Malibu Boats Partners with Brave the Wave to Spread the Stoke
Founded by adaptive athlete Lexi Youngberg, Brave the Wave set out to bring together the adaptive community through wakesurfing. Brave the Wave is a nonprofit that strives to help the adaptive community to realize they are capable of doing much more than they ever thought possible. “When I was 16, I was involved in a traumatic boating accident resulting in me becoming a left below-the-knee amputee. I have been an amputee for eleven years now and through everything I have accomplished in those years, creating Brave the Wave has been by far the coolest full circle moment of my life,” says Lexi. This summer, Malibu Boats and partner dealership Tommy’s Boats had the pleasure of partnering with Brave the Wave to host three free events teaching adaptive individuals how to wakesurf and have the opportunity to bring all abilities and passions together.
July 20th, 2020 kicked off with Brave the Wave in Loudon, TN, in the backyard of the Malibu Boats factory. This all-day event saw people from all over come together and learn how to wakesurf, try out new boards and gear and experience new prosthetics. Malibu Boats athletes, Massi Piffaretti, Luca Kidd, Chad Sharpe, Guenther Oka, and Bec Gange joined the Brave the Wave team on Ft. Loudon Lake to host small groups of adaptive surfers and help provide them one-on-one coaching, assistance in the boat and water, teach fundamentals of how to wakesurf and most importantly, just have an awesome time on the lake! In Loudon, we had the utmost pleasure of meeting many participants including Jemma and Wyatt Filbrun who traveled over 5 hours one way to join the Brave the Wave adaptive wakesurfing tour. After attending for three years in a row, this year, Jemma and Luca Kidd became best friends after she rode on his shoulders while wakesurfing, and Wyatt graduated from tandem riding to riding solo for the first time! “Being able to get these kids in the water with some of the world's best professional extreme sport athletes will change their lives forever,” Lexi said.
The second stop of the tour landed in Grand Rapids, MI for free private adaptive wakesurfing lessons. Brave the Wave linked up with Malibu dealer Tommy’s Grand Rapids and Hanger Clinic to prove wakesurfers from all skill levels the opportunity to surf behind a Malibu boat. Hanger Clinic helped provide all our riders the proper prosthetic set up to utilize the adaptive equipment provided by Brave the Wave like special wake surf boards and BioDapt prosthetics so that everyone had the chance to experience the ultimate happiness provided by wakesurfing.
Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida was the final stop to the 2020 Brave the Wave Wakesurf Tour, and it could not have been better with the help of Malibu dealer Tommy’s Florida. Courage was displayed by all surfers, and Malibu athletes Tarah Mikacich, Cobe Mikacich, Luca Kidd and Bec Gange were able to host and teach even more people how to wakesurf along with Lexi and her team. We had the honor of meeting Brett who is a Paralympic snowboarder that traveled from Colorado to Florida just to join us on the water. Brett has overcome numerous physical adversities in his life, but he was not going to let that stop him from riding that amazing Malibu wave. Brett has tried wakesurfing in the past but wasn’t as successful as he would have liked. With adaptive coaching from Tarah and our crew in Orlando, Brett was able to get up behind the Axis and shred his first official waves! “ So many amazing people out here at this event were able to make this event possible. Stoke levels are high with good vibes and good people!" exclaimed Brett. This was an amazing final stop of the wakesurfing tour with so many smiles and lots of first timers on the water.
“It’s hard to put into words the impact these events have on both the adaptive community and the professional athlete community! We have accomplished combining two different worlds into one community through wakesurfing! These events show each community they travel to just how resilient the human spirit is amidst the different adversity we all face in life...”
Lexi Youngberg//Brave the Wave Founder
“It’s hard to put into words the impact these events have on both the adaptive community and the professional athlete community! We have accomplished combining two different worlds into one community through wakesurfing! These events show each community they travel to just how resilient the human spirit is amidst the different adversity we all face in life. Showing individuals with physical disabilities a sport like wakesurfing is possible for them to accomplish, then overflows into each rider's life as they set out to accomplish goals bigger than they could ever imagine. We are doing so much more than just teaching wakesurfing at Brave the Wave, we are providing a fresh new mindset to each rider that the human body is capable of accomplishing more than we can ever think possible!” – Lexi Youngberg, Brave the Wave Founder
Malibu Boats wants to say a huge thank you to the Brave the Wave team, Tommy’s Boats, our athletes and the other partners that make these events happen. This nonprofit is incredible and we love their mission to “change lives one wave at a time.”
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