The future of the South Florida Wakeboarding Association (SFWA)…sounds like a scary title doesn’t it? Well it is not, it is actually the prelude to a major announcement relating the association. So let’s get to the announcement and then we can talk about how we got here. Starting with the publishing of this post, the leadership of the SFWA will be changing. Morgan (Baer) and I (Jimmy Beno) will both be stepping down and handing control (and the future of the SFWA) to Kimber and Rishy Rajoo. You may know Kimber and Rishy through their production company R2R Productions. They have both been very active in the wake community over the past several years wth their latest journey being the ultra successful Railapoolza event that was recently held in Orlando. So what does this mean for the SFWA? We believe it means the first steps on a journey that will involve growing the SFWA to levels beyond what we could have dreamed. So now that the announcement is out of the way… let’s get to the background.
A bit of history first. Believe it or not the SFWA has been in existance for six years now. We have hosted five Pros and Joes events (each more successful then the previous one), a rail jam event and a true tournament in the Showdown event. When we first started the SFWA we charged for memberships and had a paid membership list of almost 200 plus wake enthusiats throughout South Florida. The SFWA has been my heart for a long time. It allowed me to meet my two best friends in Morgan and Dan Kubes, it gave me an opportunity to participate in a sport I love so much, it allowed me the chance to meet so many amazing riders (and their parents) and so many amazing Pros and the people that they represent, it provided my son opportunities he never would have had without the organization and in the end it accomplished my goal which was to raise the level of awarness regarding the wake sports here in South Florida. I mean come on…we have approved rails in a lake at Okeeheelee Park. Can anyone familiar with that area believe that? It has been an unbelievalbe six years with so many more things on the horizon. The new lake in Boca is close to being open and it will be the home for our future events. There have been discussions regarding a tour stop here and there are many more event opportunities still out there. The future is so bright for the SFWA.
So if it is all positive then why go? I think change is necessary for growth. Morgan and I never envisioned doing this past five years. We said from day one that we would dedicate five years to the process and then move on. After a period of time your vision can become stalled and the growth non-existent. Some times fresh eyes are needed to look at the situation and determine the best way to proceed. I think that was happening here. Morgan has begun a new life in a new business, my children have grown and their activities have lead me in different directions. I still love the sport and I still ride as much as possible but the drive has left me. My time is so divided that I can’t give what I once could and that has always been when I said I would move on.
So what to do at that point? Honestly we thought about just shutting every thing down. No more SFWA, no more events. But I couldn’t do that. I think about all the young riders that started to some degree their journeys in our events and have gone on to huge careers in the sport. Scott Stewart, Steel Lafferty, Noah Flegel, Troy Wynne, Juan Mendez, Tracy Baynham and many more. All of these riders I can remember six years ago in our first event just getting their feet wet in the sport. Having a local event to go to helped stoke the fire in them and look where it helped lead them. How can we stop that? With that in mind we needed to find someone with the passion that we had six years ago, someone with the drive and experience to grow the sport, to take the SFWA to the next level. We believe we have found that in Kimber and Rishy.
Kimber and Rishy have that drive. They are great people with a true love for the sport. After meeting with them on this transitition I am once again excited about the future of the SFWA. So please welcome them and support them as you have Morgan and I. I will be helping with Pros and Joes this year and then I will be finished, however, the SFWA still has many many years left.
So thank you to everyone that has made the SFWA a success. I hope that our little association has touched your life in some way over the years. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.