The president and CEO of $265 million-asset Farmers & Merchants Bank in Miamisburg, Ohio, learned how to wake surf after years of lake activities like boating and wakeboarding. He’s gone on to teach most of his family how to surf, as well as kids at summer camps.
I’ve taught most of my family how to wake surf. Most of them have wakeboarded or done some other water sport before … It’s just a huge smile the moment they figured out how to stay in that pocket and get rid of the rope. I mean, it’s just so freeing. Once you’re riding behind a boat with no rope, nothing attached to you and you’re just staying up on that wave … it’s just kind of like a giant, ‘Yes, I got it, finally!’
[My family and I] try to do a big lake trip down to Tennessee every year and get my family with my brother and sister and all their kids and get everybody together. You know, it just gets harder and harder to get people together anymore. That’s just fun to be able to do it and share forever memories.
We’ve taken the boat down to summer camp, too. We had 30 kids this year and spent four days teaching them all to surf. We have five different boats, and one teaches them the kneeboard, one teaches wakeboarding. We actually had a boat to help teach barefoot skiing if they want to try that. And then I was the surfer who taught them how to surf.
The minute they finally get it, that light bulb goes off and the smile is just so huge. It’s made it all worthwhile. We have to watch to see where the mistakes are so we can teach them proper coaching and help them reach their goal. The life lesson is to not give up and you can reach your goals.