What is WAKE HUI your asking yourself? I was able to get some water time with the man behind it, Nick Nags earlier this week, and I asked him the same question. There has been rumours about a kids camp opening up in Bala, and something about Ride days, offering under privileged kids the ability to give Wakeboarding a try. I had to touch base and see what’s happening.
MC: What up Nick? Thanks for taking some time to meet with me. Tell me “What is Wake Hui?
NN: Wake Hui is a Wakeboarding School in the Muskokas. We specialize in Kids Day Camps, but we also offer lessons and are creating a series of Ride Days for underprivileged kids. The name comes from a Maori word meaning traditional gathering or meeting place, so our goal is to have the water be that meeting place for people. I was fortunate to have grown up with a cottage, and my mom was a teacher, so I headed up north every summer and goofed around with my brother and friends all summer. Needless to say, I tried everything and totally fell in love with all watersports. I have created some amazing friendships because of wakeboarding and competing so I want to spread that love and get people out on the water. Whatever your age and ability is, there’s something on the water that everyone can do!
MC: So, you are starting these camps, so far 3 weeks in total. Who is involved in the camps?
NN: We’ve partnered with Bush’s Watersports Park this summer and will be running our kids camps at What Wake Park. So for our camps we have myself and Amazing Race winner, current Guinness World Record holder, jack of all trade and apparently master of all, Mickey Henry coaching up a storm! Dude, that guy is awesome and we’re so stoked to have him on board for these camps.
MC: What made you want to start a camp at WHAT wake park!?!?
NN: I’ve been riding there since it opened and every time I go I have an awesome time with Mick and all the people there. Mickey is a super talented rider, is always throwing out positive vibes and just makes the place super welcoming for everyone. Over the past few seasons, we’ve been seeing more and more Groms showing up and having an awesome time, so I wanted to create something for them and their families so they can keep progressing and make a bunch of new friends. We want their parents to know that their kids are in a safe, supportive environment and are getting proper coaching so they can progress safely. The Groms we see there every day are all awesome, and it would be amazing to be able to have our wake community grow and have these kids find a place to get involved in and create lifelong friendships. As a park, WHAT is always evolving and has features for everyone. So by running the day camps out here at WHAT, we can cater our camps to riders of all ability levels and make sure that there’s always something for our kids to push themselves on. WHAT wake park is just an all-around awesome place to be. The people are great, the features are great, so there was no doubt that this was the place to make it happen.
MC: How Many weeks of camps are you doing this summer?
NN: This year we are only offering three weeks of camps. We’re running them for the last week of July and the first two weeks of August, so get ‘em while they’re hot! Next, year we would love to expand our camps and offer more weeks or some clinics, but this is our first year so we’re taking it slow to make sure we can offer the best experience out there for all of our campers.
Location: What Wake Park (Bush’s Watersports Park)
Skill Level: All Levels from never having ridden to advanced
Time: 9am – 1pm
Maximum 10 participants per session
Day Camp Weeks available for 2016 are:
MC: So, in early July, you are doing something great, out at The Rail Yard Wake Park. For everyone out there reading this, give us a breakdown!
NN: Ya, totally. I’ve had a really fortunate life and been able to do and experience all kinds of things that many people may not get the chance to, so I want to give back to our youth so they can experience something that they may not have the chance to. My passion is wakeboarding and as we all know it’s a sport that’s inaccessible for a lot of people. It’s far from the city, it’s expensive to get into, so I wanted to create an event where I’d be able to take a group of underprivileged kids wakeboarding for the day. I wanted this event to be completely free, so everyone could have the chance to take part. Transportation, gear, lessons, food, everything is provided so these kids can come, have fun and not worry about anything! I want them to not only try a new sport, but I want them to experience success, build their confidence and leave the day knowing that what they accomplished was totally on them. It was their skills and perseverance that made them successful and I want them to have those personal realizations spill into all aspects of their lives so they can live up to their full potential. When I was mentioning my idea to Christine from the Rail Yard she loved this idea and jumped on board, opening up their facilities for us for the day. We’re going to be taking a group of 20 underprivileged kids from Kerr Street Mission in Oakville as a reward for their participation in their drop-in Education Program. These kids have been dedicated to this program at Kerr Street throughout this school year and committed to their education even though they have all kinds of stuff going on in their lives that they could use to justify not caring about school. It’s been amazing to see these kids stay motivated and continue attending this program all year when there is no one making them go and no “reward” at the end. I mean a better education, totally a reward, but most kids want something tangible for their efforts. We surprised these kids a few weeks back and told them that we’ve heard about all the amazing things they’ve been up to and that we wanted to give them something special just for them. So on July 7th, we’re taking these kids to the Rail Yard for the day, for them to just be kids and try something new! When I met the kids and told them about it they were absolutely floored and couldn’t believe that someone would do something like this for them, for no reason. It was humbling to say the least, so we couldn’t be more excited to get these kids out having a good time! Just one last thing about the day…I’ve been known to ramble on occasion…this day is completely not-for-profit and run totally through the support of our community and is financed through industry sponsors and individual donations and volunteers who have heard about what we’re up to. We want to not only help out these kids, but we want to have our wake community band together to make a positive difference for kids like these. The support has been amazing and we want to thank everyone who has been part of making this day a reality. If it were not for you guys we would not be able to run events like this and change the lives of some pretty deserving kids. We’re in talks and trying to set up a second ride day later this season so check out our website so see what we’re up to and to how you can get involved!
Nick knows a few things about Wakeboarding , Including throwing it down with the best of ’em. Just a few shots of WAKE HUI founder himself.