This weekend at the Flint River it will be easy to spot whirlybirds, elephants and tantrums.
While these may sound like exotic animals (or bad dance moves), they are all, believe it or not, wakeboarding tricks to be seen this weekend at the second Albany Wakefest.
"We did one two years ago and it was a pretty good turnout. We wanted to do one a little bit bigger and more participants," Wakefest organizer Adam Gilbert said.
The Wakefest crew expects 30 to 40 participant's whirly-birding out on the lake on Saturday, and all for a good cause. All the proceeds will go to a local girl with cerebral palsy and her family.
"That's really what the whole thing's aboutâ|raising money for the family and trying to help out with any medical bills or anything like that," Gilbert said.
The wakeboarding competition sports six different levels of competition ranging from the beginners to the top class, aptly labeled, the outlaws, and for any doubters out there- it's clear this is a sport and it is extreme.
"Come try it. One weekend on the water and you'll think differently," Gilbert said.
"I've seen this guy take some pretty nasty spills where we've had to drag him out of the water, but I mean I've never seen any broken bones...I have seen unconscious," advanced wakeboarder Blake Grimsley added.
While that bit of information was disconcerting, I decided anyways to try my luck wakeboarding for the first time.
"It's pretty natural, as long as you're pretty athletic, there's really nothing to it. I mean- as long as you can walk straight, you can wakeboard. Sit in the water like you're in a chair and stand up when the boat starts pulling you," Gilbert said.
It sounded so easy when it was explained. My board technique was clearly flawed, but the Wakefest promises to be quite the show.
"There's really not much stuff going on like this around here...raise money for a family that it will really help out and in the same time we get to have an awesome time on the water," Gilbert said.