s a great all around board for both approaches.
I would recommend this board for riders that are looking for a more user-friendly skim style surfer or anyone that wants the best of both skim style and surf style worlds.
Slingshot- The Slingshot Cobra Cat XR is a very responsive board. The deep channels along the edge of the board make for very quick turns from edge to edge. The wider squash tail gives it a lot of speed when pumping the wave and also makes for easy releases when trying airs. This board is great for someone who is looking to take there surf style riding to the next level! Byerly Buzz – The Byerly Buzz is by far the most easy riding surf style board out there. It’s shaped by the surfing legend himself, Scott Bouchard and you can tell cause it has those true surfy characteristics that you want in a board. The pin tail makes it very responsive when making quick turns and cuts at the wave. I rode with all 3 fins and it gave me plenty of drive to build speed but also was able to make the board release with ease. This board is a all around great surfer for anyone to ride.
For me…wakesurfing is about having fun and trying to capture the feel of riding a real surfboard on a real wave…and I get that when I’m on the Byerly Hazard. In my estimation, Butch is one of two true shapers in wake (the other being Jimmy Redmon). Butch’s serious ability as a shaper shows through in the Hazard. It’s highly maneuverable, it stays in the pocket well, it’s fast when you want it to be, you can stall it when you need to, and the surfer never wants to dive or pearl like some of the others I’ve ridden. The Hazard can be used in a variety of fin configurations. I like riding it as a quad.
My dark horse is defiantly the Blue Lake by Inland Surfer. Coming in at 8 pounds and 5’4″ it was the biggest and heaviest board in the group that we had and I thought no way this would be fun. After a few carves in I really enjoyed how responsive it was. I was able to throw it around and move towards and away from the boat with ease. The Blue Lake’s size is ideal for beginners to advanced riders no doubt and would make for a great wakesurfer that anyone can ride if you had to choose just one for the boat. My personal favorite and one you need to keep an eye out for is the 2016 Slingshot Cobra Cat XR. I was floored when it arrived just looking at it. The details are overly impressive like the Carbon Innegra Rails, traditional surf-style nose, and my new personal favorite FCSII fins. FCSII is designed for quick, easy and toolless fin customization which comes straight from the Surf Industry. Slingshot basically sent me a surf board from the future and I couldn’t wait to surf it. My first few rides I used the stock FCSII blue glassflex fins and I liked how the board performed. I felt in control and really enjoyed the speed and how the board reacted. The boys over at Alliance Wakesurf put me in contact with Matt Jones from Surf Hardware International and he sent me the new FCSII Neoglass fiberglass mold injected fins to try out with the board.
Upgraded FCSII Fins
FCSII Fins standard
So what’s the difference you ask? Tons of performance! The fins are a little stiffer and shaped thinner in profile which really made the board light and lively under my feet. If you want you can see the endless amount of options with FCSII fins…from injected to Carbon Fiber fins your options of riding feel are endless. I’m defiantly going to be putting some hours into the 2016 Slingshot Cobra Cat XR. This is one of those surfers that you can relax and ride or kickstart the accelerated rocker line and charge up and down the wave for a wicked expression session. Keep an eye out for this wakesurf board soon!
Once a year Body Glove rolls through town to reward loyal Body Glove and Ambush customers with a day on the lake with one of their team riders. Last Sunday, Body Glove and Buywake.com rider (and the best wakeboarder on the planet), Harley Clifford, spent the day on Lake Allatoona with seven of our best supporters.
Harley cured everyone’s Pro Tour Block Party hangover with a killer set behind the Ambush Nautique G-21. For most of the riders in the boat, it was the first time they were able to experience that level of riding up close and in person.
Harley Clifford Blowin’ Minds
Then, it was time for the fans to ride.
Kyle Butler Slayshin’
Mac Rubright mid-Tantrum
A.J. Petrillo in the Clouds
A.J. Petrillo’s run inspired Harley and the two decided to take a doubles set.
A.J. Boosting over Harley
Harley’s Raley over A.J.
Body Glove High Fives
Inverted Body Glove High Fives
After the water started to get blown out, the wake surf sessions began. Each rider treated the Nautique G-21 wake like their personal chopping block.
Frank Maiolo Trimming down the Line
Chad Smallwood Getting Comfy
Claire Doyle Showing the Boys How its Done
A Determined Drew Carter
Followed by a set at Terminus Wake Park to finish the day.
Check the video of the event:
Much thanks to Body Glove, Harley Clifford, Kevin Michael, Joe McNulty, A.J. and Jamie Petrillo, Drew Carter, Frank Maiolo, Chad Smallwood, Kyle Butler, Claire Doyle, and Mac Rubright. It was a fun day.
Harley Ride Day Crew (L to R): A.J. Petrillo, Drew Carter, Joe McNulty, Frank Maiolo, Chad Smallwood, Harley Clifford, Kyle Butler, Mac Rubright, Claire Doyle
Before there was a social media marketing team here at Ambush there was the lone wolf of the web, Rhett Whatley, who handled it all himself. Rhett graduated Kennesaw State University with a degree in Marketing while working at the shop (Ambush Board Co.) and our ecommerce companies (BuyWake.com/BuySkateShoes.com/BuySnow.com/CheapSk8Shoes.com). He helped our business establish an online persona and we continue to carry forward that mantle today. We are grateful for all the support and we promise to continue to support him and his music!
In his humble beginnings of sampling and layering beats he was good…I remember thinking, “Dude this is your third track you’ve ever made?” Fast forward and observing from a far, Rhett would lace me up with every mp3 he was making. At one point, I looked in my iTunes library under the folder I made for him and there was over 100 songs equaling 5 hours worth of tracks. Rhett has an extensive background in wakeboarding and competed on The Pro Wake Tour for a few years. I can’t remember the year, but back in the day he won the PWT in Portland. Immersed in wakeboarding his early music could be heard on such wake projects as “The Way” DVD. It’s pretty solid to be a rider in a legit wake video, but to have also done the soundtrack is literally unheard of.
Peep the trailer for “The Way” DVD from 2008 and listen to some of his early mixes:
Both tracks are solid, but you can hear the progression in the second video. We can’t stress enough how stoked we are for Rhett and his passion for making people’s ear holes happy. It is always the people who choose to chase their dreams that make us continue to chase ours.
Below are my top 3 tracks from Daily Bread that can only be found here:
1. We’re talking beat battle tracks like “Badger Killer” (crazy mix with a sample from The Andy Griffin Show)
2. This track “Celebrate” hits close to home as you can hear my daughter doing the intro in the song. I watched him grow up, and I now find my children growing up listening to his music. It’s surreal to say the least.
3. This untitled track is a complete expression of chill mode.
With time comes the ability to hone your craft and Rhett has done that in a big way. Rhett went home every night after work and played music and made beats until the early hours in the morning for years straight. The outcome is a series of heavy tracks that positioned him where he is today with his record label, Philos Records. We hope to hear more from Daily Bread and we promise his SoundCloud is not just bookmarked, but played every day.
Below are the most played tracks here at Ambush Board Co. HQ and seriously some of his best work yet:
1. “Somehow Someday” legitimately went viral…we’re talking over 346,000 plays!
2. “Get Lifted” is the type of track that gives you that stank funk face right off the bat. From the horns to the piano, you’re going to dig on this.
3. Outkast – Roses (Daily Bread Remix) is one of those feel-good tracks that brings back nothing but good memories…like picking up a fresh new Braves “A” hat from Stonecrest Mall.
Quick 8 Q&A with the man himself, Daily Bread aka Rhett Whatley.
DD: My man! Congratulations on all the exposure and the positive vibes the music industry is putting out about you. How are you handling the exposure right now?
DB: Thanks, D. Right now we’re just making moves to keep the hype up with well-thought-out remixes and highly conceptual original releases. I’m doing a ton of crate digging right now, putting together ideas for my next album release. On top of practicing and perfecting the live show, I’m just meeting cool people and stacking inspiration.
DD: Being in an industry with lots of exposure is nothing new for you. Photo shoots, travels, videos…is the music side similar? Does it feel comfortable to you because of your past with wakeboarding?
DB: I guess my past has made certain things more comfortable, like traveling, but all in all it’s hard to say because the two are so different. There are a lot of things I haven’t experienced yet on the music side of things. Being part of the wakeboard industry young and being mentored by guys like Zane Schwenk, Andrew Adkison, and Jeff McKee.
DD: Who locally should we be following? What local artist are you really vibing off of lately?
DB: There’s an MC from Atlanta working with RJD2 called STS. Everyone from Atlanta should put their ears on their new track “Hold On Here It Go.” He calls out some local landmarks in a fashion only an ATLien could do well. Definitely peep The Difference Machine as well, these guys are like Rage Against the Machine and Public Enemy wrapped into one, but not really because they’re on their own shit. I’ve been vibing to Methuzulah and Jarren Benton a lot lately, too.
DD: Your beats totally make all the 2015 Hyperlite videos better. Have you pitched your music to any other wakeboarding companies other than Hyperlite? Any plans in the future for doing more?
DB: It was very cool to see the Hyperlite guys riding and doing product edits to music I had made in my bedroom. I’ve remained friends with Spencer of WIT Productions over the years and supply him with beat and scores when he needs them. He did the Hyperlite videos this last year so, boom! Shout out to Spence.
DD: Let’s get real. I know you have a serious collection of vinyl. How much bigger has it grown since the last time I saw you? Any really good pick ups lately that you would like to share?
DB: Oooh, man. When’s last time you came over? Two or three years back!? (editor’s note: 11 months, HA!) I’d say that my vinyl collection has tripled, maybe even quadrupled since then. It’s gotten kind of bad. Lately, to make room, I’ve been giving stuff away that I know I won’t listen to or use. But, despite this it always seems like the collection is growing. I have them all sorted out by their dominant instruments kind of like a sound library. I got a hold of an white label promo copy of McDonald and Gile’s first and only release. They were part of the original King Crimson line-up and did kind of a side album that absolutely crushed. I’m obsessed with it, you gotta listen to the whole album like you would Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. I found a very rare Eddie Bo 45 rpm lately. I’d tell you what it is but then I’d have to kill you because I haven’t used it yet.
DD: Coming from doing social media in the board sports industry, who are some of the groups doing social media correctly in the music industry?
DB: The MadDecent crew kills it on social, they’ve done the best job building their brand and giving it all a cohesive feel. Plus they’re fuckin’ hilarious. Gravitas Records always holds it down well and so does the Superbest Records crew.
DD: Do you still follow wakeboarding in general? Have you seen Mike Dowdy’s Heelside Backside 1080? The game is getting crazy right now.
DB: Man, I feel bad admitting it but I haven’t seen Dowdy’s backside 10 yet. That’s nuts. We couldn’t even do that on the trampoline back in the day. Props to Dowdy and kids like him and Harley who are pushing boat riding. I follow what Justin Lee and Cole are doing on the cable, but other than that I’m a bit distanced. I still get out and take sets when I can though. I have a Slingshot Shredtown and still go hard sometimes. Shouts to Shammy and Phil for the pulls lately.
DD: The ultimate question – Will we see you on a wakeboard this summer? Terminus Wake Park is around the corner and you know you have free sets for life behind our Nautique G21.
DB: Oh, man! Can we do both in one day? You know, old school on a Monday at 8am like we used to? We’ll call up Brett and Brandon Lee, then turn 2015 into 2005 for one day.
Thanks, Rhett, for taking the time to rap with us! It’s always good catching up with family. Any shout outs you would like to give.
Big shouts to Philos Records; my manager and good friend Alvero; the homies Pete, Nick, Katelyn, Phil, Clyde and the whole rest of the East Atlanta team; thanks to Sweet Melissa Records in Marietta, GA for giving me unlimited access to their crates; Glenn & Meagan; also Kim for all the hoop-vid exposure; Chris & James for all the continued support; and my colleague Sean Hance for always being there to bounce ideas off of; can’t forget Ozzy…he just got his graduate degree and that’s crazy inspiring to me; EJ, too, I guess…and Mum. <3 u Mum.
Grassroots wakeboard contests are the backbone of competitive wakeboarding. They give aspiring riders the opportunity to square off against equally skilled wakeboarders and work their way through the divisions until they are ready to compete at the Junior Men and Pro level. That’s why we do events like Wake Classic. We want to afford local wakeboarders the chance to improve their skills and see how they stack up against other riders in the community.
The 2015 Wake Classic saw an definitive jump in talent from last year’s event. Even riders in the Beginner Division were pushing their respective limits and using their riding to make a statement towards other competitors in the division. And, it was great to see the amount of cable riders that got out of their comfort zone and competed behind the boat. Finally, we want to give a special shout out to all of the riders that came from far and wide to participate in the Wake Classic. We appreciate you coming out. The contest was a great success.
Advanced Division Podium L to R: Craig Reidy, Scott Perkins, Sadie Perkins, Garrett Reidy
1st Place: Colby Bernier (AL)
2nd Place: Alex Graydon (AL)
3rd Place: Justin Lee (GA)
Alex Graydon photo: Lane Jordan
Cole Vanthof photo: Lane Jordan
Major thanks to Hyperlite, Nautique Boats, Body Glove, Slingshot, Remote, Von Zipper, Hurley, Billabong, O’Neill, Reef, Liquid Force, Fox, Quiksilver, and Jet Pilot. Without your support we could not have had such a killer event.
Temperatures have hit the 80s, lake levels are rising, and the pollen count has hit blinding levels. That can only mean one thing: wakeboard season has arrived. Now it’s time to hone in your skills for our annual season kick-off wakeboard contest, the Ambush Wake Classic.
The 2015 Ambush Wake Classic is on Saturday, May 2nd at Lake Acworth. The lake is closed to boat traffic, so the water will be glassy and the riding should be epic. The contest will be broken down into 5 divisions: Women, Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Open. The winner of the Open division will win $250 cash and a ton of prizes from our sponsors. The winners of all other divisions will earn $100 cash and a grip of prizes too. Second and third place from each division will walk away with prizes as well.
Registration is open now. You can register in person at Ambush or over the phone (770-420-9111). The entry fee is $45 which includes rider insurance and a contest tee shirt. Each division is limited to 12 riders, so sign up early to secure your spot in the contest.
Check-in opens at 9:00 am the day of the event. The contest starts at 10:00 am. The Women division will will go first followed by Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, and Open.
Each rider will get a run consisting of two passes or three falls, whichever comes first. Each rider’s run will be subjectively scored based on style, technical difficulty, and amplitude. The rider with the highest score wins.
Divisions are broken down by skill level. In the beginner division, riders will be allowed to spin up to 360 degrees and pull up to one invert. Intermediate riders will be able to spin up t0 540 degrees and pull up to 3 inverts. Advanced riders can spin up to 540 degrees and land up to 5 inverts. Anything goes in the Open division. The Women division usually consists of riders that can jump both wakes, perform a variety of grabs, and occasionally land a 360 or invert.
And, of course, the contest will be pulled behind the legendary Nautique G-21. The boat will run full ballast for Open and Advanced, half ballast for Intermediate, and dry for Women and Beginner.
Finally, the contest is free to watch. Come out and kick off your wakeboard season with us.
Check the video from last year’s Wake Classic:
*There will be no wakesurfing at this year’s Ambush Wake Classic. We are hosting a separate, wakesurf only contest in July.
Spreading the love of wakeboarding is something we have been doing since day one. Ambush Board Co. and Slingshot team riders Shredtown got together and produced a limited run of 15 wakeboards that featured a alternate colorway with additional graphics of their 2014 pro model. The Co-op was intended to stoke out fans of Shredtown and Ambush and give them the opportunity to own a piece of wakeboard history. In doing so we came up with the idea to send one board all over the country for people to try and this became The Traveling LTD Project. It was a simple process of simply signing up and patently waiting by the phone for your chance. With a select few getting the opportunity they would in turn get to keep the board for a week (sometimes two) to see what they could do on it. The overwhelming reply from everyone was that they absolutely loved the board and we instantly converted Slingshot fans. It’s these opportunities to allow people to try something new or different that give us a great sense of helping wakeboarding move closer to the masses. With so many cable parks opening up regionally the cost of wakeboarding is slowly but surly bringing new people to the sport.
What hasn’t Scott Byerly contributed to wake sports? Everyone knows Byerly as the “Godfather of Wakeboarding” and one of the earliest pioneers of wakeskating. But, did you know that Byerly also invented wake surfing? (As it currently exists. People have been tanker surfing off the coast of Galveston, TX since the 1950s).
Wakesurfing was first brought to the public eye in a largely ignored video by the now defunct brand Badass Bindings. The video showed Byerly and Bruce Clem paddling in to massive wakes thrown up by the first Super Air Nautique in the summer of 2001. Since then, wakesurfing has become one of the most important niches in water sports.
Now that waksurfing has blown up, we at Ambush have fully embraced it as a competitive sport. Last weekend’s G-Series Wakesurf Contest was the first wakesurf specific contest that we have put on. And, the contest was a blast.
The competition was pretty intense given the friendly, grassroots vibe of the event. Friends, siblings, and co-workers battled it out for wake-slashing supremacy. The new Nautique G-21 wake served as a huge canvas for wakesurfing artistry and the riders did not disappoint. Surfers were boosting airs, blowing out their tails, and doing surface spins that would rival some of the pros. Check the montage of the event and the contest results.
Ambush Board Co. is a universally recognized global leader in Board Sports retail. Founded in 1997 in Kennesaw, Georgia, Ambush is owned and operated by a core group of devoted skaters, wakeboarders, and snowboarders who are deeply invested in the Board Sports community, and has evolved by staying true to their essential principles of Service, Knowledge, Integrity, Commitment, and Passion. Ambush always has been and always will be unyielding in their collective efforts to push the progression of Board Sports retail.
Ambush Board Co.
2555 Cobb Place Ln
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Phone: (770) 420-9111
1690 Roberts Blvd, Ste 105
Kennesaw, GA 30144
(800) 408-9945 or (770) 406-6568