Tuesday, August 18 2009
I’ve been on many Gatorboard trips over the years from Team A,B,C,D and E trips to lake Havasu, to multi month bus tours around the country, to clinics in Acapulco, to amazing around the world film trips.  Being a pro rider and nothing else affords me the freedom to pick up a go anywhere at any time, so I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of every Gatorboards trip that has ever crossed my table. Most recently SBC magazine proposed the idea of a trip to Grand Caiman in the Caiman Islands to do a story on the Gatorboards team featuring Ricky Gonzalez, Kyle Rattray, and myself the lone wakeskater for the trip.  After some back and forth between us and Adam Levit (SBC editor) we had our 6 day 5 night trip planned out to a tee.
My high school sweetheart, Tara was visiting me in Orlando for three months when this trip was presented so rather then leave her behind we got her a ticket to come along and soke up some of the Caiman atmosphere with us.  We arrived in Grand Caiman to find Adam already there waiting for us with this funny long skinny rental van kind of like you would see in Japan.  Surprisingly enough it was quite spacious even with five people, three board bags plus all of our luggage.  We barreled off down the road toward 7 mile beach on the west coast and our new home at Sunshine suits.  After parking the car and dropping ever thing off in the rooms we headed across the street to witness first hand what the Camians is most famous for white sandy beaches and crystal clear aqua blue water.  We spent the first day driving around site seeing we drove through “hell” literally, we found a town called hell.  We drove up to the north western most tip and found some crazy little brackish spill ways on the side of the road with little walk way going across them.  Perfect to do tricks over on the skate so we hooked up the rope to the van and got a few shots.  We check out some dolphins in at this dolphin park as well as some sea turtles.  All the time wondering when this crazy wind was going to stop and the coast would become rideable.  The next day awoke to realize that the unintentional theme of the trip was going to be “WIND” 24 hours a day non stop. We met up with Justin at Turtle watersports and decided to go out in the boat anyway, watching Kyle and Ricky ride did not get me stoked.  The wake was all wind swept and the water was choppy and rolly.  Don’t get me wrong they rode ok but I knew if they where having trouble on their wakeboards then wakeskating was not going to be terribly fun.  I almost didn’t ride thinking about past trips where I rode in bad water and got hurt, but I said “screw it I’m in the Caimans” It ended up not being to bad as long as I didn’t let the water conditions get in my head I was doing ok.  The next few days where filled with much of the same, mad wind causing low motivation to ride, we got a waverunner one day so we could chase shoot and I could ride a little closer to shore but the wind posited.  One of the most common sayings when your traveling is “oh man I’ve got the best spot ever, glass calm” followed closely (usually after arriving at the spot) by; “oh man it’s never like this”.  We should have expected it.  The last day we where so over the wind we took a drive around to the other side of the island to see if we could find nice water.  It was a nice drive and we found a good place to eat but still no calm water.
The last night was by far the best night we headed to a local bar to catch UFC 96 Rampage vs Keith, it seemed like as soon as we sat down the place filled up.  We met the local superintendent of the only 18 hole golf course on the island.  He proceeded to show us how drunk he was by shaking my hand at least 30 times, asking me where I’m from around 25 times and inviting us to play golf about 20 times.  He was almost as entertaining as he was annoying.  The night ended with a howl from Rampage, a confused look from Keith and us looking forward to getting back home to water much more suited for riding.  It’s a pity the wind would not let up cuz it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been but we still had fun, still got some shots and still got a story to tell.  I’ll be making a video of this trip filmed by Tara and i to be posted online in the near future so if your interested keep an eye out.

Ryan Doyle