The WWA Wake Park Series Finals: The Help Joe Goe Pro Campaign
By Stacey Fonas
Posted Monday 12th November
When the forecast for the Keys ... or for anywhere ... didn't pan out this past weekend, we decided to take the RV over to the Ski Rixen Cable Park for the WWA Wake Park Series Finals on Saturday. And in the process, we came up with a brilliant idea to creatively promote the brand in a new and interesting way, by answering the age-old question: is it possible to take your "average Joe" and transform him into a World-Class Competitive Kiteboarder?
We just so happen to have a team rider named Joe ... Joe Ruscito ... who wants nothing more that to go train with Alvaro Onieva over the winter, and then attempt to make his competitive debut on the PKRA in the spring, just to see if such a thing were possible. At the ripe old age of 19, if he wants to get his competitive career off the ground, it's now or never! Unfortunately, Joe is just a poor college student, and money doesn't grow on trees.
Thus, Joe needs help! In exchange for corporate funding, Joe proposes to document the whole thing, in video and stories, something along the lines of "The Making of a Champion, Rags to Riches, What Does it Take to Be on the PKRA, Is it Even Possible to Start from Scratch and Work Your Way Up to the Top of the Kiteboarding Food Chain," working with some of the kiteboarding magazines to secure a guarranteed monthly feature, in which the Inquiring Public would be kept apprised of the situation.
The problem is, what's the the best way to simultaneously 1) pitch the idea to Ian, so that Ian won't say NO, and 2) break the news to his parents, so that his parents won't say NO (and that they'd maybe even agree to fund the project, in the feared yet likely event that Ian says NO). Thus, when the Wakeboarding Finals came up at the Rixen, and the forecast piddled out, we thought, "GODSEND!" What better way to show everyone just how beneficial it would be to send Joe on tour for the company: a trial run at the Wake Park Series Finals as a multi-media "teaser" extravaganza! Video coming soon! It could ONLY help our case, we figured.
So that did it. After a night of "training," which consisted of relaxing "competition nerves" with a couple of pitchers of beer, we all met at the warehouse at 9:15. I'd even stopped at Walmart to pick up some Barbie cheerleader pompons for Britney and I, once we learned that what would really motivate Joe to huck it really big out there on the water is if he had people standing on the sidelines waving pompoms at him. Besides, we thought it would be funny to have cheerleading pompons at a wakeboard event, because you don't usually see cheerleading pompons at a wakeboarding event, and you SHOULD.
What wakeboard competitions need: MORE POMPOMS!!!
Additionally, we crafted a big "GO JOE" sign ...
... and we even drew up a little petition for people to sign that we could give to Ian so that he could see the overwhelming number of OTHER people who ALSO think that sending Joe to the PKRA is a "banging" idea. We also decided to walk around with a cup, so that people could contribute cold hard cash to the fund, and thus ease the financial burden on Best Kiteboarding, but somehow, we weren't able to muster enough collective balls to quite pull that one off. Showing up with our pompoms was difficult enough!
Petition for the Help Joe Goe Pro Campaign (In my haste to quickly draw this up, I didn't bother to proofread it, and we didn't notice until we were on the Bus that "Go" was spelled incorrectly. Britney thought I'd done it on purpose, to match the word "Joe," so we just went with it.)
Chris "Bluetooth" Caldwell, Will Caldwell's little brother ... one of the four people (along with me, Will Caldwell, and Will Caldwell's dad) who've signed the petition so far. (To be part of the growing community of people who desire to follow Joe's competitive career on the PKRA, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to vote and/or pledge your donations (or if you have Microsoft Outlook, click here). We'll be happy to forge your signature for you and provide you with our paypal information! We're serious about this!! This is not a joke!! EMAIL US NOW!)
In the meantime, follow along as we learn what it takes to become a Cable-Riding Champion:
Frosted Flakes with whole milk, the Breakfast of Champions ...
When we got to the park, they obviously knew we were coming, so all we had to do was follow the sign:
Unfortunately, however, for all our fine hopes, it was just not meant to be ... not today, at least. Sadly, our dreams ... and Joe's ... of Top-Ranked Cable Riding Glory ended before they even get off the ground. Last night, instead of going to the Rixen for one last training session before the competition, Joe and I had (idiotically) chosen to chase a marginal offshore wind at Hellray Beach, thinking we could both sign up in the morning. UNFORTUNATELY, we'd missed the deadline by going out and riding in what was inarguably the worst session of my life. By the time we showed up in the morning, the heats were closed, and no one ... not the head judge, not the head of the Rixen, not the Head of the WWA ... would bend the rules for our Champion-in-the-Making.
It was a sad sad day ... for Joe, for Best Kiteboarding, and for the world!
Where Joe would have been hanging out before his heat if he'd been allowed to compete:
These are the people who would've been cheering for Joe if Joe had been allowed to compete:
Brandon Briggs. Go Joe!
Sean "Canadian Not Chinese" Lee, and Britney Poston. Go Joe!
Hillary. Go Joe!
CJ's dogs. Go Joe!
The man wth the B.A.D. tattoo. Go Joe!
Instead, Joe was relegated to the cheering section:
What Joe would have been doing if he'd been allowed to compete ... sick moves like this:
What ELSE Joe would have been doing if he'd been allowed to compete ... more sick moves. Like this! (And no, the guy didn't just let go of the rope at that very moment and drop in ... prone ... on his face. Although it would have been funny if he had!)
Where Joe's name would have appeared if he'd been allowed to compete, because he surely would have won the whole thing, not just the prize-money for his division, but the WHOLE PURSE! They'd had given him the ENTIRE PURSE he'd have done so good! All the riders would have gotten together and said, "We don't deserve this prize- money ... give it to Joe ... Joe should have it all!"
The house Joe could have bought with his winnings, if only he'd been allowed to compete. He'd live there only until ...
... the house he was BUILDING (also on his winnings) was complete.
Oh well. There was no sense in dwelling on "how it could have been" ... not when we have local team rider Will Caldwell waiting in the wings! Fortunately, Will had the foresight to register in advance, and was thus allowed to compete and represent the brand. (Now that Andy Hurdman has moved to the ice-cold Virginia interior, far far away from the cable park, these young guns have some big shoes to fill.)
Will, getting his gameface on. Ooooo ... scary!!!
Jonesy making him famous:
Will before the start of his heat, getting ready to jump off the dock:
Will got off to a great start, with a big, solid S-Bend within the first few seconds ...
... but fell off the little slider in the middle, between second and third corner. Unfortunately, when the cable picked him back up, it didn't look like he'd gotten enough speed, or had enough time to properly prepare, for his next move right after third corner, and he fell on the landing, filling Andy's "contest" shoes to a T. (Andy, one of the world's best freestyle riders, has been known to fold under the rigors of competition:) )
And that was it, all of our dreams of glory dashed ... at least for the time being.
Upon his return, we greeted him with a hero's welcome ...pictures, videos, the works.
Team Best: Video Stonesy Jonesy, Will "Powder" Caldwell, Average Joe Pro, Brandon "Stretch" Briggs, who had to bend down to fit into the picture
Will with his cheering section ... way to go, Will! You made us proud!
So. Although we had a bit of a setback in the making of "Can an Average Joe Go Pro?", all in all, we learned some very important things about what and what not to do (like never EVER go kiting in Delray instead of going to the cable park) and feel that this served us extremely well as a trial run. If you haven't cast your vote to Help Joe Goe Pro, there's still time ... but not much! Send an email to email@example.com, or if you have Microsoft Outlook, click here to say YES! I Wanna Help Joe Goe Pro! Again, we are serious about this, people! A young man's hopes and dreams depends upon your immediate support!
To read more about Joe, visit his Team Rider