The Clubhouse at Monteray, Mexico
Disclaimer: I am not a writer. I got through English 101 in junior college. So just forgive my gramatical errors and enjoy!
The Defy Team consisting of Danny Harf, Shawn Watson, Benny G, and Shane Bonifay embarked on a fantastic journey to Mexico this past week. We started our trip in the Rio Brava, near Reynosa, Mexico. There we met up with our host Luis Loaiza, who took us to the camp. When the boys and I arrived we weren’t sure what to expect. ”The Camp” is actually a massive compound with the most luxurious accomodations I have ever seen in wakeboarding. It is nestled in on the Rio Grande river that is just across the border from the US. I could actually throw a rock and hit the states. That idea was only cool until I noticed the speeding boats of the Border Patrol racing by. They literally haul some serious ass down river at all hours of the night. Not only do they have high speed boats, they also use helicopters that fly overhead. It’s pretty crazy to say the least. In fact on one of the mornings, Benny G was riding and the Border Patrol was following him for about 3 miles watching him ride or maybe just making sure he wasn’t trying to pull a fast one. Either way The conditions at the camp were amazing whether you are on or off the water. Every meal was prepared and there were amazing dishes no matter what meal. Sergio, who is the owner of this facility was an amazing person to meet. He always had a huge smile for you and would in his best attempt point you to the nearest meal or cervasa. He is seriously the best host I have seen. He makes sure that his staff of about 50 people have everything you need ready and anything else you need just a request away. They have a brand new Super Air Nautique 230 and 2 pro coaches from Argentina to teach the lessons. The 2 brothers, Teky and Alejo De Palma, were super cool and really good riders. They helped us out a ton on this trip from preparing boats to driving chase or just translating our needs or requests to Sergio. After spending a few days in Reynosa we met up with Jose Luis Deschamps, who is the athlete coordinator for Monster Energy in Mexico. We spent about 3 hours traveling in the Monster RV to Monteray. We hit some local taco stands which actually turned out to be pretty damn good. Then drove down without incident except that there is no speed limit and the RV felt like it was on the verge of tipping over while we passed gas trucks at 90! Once we arrived we met up with Dorig Bocquet, the Sports Marketing Manager for Monster Mexico. He got things in order and helped us out a ton! Dorig put us up at this really amazing house in Monteray near the lake owned by this kid Pipe aka Maricio. The accomidations were awesome there as well.
The first morning in Monteray we got up early and I headed to the airporto to rendevous with our pilot Octavio to take a plane ride and attempt to film from this plane. Bad Idea! The plane i was told was an Ultra-lite, which in my experience led me to believe it was a low flying and somewhat maneuverable plane that we could film from. Not the case. This “Ultra-lite” was much better of a plane, but much worse to film from. The lowest speed it could go was 85mph. Which if you have ever stuck your head out of a moving car at 85 it feels like your facing is tearing off. Needless to say we had some pretty sketchy situations with the plane and actually touched a wheel onto the water by “accident”. After getting a few shots and almost puking out of the plane, we opted to call it a day and head back to the airport and work on getting a chopper for the next morning. Come to find out later that the Mexican army showed up via pontoon boat to see why a plane was buzzing a boat so low. I guess they thought that the plane was dropping drugs down to the wakeboarders and they were jumping up in the air to try to get the merchandise. Unbelievable! That night the boys from Monster took us to see the sites of Monteray and check out the local scene. We went to the city square and the boys were immediately engaged by young Mexican girls interested in there pro athlete swagger. My guess is that one of our guides told them that they were in an American boy band or something. After we left the square we traveled down and met up for dinner with the Monster team for Dinner. After another amazing meal we hopped in to the RV and headed to a VIP bar downtown to try our best at karoake and some drinks. Danny and Shane immediately put in their requests and we got right into the local scene. Dorig hooked up a ton of cervasas and we had a great time but had to call it a bit early in order to get up and do the helicopter shoot at 8am. Well Shane fell in love AGAIN, so we had to wait to find him and finally got home around 3am. After plenty of sleep. 3 hours. I rattled the cages and we headed out to meet up with the chopper pilot. The shoot turned out really well and the boys killed it on the foggy glass of that lake. In fact, Danny killed it so much he was puking out of bow after he rode. I think it was the tacos. After a nice lunch at the club house we rolled back onto the RV for our trip back to Reynosa for the RIO Bravo Pro contest that was held in the same location we stayed just days before. This time Dorig drove and the outcome wasn’t a whole lot different. We hauled ass. Turns out that Steve Hahn our photographer bet Dorig he couldn’t get us there by 4pm. Well even with a probing customs stop, we still came skidding into the driveway at 4pm on the dot! The contest was super fun with Rail jams in the evening and freeriding during the day. Again Sergio hooked it up. I have never seen so many beers in my life. Seriously. Sergio had a room by the pool full of all you could drink. The nites were so much fun and the rail contests were super fun to film. After one of the rail jams we snuck off and got dialed in on a drainage pond with a wall ride to shoot Danny shredding. Well it didn’t turn out so well in the beginning. Me, wanting to do something creative, decided to shut down the lights to then turn them back on for a timelapse. Once we turned them off they wouldn’t turn back on. We had about 60 people waiting and watching and we were just standing there trying to figure out what went wrong. After 4 hours and a new set of lights we were back on and got the money shots and Danny shredded to the top of this wall and about 60 feet across. It was a pretty cool way to end the day. At 6am, i went to bed. 3 hours later we were up and the last day of the contest began. I was exhausted and so were the boys. But it didn’t stop all of them from killing it. All the boys got to the finals but had to bail early to catch our flight. Danny stomped a super big wrapped bs 7 off the kicker to bring home some cash and best trick. We packed and raced for the border. First class seating home and an amazing trip to remember!
Special thanks to Sergio at Rio Bravo Camp, Luis Loaiza, Dorig Bouqeut and Jose Luis Deschamps, Octavio Le, Maricio “Pipe”, Peter and his Family, Marcus, Mauricio Gomez, Jorge, Alejo and Teky De Palma, Gheri and Laurita, Tomas Villalba and his Padre, Monster Energy Mexico, and our friends in Mexico.
Also special thanks to Steven Hahn, Brett Brinkerhoff, Danny Harf, Benny Greenwood, Shawn Watson, and Shane Bonifay.
Stay tuned for a video of this trip! check back at bfyproductions.com
Viva la Mexico!!