Who do you blame?
| Written by Adam May |
I blame Tom, who do you blame?
You probably remember it, right? The person who first introduced you to a water sport. It could have been your Dad who bought the Groupon (are those even a thing anymore?) to the Wakepark? Maybe it was your Grandpa who pulled you behind his rickety old speed boat with the inboard outboard that made a wake harder than your moms disappointment in your grades? Oh, it could be your father-in-law who still thinks it’s cool to get up backwards on a slalom ski with an old school stretchy nylon rope? No, not him huh? Well take a moment and think about that person. While I tell you about who I blame for introducing me to this disgusting addiction called Wakeboarding.
His name is Tom Clarke, he want to the cooler secondary school near me in Birmingham, England in the West Midlands. One weekend, he ask me to visit their lake spot about 2 hours to the south. His Dad, a larger guy with a solid beer belly, drove a blue Subaru WRX Impreza around the bend where we pulled up to a rocky parking lot filled with RV’s of different shapes and sizes. We stayed over the weekend and all I cared about was the girls. Early in the morning, on a very small lap lake, Tom dropped me into a “Wakeboard”… whatever that was … handed me a handle, sat me on the “jetty” (this concrete landing with green Astro turf on it) and told the boat driver to “hit it!”. The fins at each end must have been at least 2 inches long, raking more water than leaves on a fall evening in September. The board was stiff, shiny and I LOVED IT!!! I came back from the weekend asking for a Wakeboard for Christmas, even though, I’d chuck it in the closet for 10 years after.
For the last 13 years of my life Wakeboarding has competed with everything from concerts with friends, visits with my family during the holidays and now my wife and kids. I’m shamelessly addicted to the culture, the community of people and still taste that first drag every time I land a new trick. Da*nit Tom! You had to throw a hobby into my life that has become my passion. You helped me heal wounds; you’ve given me countless friends to care for that share this same excitement. Without question Tom, I… blame… you… for making my life amazing. Who do you blame?