Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 10

Joey Morneault | 2nd time’s a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018

The cherry popper always has some great bails and crashes; it’s one of my favorite things about the Daytona Freeride

By: Joey Morneault

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 6

Daytona Beach, FL

The 2018 Daytona Freeride did not disappoint. Last year was my first time attending this event after having the time of my life I knew I had to head back for 2018. This year Ben, one of my local riding buddies, tagged along for the adventure. We caught a super late flight from Las Vegas, NV to Orlando, FL. The flight wasn’t the best but we didn’t care because we were headed to Daytona!

When we landed we were greeted by Sean Starr who was riding with us from Orlando to Daytona, so we all hopped in the rental car and hauled ass to the beach. After a quick pit stop at IHOP we were on the beach. The weather and surf was not as great as last year, but that didn’t slow us down a bit. On the beach I met up with some East Coast buddies like Carter Brackett, Jeff (Steve) Bolte, and others. After wondering around a bit more I managed to find some West Coast fiends like Michelle Thompson, Jason Schriner, and more. It’s really cool that people come from all over the world for the Daytona Freeride, I even met up with my buddy Stephen Foot who traveled all the way from the UK.

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 8

Ronny Mac and Joey partying!

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 3

Michelle (Skat-Trak) and Joey at the club

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018

Dinner with friends

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 1

What happens in Daytona stays in Daytona

The Cherry Popper

Throughout the weekend I shared tons of laughs and made lots of memories with my friends. One of my favorite parts of the weekend was watching the cherry popper contest. This contest is where riders who haven’t flipped before attempt for their first flip. The cherry popper always has some great bails and crashes; it’s one of my favorite things about the Daytona Freeride. The awards and ski display at the freeride was entertaining as always.

After the awards party, we all headed across the street to the club where all the craziness happened. Every night of the weekend we closed out the club and wandered to the pizza shop across the street. The pizza shop seems to be part of the Daytona experience because we end up there every night. On top of eating way too much pizza I found myself at Steve’s Diner for breakfast a few times too. It’s safe to say I ate too much food during my trip.

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 4
Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 2
Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 1

Sunday

Sunday afternoon came around and we decided to go a little sightseeing. Ben and I hopped in the rental and went to see what else Daytona has to offer. We checked out the Daytona International Speedway along with some smaller local attractions. Towards the end of our journey we started checking out every pond, river, or other body of water that we could find on the quest to see an alligator. Sadly, no gators were spotted during our adventure.

Joey Morneault | 2nd time's a charm for the Daytona Freeride 2018 9

Joey and NASCAR

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Where the gators at?

After our gatorless adventure we grabbed some dinner and went to bed early. This year was a short trip. I woke up at 2am, drove to the airport, flew to Las Vegas, and went straight to work. Needless to say, that Monday was a very long day. The Daytona Freeride is an event not to be missed. The laughs, memories, and new friends are worth the journey. I can’t wait for the 2019 Daytona Freeride!

Joey Morneault first time attending the Daytona Freeride 2017 5

Joey Morneault first time attending the Daytona Freeride 2017

I will go back as long as I’m still riding skis. The Daytona Freeride will not disappoint.


This was my first year attending the Daytona Freeride and my first time attending an East Coast event. I had an absolute blast and I recommend that everyone goes to this event. I didn’t know what to expect on the other side of the country, so I packed my bags and caught an overnight flight hoping for the best. I arrived at the Daytona airport around noon and walked straight to the baggage claim. I grabbed my bag and looked to my right and spotted a Liquid Militia shirt.

I immediately walked over to the guy wearing the shirt and introduced myself. After meeting Mark Walker and talking for a few minutes he offered me a ride to the event in his rental car. I was STOKED to be in Daytona for only 5 minutes and I already organized a free ride to the event. On the way to the event I was chatting with one of the other guys in the car and it turns out that he lives only a few houses over from my cousin in Philadelphia, PA. Sometimes I can’t believe how small of a world it is.

Baggage check

Baggage check

Welcome Skis

Welcome Skis

Daytona Bound!!

Daytona Bound!!


We arrived at the host hotel after a quick lunch and shopping adventure. The weather was absolutely perfect I was able to wear shorts and sandals all weekend. After checking in, I met up with Nicholas Foederer to grab my rider pass which is a a necessity if you want to ride. The next step was to walk the beach to see if I could bum a ride on a ski. A few minutes later I got to take Michael Grasso’s super jet for a rip. The surf conditions were pretty fun and it was pretty warm outside. I got away with only wearing my wet suit bottoms, it was a nice change from the West Coast surf. After a nice riding session I met up with Mark and his friends for dinner.

The View from the hotel deck

The View from the hotel deck

Joey- getting in some riding time.

Joey- getting in some riding time.


I basically went out to dinner with a random group of people that I haven’t met before. Everyone was super nice and welcoming, I was immediately treated like part of their riding crew. I stayed up pretty late waiting for my roommate (Cookie Monster) to arrive, she ended up missing her flight and arrived much later than expected. Luckily I killed the time by talking about jet skis with Buck, Bryan, Cameron and others down at the hotel bar. We probably could have talked till the sun came up, but I eventually called it a night and crashed out.

The Takeover!!

The Takeover!!

New Friends!!

New Friends!!


The next morning I woke up, grabbed breakfast, put on my sandals, and hit the beach. The beach was packed with awesome people and amazing skis. While walking down the beach I managed to hang out at the Skat-Trak booth with Michelle and Tom (Hot Products) for a bit. Michelle hooked me up with a sweet Skat-Trak hat and Tom gave me a Hot Products shirt for hanging out with them. They were giving out hats and shirts to tons of people that stopped by the booth. After hanging out at the booth for a bit I grabbed some lunch and walked the beach again. I spent countless hours meeting new people and enjoying the amazing weather. Towards the end of the day I suited up to ride some of my teammates skis. Mark Gomez and Brandon Lawlor were nice enough to let me take their skis for a ride in the beautiful Florida surf. While riding I witnessed Mark Gomez to be the first person to back flip a jet surf motorized surf board. It was crazy that guy can do anything LOL…

After some riding I went out to dinner with the same group from the night before. We decided to stay out a bit later and hit the club. We had a blast at the club that was conveniently located across the street from the hotel. On our way home we found a 24 hour pizza parlor, so we grabbed a quick snack before bed.

Joey suited up!

Joey suited up!

The following morning I was a bit sleep deprived, but it was totally worth it. I grabbed some breakfast and went down to the beach to watch the surf style event. My buddy Sean Starr was crushing it and ended up taking home first place! He was on fire all weekend. After watching Sean ride I got to experience the Cherry Popper event. The Cherry Popper is a contest for people to stick their first back flip. This event was priceless. There were so many awesome attempts and bails. I could have watched it all day. Eventually all of the contestants landed their flips. After the Cherry Popper I suited up and took Sean Starr’s ski for a ride. While riding his ski I witnessed Sean back flip one of the jet surf boards. I think Sean is determined to catch up to Mark’s accomplishments and he’s doing a great job of it. After my first ride I took a break and then went out again on Randy Lawlor’s ski. Randy’s ski was a monster with his massive engine. It wore me out pretty fast so I only had a short ride.

After the events closed down we got cleaned up and went to the Kona Tiki Bar for dinner. The bar was basically taken over by jet ski riders, it was such a cool experience to look around and see nothing but awesome people that share the same interest. After dinner we went back to the club and got a bit out of control. We had the times of our lives and ended up closing out the place. Immediately after the club we went back to the pizza shop for a late night snack. I swear the guy at the pizza place knew my name by the end of the weekend, we probably spent way too much time there.

The last day was the hardest part of the trip. Heading home from awesome events is always a bummer. After packing my bags I hopped in the car with Melissa and Michelle. We ate at a place called Steve’s diner. This diner was recommended to us by Jeff (Steve) Bolte. This diner had the best homemade food. Mark, Kaley, Andrew, Melissa, Michelle, Jeff, and I all talked about the future events that we plan to attend while we were eating. We all decided to come back to Daytona for 2018. This event was absolutely worth traveling for. It was such a nice break from the cold Las Vegas weather. I highly suggest this event to everyone. I will go back as long as I’m still riding skis. Daytona will not disappoint.

Jeff (Steve) Bolte

Jeff (Steve) Bolte

Melissa, Joey, Kaley, Mark, Michelle, Jeff and Andrew

Melissa, Joey, Kaley, Mark, Michelle, Jeff and Andrew


Joey Morneault | Liquid Militia Team Rider Profile