Jeff Bolte Daytona Blog Featured Image

Jeff Bolte | New Year, it’s time to get to the annual Daytona Freeride

I had a ride arranged for my ski, gear and me from a new friend Richard Lucore

By: Jeff Bolte

Happy new year! New Year to me means it's time to get ready for the annual Daytona Beach Freeride. This year's Daytona prep included replacing the starter and battery in my ski, simple stuff! Also my usual traveling and riding buddy, Andy Zion, got tied up with last minute business priorities and wouldn't be able to make the trip this year, bummer! I made a post on the FB page and had Freeride Friends reaching out and within a couple days had a ride arranged for my ski, gear and me from a new friend – Richard Lucore. He was driving solo from Columbus Ohio and graciously offered to go out of his way to pick me up, too cool!

Skis loaded on truck
Richard Lucore- custom jet ski hoist system
Daytona Beach, FL sunsets

He even had a custom hoist to load and unload the skis, no lifting, awesome!! We drove through the night on Tuesday and arrived Wednesday to get checked in and ready to ride. Unfortunately, the king tide had the beach closed so we weren't able to ride Wednesday. That just had us chomping at the bit to get out in the surf Thursday morning.

The fog was thick but the air was warm and we got in the water to rip it up. Amazingly, there were overhead sets hiding in the fog on the outside! We had a great day of riding but there weren't many photo ops as the fog stuck around most of the day.

Daytona Jet Ski beach views

Daytona Jet Ski beach views

foggy and random surf conditions

foggy and random surf conditions

Freeride friends and family were arriving from all over the country and world, it was great to catch up with them and get stoked for the weekend fun ahead. Friday we woke up to good surf, warm weather and the sun was peeking through occasionally. That made for some great riding and good times socializing on the beach. 

Jeff meeting up with friends

Jeff meeting up with friends

Daytona Beach Sunset

Daytona Beach Sunset

Saturday we had sunshine but dropping temps and surf. We still had a blast shredding the small waves as new riders were trying to bust out there first flips for the cherry buster contest. Abraham Ho stomped some big moves to claim the big air contest and then it was time to eat and get ready for Jetmaniac's party in the hotel.

Jeff | PC: Mel Smith Sponsored by: JetRenu

Jeff | PC: Mel Smith Sponsored by: JetRenu

Jeff | PC: Mel Smith Sponsored by: JetRenu

Jeff | PC: Mel Smith Sponsored by: JetRenu

Jeff surf riding

Jeff surf riding

Bolte at the Jet manic party

Bolte at the Jet Manic party

Steve's Diner good food with the crew

Steve's Diner good food with the crew

Lots of fun was had by all as we partied and checked out the new skis on display. The after party ended up at Live as usual, LOL! Sunday was chilly, with blown out surf so we drove to the lake and rode there to flush out the skis and gear before heading home to subzero temperatures.

Monday morning we packed up and went to meet friends at our traditional goodbye breakfast at Steve's diner, one of my favorite places to eat in Daytona Beach. We had a good drive north and made it back to West Virginia a little after midnight. We quickly unloaded as the snow was starting to fall, and Rich got on his way back to Ohio.

Time to head home

Time to head home

Another Daytona Beach Freeride in the books! Body is a bit sore and the usual after Freeride Depression is setting in, Lol, already looking forward to the next Freeride tho!!

Mark Gomez | 2018 Daytona Freeride Blog

Mark Gomez | Daytona, hurt ankle, and autograph time

It was already time for the first event of the year, the Daytona Freeride!

By: Mark Gomez

After wrapping up the year of all years competitively in jet skiing after winning the IJSBA Freestyle World title, my 3rd IFWA Freeride World Title, and the Thailand Kings cup in pro freestyle World Championship in December. It was already time for the first event of the year, the Daytona Freeride!

On the surface (facebook/Instagram) It seemed to be under control and moving along as normal. In reality, I'm working every day spread pretty thin to accomplish a lot of goals to catch up from 2017 and most of all put down anchors on 2018 opportunities. I've become really hands on in a lot of different areas for sponsorship, events, and pushing forward the start of a new summer job, I'm extremely excited to announce once signed official.

Mark Gomez | The year of all years competitively in jet skiing 3
Mark Gomez | The year of all years competitively in jet skiing 1
Mark Gomez | The year of all years competitively in jet skiing 2

Rolling into Daytona on a flight was no big deal, just another sleepless night working on a job presentation until 4am to catching a flight at 8am then teleport-ed to Orlando and driving to Daytona, getting there around 8pm. I got to see some friends for dinner including Ronny mac, Paul Lehr, the main man Nick Foederer, and a few new faces who were really cool.

I laid low Thursday in my hotel room working on my task since the TC freeride trailer hadn't arrived yet in which it also had my riding gear so I couldn't ride even if i wanted to. My Macbook took a crap in the early afternoon which wasn't ideal so i wrapped things up on my phone and took off to go catch up with friends.

Mark Gomez | Setting up the Hydro Turf Gear

Gomez Setting up the Hydro Turf Gear with Jet Maniac at the Daytona Freeride 2018

Mark Gomez and Girlfriend Kaley

Mark Gomez and Girlfriend Kaley meet up on the Daytona Beach

Friday

Friday morning we unloaded the TC Freeride trailer and I got to work delivering over 60 sheets of Hydro-Turf product to JetManiac, then set up banners and Bow flags around the event site.

Surf at this point had got a little rough and inconsistent with the wind pushing sideways along the beach, I was stoked to ride regardless.

So stoked that within the first 10 minutes of riding I got a little carried away on an inside set re-entry to bad landing and felt my back ankle crunch when it got strained a way it shouldn't have. That really sucked as I tried to ride through it for 10 more minutes. My girlfriend Kaley had flown in and was at our hotel room. I got upstairs to ice and elevate the ankle then ended up falling asleep while doing so. I woke up a few hours later charged back up and my ankle feeling a little better.

Fortunately, word got out among my friends about my injury and a Ankle brace was made available by an east coast rider Mike Depalma (Thanks dude!) That Ankle brace really made a huge difference since the sprain wasn't my worst but jetskis torque around fast in the surf so it was difficult to feel confident again until I got that put on. Feeling good again I took to it and had a good time despite the cruddy conditions riding with people from all over.

Mark Gomez Dinner with friends
Mark Gomez Dinner with friends

Dinner with friends

Saturday

Saturday was an early morning to get out and enjoy some clean but small surf to surf ride. It was really difficult to jump the way I wanted to because of how quick the waves stood up and broke, but I was able to find a few clean surf lines to put some surfing combinations together that was really fun.

Getting to ride with everyone all day was the best because you get to see so many different styles and see people send some good and not so good moves that always keep it interesting.

Saturday afternoon we carried on with a low key freeride showdown that morphed from sickest trick to best overall run, it was fun to be apart of as always. I took out my little team mate's Coy Curtis's Ninja X kids ski and pulled off a set up wake backflip, landing the flip on a wave that was closing in behind me then cut a few turns on the wave before it finished.

In the evening I signed Posters and the covers of the new ProRider Magazine which was awesome to connect with some of the families who came to spectate. I always love being able to connect with genuine fans and followers when stuff like signing or talking to them makes their day. I am always busy caught up riding or talking to other friends I miss some of these connections that really mean a lot to me.

Saturday Night JetManiac had a hell of a good ballroom party where everyone was able to meet up and talk the night way until the late hours when the shenanigans really kicked on.

Mark Gomez | The year of all years competitively in jet skiing 4

Saturday, time to get out and enjoy some clean but small surf

Mark Gomez | The year of all years competitively in jet skiing 5

Party Time!

Mark Gomez | The year of all years competitively in jet skiing

Autographed posters for all

Blown Out Sunday

After the big night Saturday not too many people were excited to get up or even ride with temperatures really dropping and the wind howling destroying the surf and making it extremely cold to be outside. We ended up calling it at that point cleaning and loading up the trailer to wrap up the event weekend.

It was all in all a great time to see everyone to kick the new year into gear. My next event may be an international destination pending some details to be figured out int he coming weeks!

1

2017 Blowsion Surf Slam is upon us and so is Jake Bright

Jake Bright will be competing in Pro Freeride this year at the 2017 Blowsion Surf Slam after missing a few years prior. He’s ready to send it.

It’s that time of year again and I’ll be making my way up to Pacific city Oregon for the Blowsion Surf Slam one of the most anticipated international jetski freeride contest of the year. It’s been a couple of years since I’ve been able to participate due to injuries and other reasons so I’m pretty pumped up about it! I’ll be competing in the Pro freeride contest as well as the Hydro-turf Big Air Showdown! It’s been a little bit since I’ve had the chance to compete in a IFWA contests and I am excited to get out there and shake it up, I’m looking forward to giving the boys on tour a run for their money.

Now if we rewind to Daytona Beach Florida back in January and the big air showdown where It came down to Tommy Scaccianoce (2015 Surf slam big air champ) and I for the top spot and he ended up edging me out after photo review! Tom is insane and was going massive that whole weekend so he deserved it but for real after just missing the win I’m deff gunning for that big air win! I’m just gonna send it!



Anyway I plan on going out there and giving it my all, and have a blast! I’m really loving my Krash Industries predator and when I ride it I really feel like i’m one with it, and I believe that shows in my riding, I’m landing all my tricks super smooth and a lot of the tricks are starting to feel like second nature! I’ve also been spending more time working on my surf riding lately so hopefully we have some good waves and I can try and tuck into some barrels and drag shoulder across some faces!
Jake Bright - Oceanside, CA

Jake Bright – Oceanside, CA

 I’ve done a lot of growing and maturing  personally in the last few years and I believe that shows in my riding as well. If I could describe it I would say i’m more calculated which translates to a smoother more consistent flow in my riding. I’ve gotten better at reading waves and knowing how to attack the next set of them, I kind of look at a set of waves like a rhythm section and I’m trying to keep a good flow going though it!. So I’m doing my best to utilize every set to its full potential and make the most of each wave in the set. This is so crucial in a 5 min heat because you may only get one set of waves in the whole round.
Qualifying is Friday then its head to head battles all and Sunday with awards on the beach immediately after the riding is over. If your in the area or if you’ve got the opportunity to make it out this weekend come out and support an awesome event and a bunch of rad freeriders! Hope to see you all on the beach!
Cheers, Jake
Mark Gomez costume as a T-Rex

Liquid Militia | T-Rex Steals Jet Ski and Does Insane Tricks With Mark Gomez

When a T-Rex Dinosaur’s hits the lake on a Jet Ski it’s a impressive show!!

Mark Gomez costume as a T-Rex

Mark Gomez is a baby T-Rex

A T-Rex Dinosaur hits the lake on a Jet Ski it’s a show!! Especially, when it’s piloted by LM’s own Mark Gomez. While Gomez was still up in the Pacific North West visiting his girlfriend last week after his recent competition at the 2016 Blowsion Surf Slam he had an opportunity to meet up with fellow freerider Guillermo Casas, who was in town also for the Surf Slam. Gomez has had an idea to do something with this T-Rex suit he purchased off Amazon just for this purpose. But, had not had anything solid planned till Guillermo entered the picture. Guillermo, was down to launch his drone that he had brought with him from Costa Rica (where he resides) to film a session with Gomez and see what happens. Gomez knew he wanted to challenge himself to ride his new 1200cc Rickter XFR Pro freestyle Jetski with the suit. Gomez being the Pro he is just needed to go out and do what he loves, and while Guillermo captured the action with the drone. All in all, this was a unique experience as the weather was great, and they had the whole cove to themselves which is always a plus when filming. Without boring you to death on to much chit chat the video came out dope. Gomez always making things look fun and easy, we hope everyone enjoys this video and a massive kudo shout to Guillermo for taking on he task of filming the entire shoot.

MARK GOMEZ’S LIQUID MILITIA ATHLETE PAGE |

GUILLERMO CASAS’S INSTAGRAM PAGE |

GUILLERMO’S RESORT- CLANDESTINO BEACH RESORT WEB SITE |

Mark Gomez is a T-Rex

T-Rex Steals Jet Ski and Does Insane Tricks With Mark Gomez

Mark Gomez walking away from the lake

Mark Gomez | All Smiles after that session


Motor Check

Motor Check

Mark Gomez in the flesh

Mark Gomez in the flesh

Joey Morneault - Double Trouble

Joey Morneault |Pahrump, NV – Jamming Literally

The race was out in Pahrump, NV and the track was much different than your normal race course. Instead of buoys the track has race wall’s and ramp jumps.


Joey Morneault |Pahrump, NV - Jamming Literally

This year’s race season has been a bit slow for me due to ski complications, but I knew I had to throw something together for the 2016 Super Area World Cup Qualifier. The race was out in Pahrump, NV and the track was much different than your normal race course. Instead of buoys the track has race wall and ramp jumps.


Since I have been without a ski for most of the year I had to borrow a ride. I entered the stock ski class on Trevor Ritchie’s 650 Yamaha Super Jet and I entered Pro Freestyle on my Yamaha Wave Jammer. I ended up taking a 5th on the mighty square nose Super Jet and a 1st place on the Wave Jammer. It was quite a battle going against faster skis in the stock class. Every moto I was dead last out of the start, I had to work my way up through the pack to gain positions. Overall I had a great time in the stock class.

650 Yamaha Super Jet Racing

JOEY MORNEAULT Pahrump, NV

Joey Morneault hitting the ramp on the wave jammer

Joey Morneault hitting the ramp


I’d say the Wave Jammer was the crowd favorite over the weekend. Everybody just loves how goofy it looks. Just before the races started I decided to enter the sport spec on the Jammer just to see how I would do. Sadly the 500cc engine couldn’t hang with the competition so I decided to have fun with it. In my motos I was doing no handers and supermans on the ramp jumps. The freestyle exhibition is where the Wave Jammer really shines, it allowed me to put on a good show for the crowd. During my freestyle run I did a handful of tricks off the ramp jumps including 180’s, supermans, and no handers. My finishing trick was a big fountain. I wanted to make it look good so I kept the fountain going till my engine stalled. Sadly I almost sunk my ski in the process, but it was worth it.

Joey Morneault No hands while racing

Joey Morneault boosting off the ramp

Joey Morneault super man

Joey Morneault super man

Joey Morneault-No Hands

Joey Morneault-No Hands


Overall I had a great time out in Pahrump, NV and I’m looking forward to the next event on August 27th. I plan to finish up the year by attending the Blowsion Surf Slam and the Pismo Freeride. I had some great support over the weekend from my Liquid Militia teammates and from my coworkers who decided to attend the race. It was nothing but smiles all weekend. Click Here to see Joey’s LM Rider Page.

Joey Morneault-180's

Joey Morneault-180’s

Joey Morneault - Freestyle Freddy

Joey Morneault – Freestyle Freddy

1

JOEY MORNEAULT | LOST HIS SKI AT SEA FULL STORY

This Pismo trip was a little bit different than what I usually expect. Every trip I come home pumped with lots of good memories to reflect on. This trip I came home with none of those feelings. This trip I came home bummed and with an empty spot on my trailer.

Short one ski | Pismo

Short one ski | Pismo

The trip started like any other Pismo freeride trip. We headed out Thursday night and came home a few days later. The conditions on Friday were pretty nice. I had a great time surfing the waves and hanging out with everyone, it’s always good to catch up with friends. Saturday the waves were much larger and I was able to get my SuperJet upside down for some awesome pictures. I kept pushing it and wanted more. Nothing but smiles.

Joey and his girlfriend Brandi

It all started out good…

Joey's pre-disaster set up

Joey’s pre-disaster set up


Sunday was a little different, usually I don’t ride on Sunday because we have to head home. This trip we decided to stay an extra day and head home first thing Monday morning. I was stoked to have one more day of progression for the trip. I had a good riding session in the morning and then relaxed for a bit. Then I enjoyed some cake by the ocean (Thanks Evan Kilkus).

Now it was time for an afternoon of riding. I suited up and started sending it, this was the first trip that I was really trying to get flips dialed in. I was in the back playing in the big sets with everyone. I was getting tired and I decided it was time to go for one last flip before I head in. Well it turns out that saying ‘just one more’ will burn you every time.

Road Trips to and from

Road Trips to and from

Welcome To The Team - Joey Mourneult

Joey Backflippin’ @ 2016 Pismo Springbreak Freeride


Anthony Nelson - Jamming

Anthony Nelson – Jamming

I landed the flip but then bobbled and fell over. I scrambled to get my lanyard back in. As I was going to plug my lanyard in I look over my shoulder and see at 10’+ wave right behind me, I knew it was going to be ugly. At this point all I could do is hold on as tight as possible and hope I don’t get separated. That wave was a beast. The ski was instantly ripped out of my hands and I got tumbled like a rag doll. When I finally surfaced I searched for my ski, I saw that it was about 50ft from me towards shore and floating upside down. I immediately started swimming for the ski, luckily my buddy Anthony Nelson swooped in (on the Wave Jammer) and brought me back to my ski. I quickly noticed that not many people were riding at the time, I guess everyone had gone in. So it was basically just me, my swamped ski, and the ocean.

When I up righted the ski I knew there was no way it would start, it was completely swamped. I knew the only way to get it back in would be lay in the tray and hope the waves push me in. My hopes were immediately crushed as another massive wave broke right on top of me and ripped the ski out of my hands again. Luckily after this tumble I could get back to my ski quickly. At this point I noticed that it had taken on lots of water and the nose was starting to go under. I got on the tray and hoped that the bilge pumps could clear it out and I could safely get back to shore.

The ocean decided it had a different plan, I just kept getting hammered with wave after wave. The nose of my SuperJet started to go under and the tail of it started to bob. As the ski was bobbing the current swept me out past the back set.  As I was on my way out to sea, my buddy Jake Biland found me and headed to shore for a tow rope.  Not long after Jake left, my ski slowly began to go deeper and deeper underwater.

At this point my ski was under the surface and I was the only thing keeping it from going to the bottom. My JetPilot life vest does a great job of floating me, but it’s not really designed to keep a ski afloat. The swells in the ocean were massive, but my ski seemed to stay at a constant level. As a swell would come my ski would pull me under water for a few seconds, when the swell left I could catch a breath of air. I kept holding my breath and going under with my ski as long as I could.

This was where I made one of the toughest decisions of my life, I finally had to let my ski go. (It felt like that scene in the Titanic where Rose lets go of Jack and he slowly sinks to the bottom of the ocean) I watched my ski slowly disappear as it went down in the ocean. I will never forget that moment as long as I live.

Now I was just floating in the middle of the ocean all alone. I was hanging out for quite some time until I saw Jake pop up over a wave. I could tell he was looking for me, but couldn’t see me. I waving my arms so he could easily spot me, he finally noticed me and rode over. I was very relieved to know I would finally be on shore soon.

Happy to be alive

Happy to be alive | Joey Morneault

I grabbed on to Jake and he began to tow me back in. The ride was a bit smoky from the exhaust, but it was still better than swimming. Before we got to the break I realized that I had to go into the hellhole that I just got out of. Since I was being towed there was no way we could outrun the waves. I held on the Jake as long as I could. When a massive wave came up I had to let go and get tumbled while Jake circled back around to get me. We probably did this 4 or 5 times before we finally made it to shore.

I’ve never been so happy to be back on land. As I slowly walked up the beach everyone stared at me with a puzzled look. They soon realized that my ski was gone. I slowly walked back to the truck and sat down to reflect on what just happened. Riding the surf is like playing with fire, eventually you will get burned. Sadly that Sunday I got burned badly.

After sitting for a moment I flagged down a ranger to report that my ski had been sunk. They took a quick note and said to keep an eye out for it. I was told to fill out a missing vehicle report the following day if it hadn’t shown up yet. After talking to the ranger I walked up to the Liquid Militia tent for some food (Thanks Kyla). We finally started packing up and I noticed a big pile of trash bags on the beach from inconsiderate people that attended the freeride. I piled as much trash as I could on the empty spot on my trailer to take to the dumpster. I thought if I made peace with the ocean it might give my ski back unharmed. Once we made it back to the hotel we had a quick hot tub session and then it was off to bed.

The next morning we checked out of the room and hit the beach. I drove up and down the entire beach hoping that I would spot my ski. Sadly we didn’t see anything. At this point I knew I needed to fill out an official missing vehicle report. I went to the ranger station, filled out the report, and headed home empty handed. The whole drive home I kept looking in my mirror hoping to see my ski, but all I saw were some empty bunks. I got home, unpacked, and prepared for work the next day.

As the week went on reality finally set in and I was super bummed that my ski was gone and I may never see it again. I always had hope of it washing up, but as the weekend approached I began to loose hope.  The following weekend I was working at my shop and all I kept doing was staring at my empty stand that used to hold a SuperJet. I felt like I had lost a family member, that ski helped me achieve all of my accomplishments throughout my jet ski career. It was one of a kind and could never be replaced.

Almost exactly a week later (Sunday afternoon) I received a phone call form a blocked number, I answered the phone to hear that a Pismo park ranger was on the other side. He said that my ski was found washed up on the beach and that a towing company picked it up and had it at impound. I immediately called the towing company to find out the details. They couldn’t tell me much since it was the weekend, I had to call back in the morning to figure out what’s going on. I was stoked that my ski had returned. Now I just needed to figure out how to get the ski back.


Ranger Rescue

Ranger Rescue

Motor Carnage | Got Sand

Motor Carnage | Got Sand

First look at the damage

First look at the damage


The following morning I called the towing company and they hit me with some bad news. My tow bill was currently at $580 for getting my ski off the beach and storing it overnight. I was also informed that storage was $100 a day and if I picked it up on the weekend it would be a gate fee of $150 in addition to the current bill. I was really worried that I wouldn’t have the cash to get my ski back. I asked if I could have a friend pick my ski up on my behalf, they said it was fine if they had a note from me.

After calling a few locals I got ahold of Sean Starr who was one of the local freeriders. Sean and I had met at the Grayland Open, but we didn’t really know each other that well. I explained my situation to Sean so he knew what was going on. Before I could even finish my story Sean took the words out of my mouth. He offered to pick up my ski and get it cleaned out for me. Sean also gave me a place to stay when I drove up to grab the ski. Without Sean I would have really been in a bad spot. He did a great job of cleaning the ski and sent me plenty of pictures to help me assess the damage.

Joey, his ski, and Sean Star

Joey, his ski, and Sean Starr | Reunited

Ocean Carnage

Ocean Carnage


1 week in the depths

1 week in the depths

I was stoked to know that my ski was back in good hands, now I just had to finish a long work week before I could be reunited with my ski. Friday morning finally came and I couldn’t wait to hit the road and get my ski. As soon as I got off, Brandi and I got up to Pismo as fast as possible. We arrived at 2:30 am and found that Sean had a bed for us that was ready to go. We crashed out for a few hours and woke up to a nice dog hoping on the bed. I immediately got up and checked out my ski in the daylight. My ski was absolutely hammered, the hull seemed sound, but everything else was pretty trashed. The ocean broke off my bars, steering, and hood. My ski also got a wrecked paint job along with massive amounts of sand and even a bird skull. At this point it was basically a total loss. I was bummed, but I was happy to have my ski back. After assessing the ski we grabbed some breakfast and hit the road back to Las Vegas.


JOEY MORNEAULT | LOST HIS SKI AT SEA FULL STORY 1JOEY MORNEAULT | LOST HIS SKI AT SEA FULL STORY JOEY MORNEAULT | LOST HIS SKI AT SEA FULL STORY 2


After I got home I could check out my ski to see the extent of the damage. Besides the hull and a few parts I basically have to start from scratch. I’m pretty bummed about the time and effort I had into my ski, because it was all ruined. I’m now trying to figure out where to start with the rebuild, or if I should just start over. Right now the possibilities are endless.

She's a bute

She’s a bute

Joey | Better Days Ahead

Joey | Better Days Ahead

Since my incident many people have asked if I am done with freeride or done riding skis all together. Do you drop a beer and stop drinking forever? Hell no! I will definitely be back. I know my event was very tragic, but it wasn’t bad enough to stop me. I’m sure my SuperJet will live to ride another day, it will just take some time and money to get it back on the water. When I come back I will be pushing harder than ever to make up for lost time. Progression is my drug and I want to keep pushing until I am killing it.

 

After reflecting on everything I am very grateful for the freeride jet ski community. Without my buddies I may have not gotten my ski back or I may have floated out to sea forever. Our riding community is like nothing else, people went out of their way to help me out and some even put their lives in danger to save me. This is a scenario that I will never forget. If it wasn’t for Jake, Anthony, and Sean I could be much worse off. I may have not been able to write this article.

I’ll see you all this summer, I know there are a lot good time ahead of us on the water!

JOEY MORNEAULT’S LIQUID MILITIA ATHLETE PAGE |

US Freestyle Championships

US Freestyle Championship Round 1 | Mark Gomez

Mark Gomez

Mark Gomez

US Freestyle Championship Round 1 Lake Havasu, AZ

US Freestyle Championship Round 1 Lake Havasu, AZ


US Freestyle Championship Round 1: April 16th Lake Havasu, AZ – Pro Freestyle contest

Mark Gomez with Tanner Thomas

Mark Gomez with Tanner Thomas

Monday evening I landed in LAX and had a moment to catch up with my mom over dinner. Then, I packed up my truck with the borrowed factory Rickter XFR freestyle ski, gear, and quickly washed cloths. 3-am the following morning I was 300 miles bound for Lake Havasu, AZ. Getting there early gave me a chance to meet up with my best friend in the industry and last year’s 900cc Freestyle World Champion Tanner Thomas. Thanks to the support of my family at KMG Racing, Tanner and I had a compound at Crazy Horse campground to call home base to come back to throughout the day. Through the week we ran errands, finished emails, worked on equipment, trained, and crashed out. This made a huge difference, as Tanner and I were able to hone in our skills within four days to become contest ready.

The weather at the event was great apart from the 40-mph wind. A large part of flat water freestyle is setting up two wakes to collide in order to make a “big wake” which is about a foot tall at most. This is difficult to construct when the water all together is chaos. Under powered in the 1200cc class with a 1000cc engine in the borrowed demo Rickter-XFR. I took it to my qualifying heat landing 4th place while riding in a heavy spot of the wind. For sickest trick run I was able to put together a no hand back flip, right into another back flip off the landing of the first. Coming into my main run I caught a mild break of the wind and was able to throw down a busy run. I got ejected during one of my opening flip combinations, pushing to get more out of that combo. I recovered, and put down a lot of tricks with many variations. Some were more difficult than others, such as the Scarecrow barrel roll, which is a corkscrew rotation in the air with only one foot attached and another no hand back flip.

Mark Gomez | Pro Freestyle Competitor

Mark Gomez | Pro Freestyle Competitor

Wind was an issue, but Mark was able to hang on and podium.

Wind was an issue, but Mark was able to hang on and podium.


At the end of the event I was beyond pleasantly surprised to end up receiving 3rd place in sickest trick and 3rd place in the 1200cc pro class. This was my second professional freestyle contest. I am absolutely thrilled to have made the best of the TC Freeride built Rickter XFR powered by a DASA 1000cc Engine and Skat-Trak 155-mm Mag pump. After the event I dropped the XFR off with my friend Brock Austin, who will be transporting the ski to Florida for the first two national tour stops around the corner.

Congratulations to the top 3

Congratulations to the top 3

Group podium shot

Group podium shot

Top 3 winner in the pro class

Top 3 winners pro class


I couldn’t be going after this year like I am if it wasn’t for my incredibly supportive 2016 sponsors: Rickter – RRP Mystik Lubricants, Hydro-Turf, DASA Engines, WORX Racing Components, Liquid Militia Clothing, Jetpilot, TC Freeride, Skat-Trak, Jet Renu, Hot Products, Bomber Floating Eyewear, KMG Racing, Cold Fusion, Factory Zero, Performance Fiberglass Repair, Salty Investments, ADR Crankshafts, Jetinetics, My Mom and brother Philip Gomez.

Thank you all for your support. MARK GOMEZ’S LIQUID MILITIA ATHLETE PAGE |

1

PETE ZERNIK | Round 1 & 2 WEST COAST KICK OFF

LET’S GET THIS COMPETITION GOING FOR ROUND 1 & 2 STARTING WITH LAKE HAVASU, AZ.

Round 1 and 2 | go time

Round 1 and 2 | go time

Motor Installed

Motor Installed

The first race for me this year was the RPM Series Watercross/Gary Hart Memorial round 1-2 in Lake Havasu, AZ. I showed up with my hull on Friday afternoon after the long drive down south from Sacramento, CA area. Yes, I said hull, I was short of a motor which is always a scary thing but hey, we got this!! I met up with my mechanic Brian Boell, in Lake Havasu. We went straight to his shop, and he got my motor installed and ready for the races.


This kick off race was killer! RPM had an awesome event that co-mingled with another event, like a chili cook off and big boat show which was cool because it brought out more people to check out all the action all weekend long. I also met up with fellow Liquid Militia team mate Ian Roberts who is my practice and riding buddie, we always train together back home. So naturally, we pitted next to each other for the weekend.

Pete & Ian | Both Pro Jet Ski Racers

Pete & Ian | Both Pro Jet Ski Racers

Pete's Set up 2016

Pete’s Set up 2016

Pete Zernik | Pro Racer

Pete Zernik | Pro Racer


I ended up taking 4th overall in both rounds of this series in the NEW Pro Mod Class, which replaced the previous GP Ski class. It’s great to get out, and get some laps in on some of these local races before my next stop. Which, for me will be back east at The Pro Watercoss Tour  round 1 in Panama City, Florida coming up real quick in a few weeks. I’m looking forward to lining up with the best of the best and get the national tour kicked off. See ya!
PETE ZERNIK’S LIQUID MILITIA ATHLETE PAGE |

Judging Station

Jeff Bolte WaveDaze 2016 | Masters Champ

Zack & Jeff | Judging

Zack & Jeff | Judging

Jeff's ski loaded up | WaveDaze Bound

Jeff’s ski loaded up | WaveDaze Bound

WaveDaze 2016 was another superfun Freeride event put on by the Wavejunkies and with Krash Industries holding the 2nd annual EastCoast Nationals. The attendees converge on Virginia Beach from all over the country and world to experience the good vibes and ride surf all weekend.

Mother Nature brought a mixed bag of sun, surf, low temps, wind, rain and even snow on Saturday during my ride in the comp. That didn’t stop us from getting out there and doing what we love to do! This year the raffle/giveaways/trophy presentation was held in the hotel conference room instead of poolside, but everyone was stoked to be warm after the day on the windy beach.

WaveDaze 2016 was another superfun Freeride event


Kelsey, Brandon, Jeff

Kelsey, Brandon, Jeff

I was stoked to take home 1st place in the master class in the contest. My goal is help anyone I can, keep progressing, and have fun in the surf with all my fellow freerides who love his sport as much as I do. It’s not about winning or loosing it’s about having a good time and pumping up other riders to progress.

They all want it

They all want it

The Liquid Militia gear was a crowd favorite among all the cool prizes flying around.  It was great to see the Freeride family and spend time with old friends and make new ones too! Can’t get enough of these good times!!


Jake, Jeff, Mark and Brandon | Team LM

Jake, Jeff, Mark and Brandon | Team LM

Flush Time | Lake Stop

Flush Time | Lake Stop

I stopped to ride/flush in the Potomac river on the way back, and of course it was 75 and sunny, go figure! Can’t wait for the next WaveDaze in October, see Y’all soon…

JEFF BOLTE’S LIQUID MILITIA ATHLETE PAGE |

Jake Bright | Photo By: http://www.ontheh2ophotos.com

Jake Bright | Wavedaze was one hell of a trip!

Wavedaze was one hell of a trip!


I finally made it out there after missing a flight, getting bumped off a flight and sleeping in the terminal of the Miami airport. I got to VA on Friday afternoon and went straight to the water for a lil salt water therapy!

SD Missed Plane

SD Missed Plane #1

Welcome to Miami

Welcome to Miami

SMILE | Air Time

SMILE | Air Time


Saturday, we woke up to really small surf, 30mph winds and even snow coming down on the beach but that didn’t stop all of the die hard jet skiers who were hitting the water to get wet. Riders started signing up for the Krash Nationals Freeride Contest! We kicked off the contest and had riders battling the crazy conditions as best as they could. I did the announcing for most of the contest and had a lot of fun laughing at my own bad jokes, cheering on the riders and keeping the event moving! We finished up the rookies, amateurs, masters and runabout class. We started the pro class Saturday which was the largest class full of the worlds top riders, and due to the conditions we decided to finish up with all the rest of the Pro rounds Sunday!

Jake Bright throwing it down| Photo By <a href="http://www.ontheh2ophotos.com/" target="_blank"> On The H20 Photography </a>

Jake Bright throwing it down| Photo By On The H20 Photography

Mic check, 1, 2, 3...

Mic check, 1, 2, 3…


Then we did the raffle where they gave away all types of good stuff like LM T-shirts, Kavinci handle poles, flywheels, Ignitions, totes, motors you name it! We did the awards, congrats to all the riders who competed and who finished on top! And after that we hit the club for the annual after party at Peabody’s!

Jake and the legend Franny

Jake and the legend Franny

Jake & Stephan | Freeride Contest

Jake & Stephan | Freeride Contest


Sunday, the weather and waves were much better. We had an awesome time finishing up the pro contest. Unfortunately, I twisted my ankle a bit and took a loss for the weekend but I was able to walk it off and I’m only a little sore. So, now I’m determined to train harder and continue strength training my ankle! Big ups to Mick Anthony, Bruno Jacobs and Chris Grace respectively for taking out the pro class, you boys ripped it!

Jake Bright | Photo By <a href="http://www.ontheh2ophotos.com/" target="_blank"> On The H20 Photography </a>

Jake Bright | Photo By On The H20 Photography

Jake letting it hang out | Photo By <a href="http://www.ontheh2ophotos.com/" target="_blank"> On The H20 Photography </a>

Jake letting it hang out | Photo By On The H20 Photography


Saturday, go time

Saturday, go time

Good Times

Good Times

Big thanks to all my sponsors, to everyone who helped me make this trip possible and Dan Swartz for putting the event together! I had a great time and I’m looking forward to next year!

JAKE BRIGHT’S LIQUID MILITIA ATHLETE PAGE |