Classic Cullman 2017 - Page 42

fine & dandy / Classic Cullman nate polta photography This is definitely a sporting lake “It’s actually huge here. I mean, the people who get into it, they’re serious,” said Thames. “Everything about it is its own style, and people are pretty particular about what kind of gear they want and what they’re going for. “In terms of the gear itself, there’s kind of a price point for just about everybody. I’ve got a board in the store that, for the whole package, is a $1,000 piece of gear,” he added. “The average beginner board — say, someone wants WREX\WKHLUNLGWKHLUʏUVWERDUGȆLVDURXQGȎ On the consumer end of things, sure: boats and personal watercraft cost money, as do their operation and upkeep. And enthusiasts who can afford it gladly pay the asking price. According to Thames, wake boarding enjoys the same kind of devotion — and it brings people to Smith Lake who otherwise wouldn’t come. “The avid wake boarders, they come out here and they know what they’re looking for. They have their ‘spots’ on the lake, and when they get out here, they know where they’re headed,” he said. “And it’s gotten to be a huge economic thing, too. The wake industry provides so much money to this lake.” So where are Smith Lake’s best wake boarding spots? progressive watersports, zachary thames For the answer to that question, your best bet is to grab a board, join the growing community of wake enthusiasts, and uncover those kinds of secrets for yourself. - 42 classic 2016.indd 42 8/31/2016 10:34:07 AM