As the water begins to warm up and that familiar scent of wet neoprene starts to reclaim your vehicle all of the water sport companies are charging full speed into the upcoming summer season. Orlando, Florida is regarded as one of the largest wakeboarding communities in the world, with an unmatched collection of lakes, cable riding, and professional athletes all within a few hours of each other. Every year HO Sports, Hyperlite, and Byerly host a Shreducation seminar for their dealers. These dealers come from all over the country to learn about the exciting new product lines that the brands are launching.
A glassy morning at OWC, one of the best wakeboarding cable parks in the world.
The week started off with boat and cable demos at Orlando Watersports Complex (OWC) which has been serving up some serious shredding since the 90’s and should be on every wakeboarders bucket list. From morning butter to evening glass the participating dealers were allowed to try out any of the 2016 products with supervision from their shreducators. Professional riders JD Webb, Jimmy LaRiche, and Shaun Murray were on site to demonstrate their new boards both on and off the water. Being able to interact with such high level athletes and watch them perform from inside the boat was a very unique experience that helped set the tone for the rest of the week.
Pro riders Brian Grubb (far left), JD Webb (middle left), and Jimmy LaRiche (far right)
Pro Wakeskater Brian Grubb reaching for a backside 360 in Orlando
After demoing product at OWC the dealers are given a night to rest up before traveling to the Byerly workshop, where a combination of resin, sweat, and innovation have been shaping wakeboards for over a decade. The shop itself is very small and contains only one press, but every model that Byerly Boards sends to mass production is hand shaped and molded by Butch first. The roof and walls of the shop look like a water sports time machine, with every prototype hanging next to their production model.
Where the magic begins, the shaping room at Butch Customs
The manufacturing process for a wakeboard is time consuming, but also very interesting. The dealers were given the opportunity to staple fiberglass to molds, lay resin on unfinished boards, and put boards in the press for the finishing process. Scott Byerly himself wandered into the shop, picked up a staple gun, and immediately got to work with members of the party. Being able to stand next to one of the great names in wakeboarding and not only listen to them talk about their product but witness them build it made our trip to the Byerly workshop one to remember.
Scott Byerly staples fiberglass to a wakeboard core while a decade of progression hangs from the roof and walls behind him.
After watching the manufacturing process the dealers were taken out to Jack Travers Ski School to learn about all the new products and innovation from HO sports. There was a professional ski demo, ski jumping, and multiple meetings about the 2016 HO skis as well as their inflatables. After the dealers were mesmerized by the talent shown on a ski, they were given the chance to showcase their own talent and try out any new gear as well. There were lakes set up for course skiing, free riding, and a R.A.D/F.A.D lake.
Live action R.A.D and F.A.D+ tandem towing excitement
The weekend concluded with an afternoon in Shaun Murray’s backyard, which to most people looks like an American Ninja warrior playground. Shaun invited the dealers to play on his jungle gym, ride on his boat while the Hyperlite team put on a show, and he even let us take a crack at his warp wall.
Yeah, you read that right, Shaun Murray built a warp wall.
It even has his name on it!
The day concluded with autograph signing and exchanging information, but the energy level was still at an all time high. “Shreducation is one of our most valuable weeks, not only educating about our brands and products, but connecting with our dealers, learning from them what’s working and how to improve,” said Hyperlite’s VP of Marketing Greg Nelson. “You just can’t beat the comradery we build with our dealers at Shreducation.” The entire week was a great success and a perfect way to kick start the boating season.
If you want to check out any of these amazing new products from HO, Hyperlite, or Byerly, then come on down to Memphis Boat Center and check out our Pro Shop! Our staff is always there to help you find what you are looking for and further your shreducation! If you want to stay up to date on the brands we carry, visit their websites!