In 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.