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The Though Kitchen - Dedicated to Stirring the Pot

Lessons for an Optimist

Posted by Gordon | August 13th, 2009 | Filed under Uncategorized

surfingIn the spirit of the Horny Toad “Invent a Sport” contest a while back, it should be recognized that our close friend and outstanding design/build partner Jean Pierre Veillet (Siteworks in Portland), is likely the inventor of one of the most enjoyable sports I have come across in my lifetime. This is the guy that helped us design and build our Lizard Lounge retail experiment in Portland and soon to be famous for another revolutionary project for Nau coming this Fall.

The only favor he has requested for the last two years is for me to come and boat surf on the river with him. And all I have done is politely declined with a host of work and time related excuses.

I finally agreed this weekend as I was extending my Portland stay with my wife for her birthday and assumed it would either be a form of wake boarding or water skiing. He kept claiming it was his invention and that no one else was doing it but again, not really thinking that much about it, all I was worried about was the possibility of swallowing too much of the Willamette River and getting sick (as I was repeatedly warned).

Okay, I am now a convert and this sport is not like anything I have ever seen. This is an 8 foot surfboard with the rider holding on to a ski rope that is 20 feet or so off the back with the boat traveling at 20ish miles an hour.  When is the last time you surfed a wave for 10-15 minutes? That is what this is about and while it was difficult to get the hang of standing up without any attachment to your surfboard, once you are up you can rip up and down the face of the wake wave like a pro … okay JP can but my wife Karen and I were respectable for first timers.

Get out and try it … you will not be disappointed! And remember, the movement was started off JP’s boat on the Columbia and Willamette rivers.

3 Responses to “Lessons for an Optimist”

  • August 13, 2009 at 9:38 pm | Cameron says

    Read your blog constantly, so not just trying to be a twat, but we have been surfing behind our boats down here in NZ for years and years. Not saying it isn’t his original idea, just that if he hasn’t been doing it for 15+yrs he might not of be the first….To be fair great minds think alike. Also – is that a hydroplane i see on the surfboard?

    Cheers, Cam

  • August 16, 2009 at 9:21 pm | terry says

    ok, not really that new. growing up inland, we were surfing behind boats 35 years ago. and it’s still cool.


  • August 17, 2009 at 9:38 am | Gordon says

    Yes, I assumed there are many variations of the sport that have been created in the past and I was hoping to hear about those stories and maybe even see some photos submitted. I also wanted to give JP kudos for inventing it for me.

    Glad to hear there are more boat surfers out there…keep the examples coming.

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