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LouDoc

Wakeboard Camp Review

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LouDoc

I just spent three days at Darin Shapiro's camp Ride the Spot. I had been thinking about doing this for about a year and a half and shouldn't have waited this long.

First, Darin picked me up from the airport himself - an early indicator I'd be getting his personal attention. His setup is truely first class. He's got a two bedroom guesthouse that will sleep six. It is extremely clean and comfortable. Both Darin and his wife asked me over and over if I was comfortable or needed anything. Darin is very detailed oriented and it even transfers to the accomodations. I also had the impression of Darin as a very serious, hard-core athlete. Perhaps the way he looks and his aggressive riding style contributed to my impression. He's actually quite laid back and very personable. I have no doubt that if I talk one of my daughters into going with me next time, he'll be a great coach for them. OBTW, Darin is the only coach there - he won't let anyone else do the coaching -he's very meticulous and won't entrust that responsibility to anyone else. (He does have a guy who'll drive for you if you just want some extra free-ride time)

The lake is very private and there were only two times in three days that there was another boat on the water when we were. Darin's instruction is top notch. You can get a hint of it from the Waketrix DVD, but what you don't get in that is Darin's eyes. He seems to see everything. The value of going for me was what he saw in my riding. Some of his tips I'd heard on his DVD, but it was his ability to point out exactly what I was doing that was most helpful. He also takes a very technical, fundamentals-oriented approach. For example, on my second day he had me start by learning a heelside-backside 180 off an ollie. Not a trick I'd tried or would have even thought to try. When I later was learning a half-cab one wake 360 it dawned on me why he had me learn the HS-BS 180 - it was the second half of the 360! While DVD's like the Book also use a stepwise approach, being there in person allowed his coaching skill to hone in on the elements I needed most.

I also discovered that I should have gone a year ago when I was first considering it. I'd be a much better rider now because I wouldn't have to break some bad habits I've developed. Learning things right the first time is always a quicker, less painful way. Another big help was the drills that he's developed to get critical aspects learned before trying the full trick. I don't have my wake to wake 360 yet - but with the building blocks he gave me I'm certain I'll have it soon - and with a lot less pain than if I'd learned it the way I had mapped out in my mind.

I have all the instructional DVD's made on wakeboarding and I think they're a great help, but there is just no better way than personal instruction. So, if you're like me and hesitant to pull the trigger - just go! I somehow thought it would be better if I reached a certain level i.e. was doing inverts before I went. Now that I've been there, I look at that as a poor judgement on my part. Also, don't wait until you're in better shape etc. Being there will inspire you to get in better shape!

Finally, thanks to Wake and Snow for his excellent review of Darin's camp on the old MBO site. I wouldn't have gone if it weren't for that and as you can tell, I'm soooo glad I went!

I'm contemplating a return trip in May or June. Anyone interested in a MalibuCrew group outing?

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obski

Great review. We have been thinking of spending some time at Shaun Murray's The Boarding School, also in the Orlando area. I have a friend who went to Shaun's camp last year and loved it, but we have also talked about Ride The Spot as well.

Thanks for taking the time to put down your thoughts. Glad you were able to progress in your riding.

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LouDoc
Great review.  We have been thinking of spending some time at Shaun Murray's The Boarding School, also in the Orlando area.  I have a friend who went to Shaun's camp last year and loved it, but we have also talked about Ride The Spot as well.

Thanks for taking the time to put down your thoughts.  Glad you were able to progress in your riding.

I've heard great things about Shaun and his camp as well. My main concern was that he rides behind Nautiques. Shapiro has a VLX and LSV so I knew the wake would be close to what I know. I also took my own board so both when I was there and when I came back I could have no excuses. (i.e. the wake was different, I couldn't get used to the board, etc) I'd be less concerned if he was a Master Craft guy as I've heard the differences between a Malibu wake and a MC wake aren't that great.

When I mentioned a friend in the area that has a SAN, Darin advised that I spend as little time as possible behind it. He really doesn't like the wake on those. Also, an interesting note - there was a guy at the camp who's back roll was really messed up because of habits he'd developed at the cable park. Evidently, the cable can give you some hard to break bad habits as well.

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WakeAndSno

Thanks for the props, Lou!! I'm glad that it turned out well for you too!! (especially since you took my review to heart).

I certainly second everything he said and also HIGHLY recommend going to Ride The Spot!!

I'd definitely be down for a group trip! I was hoping to get back there next season anyways! ;)

(Ok, I really was Tongue.gif)

JZ

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Pistol Pete

Very nice, detailed report. Thanks.

Only question... $?

Edited by Pistol Pete

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stewart
Thanks for the props, Lou!! I'm glad that it turned out well for you too!! (especially since you took my review to heart).

I certainly second everything he said and also HIGHLY recommend going to Ride The Spot!!

I'd definitely be down for a group trip!  I was hoping to get back there next season anyways! ;) 

(Ok, I really was Tongue.gif)

JZ

I took my cue from JZ as well. :)

I only got to ride there 2 days last year, and he did the same thing.......started me off from scratch. Many bad habits to break. His boats were filled up and he was only able to accomodate me for a couple of pulls, but it was worth it. I will definitely go back, and stay at his house next time. This way you get the much needed personal instruction.

If you want to pick up some skills and learn at a first class facility with a first class instructor, ridethespot.net is the place to go.

BTW, is you put in ridethespot.com you'll be directed to Shawn Murrays camp......

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LouDoc
Very nice, detailed report. Thanks.

Only question... $?

The total cost was $1200 for three days which included lodging, food, drinks, coaching, riding and transportation from and to the airport. My only extra expense was my plane ticket.

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obski

While we were in Florida last week, we arranged to spend a day at The Boarding School - Shaun Murray and Travis Moye's place. Shaun was visiting family in California for Christmas, which we knew ahead of time. We met up with Travis and Keith Lyman at the house on the lake and were treated to a special day. My wife, oldest son, daughter, and I went. The water temp was 64 F and air close to 70 F and sunny. The kids and I wore neo tops while my wife wore her drysuit we had brought with us (she does not like to be cold).

We were made to feel welcome and very comfortable the entire time we were there. It felt like we were out hitting the water with a bunch of friends. We went in Travis' X-Star. While I don't really care for all of the bling, it really is a very nice boat. My wife and I both just went for one turn each, preferring the let the kids get most of the time. They also have way more endurance than either of us.

My son really progressed quite a bit in his riding, getting consistent with nice looking toe side wake jumps. My daughter spent time getting consistent on a toe side 180. Those were all good, but the bottom line is that we had a great time. My daughter is pushing to go back this summer for a week.

I would highly recommend the camp/school to anyone. Travis has a very hands on approach and obviously takes a lot of pride in what he is doing there. Of interest is that Travis went to U of Alabama on a waterskiing scholarship. I suggested that he should offer both slalom skiing and wakeboarding at the camp, but he let me know that that thinking shows my age. :) I guess it does.

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