#TigeStories: The Green Family
Recently I decided to sit down and jot down my thoughts and events in my past that introduced me to the boating world. The "addiction", as I call it, that I have towards boating and the marine world takes me back many many years to where it all started. I go back as far as I can possibly remember, perhaps around the age of four or five, when my dad first took me out on our family boat. This boat, from what I remember, was an all aluminum type hull with rivets that held it together and an outboard engine which left us stranded more times than I can count!
It was a 70's model V hull boat and had a closed bow, of which my older brother and I would curl up and sleep under when my dad wasn't ready to call it quits in the evening, "this is when the fish bite" we were always told. This particular boat would take on water and we had to run across the lake at full speed ever so often to drain the water from the bilge area. As a kid I would always wonder why we spent so much time preparing the boat for use instead of actually using it, and later in life I have come to terms with why my dad was so passionate about his boat.
We spent every weekend at our local lake and many times had several branches of our family there with us. Some time around the age of 10 my father finally had enough money to purchase a 90s model fiberglass V hull boat with a four cylinder engine in it. I remember the day he brought it home and asked my mom for "permission" and of course she said "no way"! Well my dad, like any other man, decided it were easier to ask for forgiveness so he purchased the boat. It was the greatest thing ever for us kids to have a nice boat, and all of our friends would now want to join us at the lake.
Within the first summer of owning it, my brother and several of his friends had learned to double and slalom ski and I was envious. It took me until the next summer to get the courage to try a slalom ski on and the rest has been history. I was instantly hooked and would beg to be pulled and couldn't wait for each weekend during summer. Now having a brother and father who slalom skied, you can guarantee there was always a competition to see who was better, could last longer while skiing, or sometimes who could wreck the hardest trying to outdo the other. This went on this way for most of my teen years until high school when time was limited with sports and my weekend job. I started to miss many weekends at the lake and somewhat grew away from it for a few years.
Around the age of nineteen, after moving away from home and a year into college, I had the opportunity to slalom ski behind a friends direct drive boat. It was a dream come true! I had waited for this moment for years and was drooling over the opportunity. Well as imagined, I was hooked again to the lake scene, and would go out almost every weekend and a lot of times we would take day trips to our lake which was a forty minute drive. Being on a budget we would have to sacrifice certain things in order to pay for our lake outings, but we made it work. It was around this time that I first skied on a ski with double bindings, and again had fallen in love with these skis and couldn't get enough. I know its not my dad's old wooden skis that were the "best thing ever made" according to him, but believe me these skis were amazing!
After that first pull behind the DD boat, I told myself I would work hard in order to own one later on in life. Fast forward 5 years and I was married and my wife had somewhat of a passion for the lake also. Never did she know that our entire life would revolve around the summer lake activities and boating, or she might have ran the opposite direction fast! We had decided to start a family before purchasing a boat, as money was limited and we usually went out with friends on their boats anyway. A year or so into marriage we had good news that we were expecting our first child and were ecstatic with joy. A few weeks into the pregnancy, we had complications and had a miscarriage. This was devastating for us as we had wanted children and put our boat buying on the back burner for them.
A few weeks after our unfortunate news I decided we needed a release and started to look back into the possibilities of owning a boat. I knew I wanted a DD boat as I'm a slalom skier and longed for my wife to learn to slalom ski. A good friend of mine had went to school with Danny Guiterrez, who worked for Tige, and assured me that they were excellent boats which put my mind to ease. Tige' or Tiger, Tigee, or Teeggee or however you say it, and was off to purchase it. Later on I would realize how to say the name and it seems the name is always a conversation piece to other lake goers. I'm sure anyone who owns or has looked at one knows what I'm saying with this statement.
We were fortunate enough to find a clean one owner 20i as our first boat and spent numerous hours with friends and family on this boat over a course of three summers or so. There wasn't a weekend we weren't out on the water teaching or learning more about watersports, or just plain relaxing on our Tige. A year and a half after owning this boat we were blessed with news we were expecting again and all went well this time and our first child was born in Oct. 2010. Happy that our little girl was healthy and born in October so she could be "lake ready" come summer 2011, we started purchasing life jackets etc so we wouldn't miss a beat come lake season.
As most with infants know, it is added stress along with the most joyful times of a parents lives when they can enjoy the peaceful lake sunrises and sunsets while holding their little ones. Fast forward again another season and our second child was born Oct 2012, and now we were caught asking how we were going to fit in our little Tige 20i. Well we did it as a family the following summer of 2013 and have some of the greatest pictures and memories of our lives. Towards the middle of the 2013 lake season we had decided we needed a larger boat, as I had longed to own the notorious Tige 22ve and went on a search for one. It took several months to locate one and we loaded up for a six hour drive to Oklahoma to purchase it.
After purchasing it I decided to join the tigeowners website as I had known about it for years and was wanting some expert advice/opinions on things I wanted to do with this boat. The out pour of free advice of the avid Tige Owners community was great! I couldn't believe how easy it was to get this much help spending my money on this boat! A stereo and ballast system install later with the help of the members on tigeowners this boat was ready for the '14 season. We were so excited we started the season in late april when the water was still frigid, but wanted to master the art of surfing before summer hit! Needless to say, we never mastered it but had a fun time trying.
It only took a few months for others at our lake to get hooked on surfing as this was a new sport for our area lake. Yes we are a bit slow to catch on! I was absolutely in love with this 22ve and the waves it could produce whether it be a surf, wakeboard, or slalom wake. Only a few months into owning this boat I had visited lake of the Ozarks and had the opportunity to visit with Joe at Performance Marine about the Tige Z3, which was the wanted boat by most Tige Owners, and had always been in the back of my mind as my next boat to own. After seeing what it could do I was no more "in love" with my 22ve and decided to order a 2015 model Z3 as it had all the bells and whistles we had longed for. This boat would take our lake experiences to new levels.
Knowing it would only be a few weeks before I took delivery of this boat, as the factory has a fast turnaround time in building these boats, I tried everything I could to keep my mind off this boat. We were super excited to take delivery of it and it was hard to sleep at night just waiting. A couple weeks later we were back at LOTO for delivery of our 2015 Z3 and had the opportunity to attend the Midwest Tigeowners reunion hosted by Joe and his crew at performance marine. Wow! What an experience meeting all the Tige addicts like myself! My family had a great time at this event and it reassured us that the Tige brand boat was perfect for our family of four. I can't say enough about the excellent group of people that Tige has following them.
Now as summer is over and I drive myself insane thinking of a warm lake to submerse my Tige boat in, my family and I decided to take an 8 hour trip to Abilene TX to tour the factory as it has been on my bucket list for sometime now. What better way to pass winter than torturing yourself with an entire factory of beautiful boats. So on the phone and email I went and contacted the notorious "Jean at the factory". She was very helpful in setting up our tour and had several members from Tige welcome us with open arms. Our experience was terrific and again reassured us that the Tige brand of boats is where we will be for life!
As I reflect back on the years of great memories the boating world has given me and my family, I am grateful. I also am grateful to have come upon the great community of tigeowners.com, Joe and his crew at Performance Marine LOZ, and the staff members at the Tige factory Abilene for sharing and making my families boating addiction possible. If it weren't for the Tige experience I wouldn't be able to spend countless hours washing, waxing, cleaning and sometimes just starring at my reflection on the side of this beautiful boat. It never fails that when I go out to the garage my little girls are begging to sit in the boat, and of course daddy lets them. Also for allowing me to see why my dad always spent so much time prepping for the lake, as it is all part of the passion or addiction we have as boat owners.