It was ‘Kanar’ Nicolas Desgargin aka Tropicdrone who threw it out first: “There’s talk about a big team trip coming to Siargao, a lot of high level wakeboarders…
A few weeks later, the e-mail came in. Sesitec’s Team manager, Pitty, introduced the film project ‘High On Life’ and humbly asked if the wakepark could sponsor a few hours to shoot some clips. This wasn’t a question, it was obvious they had our full support and more. A few posts on the siargao Facebook groups organized their resorts and airbnb’s. The groundworks for an awesome trip were done.
We had been slowly improving the bi-level poolgap and the time seemed right to speed it up with some international input. We made a few drone shots, a little whatsapp group, and the riders discussed and drew some sketches. Brenton took it seriously, being the father of the concrete ledges. He sent us some detailed views how to improve the existing banks and create something unique. We loaded up on wood, ply, paint, pipes and stoke!
Some quotes were thrown on the first day of arrival: ‘This place looks even better in real!’ Everyone took a good look at the gap, trying to have their say on the angles and measurements, except for James. He amused us doing some flips and floats over the spine, while we were trying to focus.
After that visit, we went into construction and the team retreated a few days into General Luna (GL), the island’s most touristic area. They quickly discovered its easy bars and restaurants and the weekly party schedule that combines well with tanduay rum and red horse beer. Except for Dylan, who arrived a few days after and had to go early as well. He teamed up with Felix and Tobias to shoot some wakepark clips and discover the coconuts.
A following 4-day trip up North of the island with Kanar at Kagu resort, got everyone surfed up, and gave us the needed time to finish the gap: the final version of a quickly looking monstrous bi-level. Oh, almost forgetting about the re-winch. The north produced some cool footage with that toy. We had to wait like you guys to see the result of it, but it sounded very promising at the time.
The Prime-Time shooting came, and we maximized every morning like real surfers, doing Dawn Patrol with heaps of coffee and a few Red Bulls… it’s energy, right? Patrick and Steffen were all over the place. They made sure, they got every angle and somewhere Dave was flying his drone too. Those mornings were magical, when you operate the wakepark, you see the sun rise and it all come into place, grateful times.
Grateful for us, but stressful for Pitty. Oh Man… I guess nobody would want his job on those days. Managing the loosest wakeboard canons on the planet. Trying to get them to sync and produce the footage, on an island full of drinks and distractions... Hats off to successfully managing those daily schedules. Not that those schedules actually succeeded, but the attempt was admiring.
A shocker was Felix’s accident. He couldn’t ride most part of the trip caused through a cheerful redhorse bottle straight into his palm. That was Jazz her fault, right? Noya is an awesome hostel by the way! A few DIY solutions came along, tape it up, wear those gloves, inject some superglue… that last one even has a frame somewhere in the edit, have a close look!
The shooting days went by: morning coffees in the wakepark, re-winch explorations throughout the day, and as much as surfing as possible in between. And did we surf… most probably, the guys caught the best swells of the season, let’s even claim the full year! From easy north sessions, to heavy cloud 9 barrels, to maxed out stimpy lefts… The full Siargao wave count was presented. Most memorable was the boat trip to stimpys. The production team in the water, Dave in the air, Parxxx in the channel on the GoPro, and huge sets with square barrel sections on the menu: Paradise, with Dom as the stand out surfer.
A grand finale in the wakepark, a competition, Sunday Funday Event. We boosted our weekly free-riding schedule into an all-star head to head contest. Parxxx on the mic, Felix and Brenton in the sheets, and the others trying to claim the trophy of the trip. Cameron Front-Flipped the gap, but Joey stood out and took home the win, with his easy rail to rails and 900’s out of the pocket.
And on we went!
Buy a drink and ride for free? Is that even Legal?
Our local rider Janjan got the crowd behind him and made the podium. Parxxx had so much fun facing it off against Tobias, poor Tobias. It was good to see how our Janjan competed, the cheers, the crowd, his first time, he came out of nowhere, made it up to the ranks with the team. Joey donated him the prize money, such a special day. Thanks to all the sponsors and the winning Joey. The Joey who kept on winning, in any pool, at any time.
Cheers to an awesome time guys,
What a banger of an edit. Big up Patrick, Steffen and Dave!
Hope to see you all soon again,
The Wakepark Team
Photo Credits: Steffen Vollert, Matt Powers, Tom Soupart
Video clip: Brenton Priestley