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By Ben Guska

Well looking back on the last four weeks it has truly been a great time here! In the words of Hobie “I love Reno”! It has been truly exciting! I first got here and started training with Erin Babcock and Scott Sady! Looking back I remember Erin being so nervous to get into the hole! Four weeks later she is competing in front of over 8,500 people! All I can say is she had the biggest grin on her face and it truly looked like she was having a lot of fun! Scott also had a great time! He had a few rough rides but in the end he is paddling better then ever and now knows what its like to compete! I couldn’t be happier with the way they done, and with the hard work they truly put into it!

As for myself I spent everyday down at the hole working on new moves. This is by far one of the toughest competitions in the country. Secondly its my First competition of the year so it’s a toll getting the jitters out. My first prelims ride set me in 7th place. I wasn’t super happy with my rides as I blew my first moves right off the start. At semis they cut from 12 to six. I was on the bubble coming in. I went in again and blew my first ride! I rolled up and made my way back to the hole and managed to get a score of 100! This was the first time in my life I hit 100! I won my heat and managed to move up to 6. I was in a heat with Bryan Kirk, Stephen Wright, Jay Kincaid, Andrew Holcombe, and Eric Jackson! No pressure here haha…I finally went out and hit my first move off the start, and continued my ride! I managed to get a 112 points in the end and was very happy with how I was paddling! Although not enough to win, this has been a huge step of progress and its only going to help me in the next few weeks competing in Colorado. I was super amped to see Jay win as he has really been training hard for this! Congrats to EJ and Bryan Kirk as well! Everybody was paddling so well!

As for boater cross Bryan Kirk and I advanced because our third person didn’t show up! We got to just float through! After that Bryan and I continued to advance knocking out Jay Kincaid. It was a true battle in the beginning! I managed to get out ahead and win the heat! Finally im in the semis yet again with some big names! Tao Berman, Bryan Kirk, Andrew Holcombe and myself managed a rough start. I was battling constantly with Andrew until hole 3! Here he managed to knock me into a hole and I got a little surfed. It was enough to let him back into second and advance! A truly fun round indeed! This was my second boatercross in my life and im finding a new love for it! Very fun!

Overall this weekend has been very tiring, and exciting at the same time! Im leaving back to Colorado here in the next day or so to start training for the Teva Games. A lot of my friends are getting back from College so it will be nice to see them again! Im super amped on my paddling, and im super amped on my All-Star! South Canyon wave should be coming in here soon, so I can finally get the boat on a wave! Im overall amped on how it performs so far and im excited to see what comes of it here in the next few weeks! I want to shout out to Jim Litchfield with Fluid Concepts for all the hard work he puts in to make this happen! I’ll keep more posted on Colorado here in the next few days as its my home state!

Ben Guska