#TigeStories: Chris Day
Chris Day from Austin, TX has been through a lot with his Tige RZ2 and Tige Z3 and tries to spend as much of his free time as he can on the water. Whether it be taking engagement photos, wakesurfing with his wife, or taking his son and paraplegic father-in-law out to enjoy the water, some of his favorite memories with his family and friends have been made on his Tige.
Tige Boats: How and when did your Tige Story begin? Tell us about the Tige’s you’ve owned.
Chris Day: Our first Tige was a 2011 RZ2 that I purchased from Ski Dock in Feb 2012. I had wanted to buy a wakeboard boat for over seven years before I had enough money to purchase one. So the choice of boat was heavily researched and I chose Tige due to the surf wave, 3-year warranty with 360 service, and of course the great looking style. After putting over 500 hours on our first Tige with no mechanical problems, the choice to buy another Tige was a no-brainer. We now own our second Tige: a Z3 with the Adaptive X.
TB: Now we’ve all seen the engagement photos you took on your Tige. What was the inspiration behind that?
CD: We wanted to do something unique that nobody had done with engagement photos. Since our first kiss was shared on the RZ2, we decided that we should include the boat in the pictures. We wanted to take photos with the Austin skyline in the background, so we contacted the city about ways to take the boat onto Town Lake. Several phone calls later we learned you can take any boat onto Town Lake provided you have an electric motor. We rigged up a trolling motor to the swim deck and got our pictures!
TB: How has having a Tige played a role in bringing your family together?
CD: When taking out the whole family, with grandparents to small children, you need a reliable boat that will not leave you stranded. Having the reliability of a Tige is comforting when heading out on the lake for a day. The Z3 has plenty of room to be comfortable and has more storage than needed to store all the items the family brings along. We spend a lot of family time on the water, whether it be taking cruises on the lake during the winter months or spending the whole day surfing, several times per week.
TB: What is one of your favorite memories on a Tige?
CD: When we get out on the lake we’re transported to our inner child that enjoys the warm embrace of life. It’s a place where corporate titles are dropped, we kick off our shoes, and the everyday problems melt away into a mountain of smiles. Each and every time we venture out onto the lake is an exercise in the ultimate freedom that can only be found with family and friends surfing an amazing wave that goes on mile after mile. For that reason, we don’t have any specific memory that stands above another. Every memory on the water is a favorite and it’s why we spend most of our free time on the water. This is why we chose another Tige—in over 500 hours spend on the first one in less than three years, we’ve NEVER missed a moment on the lake due to a mechanical issue.
TB: What are some of your son’s experiences being on a Tige?
CD: Our son has been on the boat several times. He LOVES being on the water and gets excited every time we take him on the lake. When he first saw us surfing he laughed and watched everyone surf the rest of the day. As he gets older, each time he goes out on the boat his awareness grows exponentially. This last time we went out, he sat on the swim deck smiling at the view of the lake for five whole minutes! Getting a 14 month old to sit still for five minutes to enjoy a view is an amazing thing.
TB: Tell us a little bit about the GoPro product you’ve created called “Curl View.”
CD: We’ve been working on a wakesurf specific camera mount for almost two years. It started as a pole attached to a board rack and has now evolved to a refined patent pending product. The product is called “Curl View” and it puts the camera on a boom 12 ft. back from the tower at an angle that mimics having a chase boat. The angle is better than a chase boat due to the adjustable height and adjustable angle. The mount is adjustable and fits nearly every tower on the market; to date we have not found a tower the product will not fit.
TB: Tell us about your father-in-law and the challenges he’s faced.
CD: My father-in-law retired from the military and served in the Vietnam War. After retiring he became a Police Officer for the city of Plainview TX. During the line of duty he was shot several times and one of the bullets severed his spinal cord leaving him a paraplegic.
TB: How was it getting him into a Tige boat from a wheelchair? How were you able to pull it off?
CD: Moving him from the wheelchair to the boat was easier than we anticipated. The first time we lifted him onto the boat it was difficult and uncomfortable for him. The next time we built a custom bench without a back rest. One end of the bench was in the floor of the boat and went up at an angle to the dock next to his wheelchair. We raised the armrest on his wheelchair and rotated him and his chair, resting his legs on the bench. Then we slid him down the bench and slid him over to the rear seat. Getting him out of the boat was the reverse process and worked perfect.
TB: How did this experience impact him as well as your family?
CD: Getting on any boat can be difficult for my father-in-law, but the deep seating and shape of the rear seats on our Tige Z3 allowed him to sit comfortably without any special straps. To sit like everyone else on the boat without any special equipment or assistance made him feel normal. While on the water his disability vanished and enabled him to truly enjoy his time on the water with his family, something he didn’t think was possible. He sat on the boat like everyone else just enjoying the lake and the company of his family.
TB: What advice do you have for getting people with disabilities out on the water?
CD: Take a look at the all the obstacles that stand in the way and address each issue individually. Go out to the dock to see how high the boat will sit in the water in relation to the dock. Think about the time of the day you will go and if there will be waves rocking the boat during the loading/unloading process. Take measurements of the wheelchair height and review each step you will take to help someone into the boat. We found that sitting in the rear of the boat is the best choice since this part of the boat has the smoothest ride in rough water. Be sure to have phone numbers for the marina or towing services on the lake. Also make sure they can swim with floatation devices and have any special life preservers onboard in the event of an emergency.
TB: Anyone you’d like to give a shout out to?
CD: Ski Dock in Austin TX for always providing outstanding service. They always turn my boat around fast when it comes to regular service visits and go above and beyond with customer service.