Stomping Grounds 10: Boating In Central Texas

In the vast and diverse landscape of the United States, each region has its unique boating culture. In the latest episode of Boat Trader’s documentary TV series “Stomping Grounds,” we delve into the heart of Texas, a state known for its larger-than-life attitude and abundance of recreational opportunities. From the bustling city of Austin, nestled along the Colorado River, to the serene Eagle Mountain Lake near Dallas, boaters across the Lone Star State showcase their love for their vessels and the waterways that make Texas a boater’s paradise.

Above: Watch the full Stomping Grounds EP. 10 on Boat Trader’s YouTube channel to explore boating culture throughout Central Texas.

Austin, the Live Music Capital of the World

Austin Texas Skyline

Above: The city skyline of Austin, Texas along the Colorado River. The city is known for some of the best boating in the entire state of Texas. Photo by Scott Sanders for Boat Trader.

We begin our journey in Austin, Texas, a vibrant city renowned for its live music scene, a blend of country, blues, and rock. Austin’s boating culture may not be as famous as its music, but it is equally dynamic. The city boasts numerous waterways, including Lake Travis, Lake Austin, and Lady Bird Lake (also known as Town Lake). These artificial lakes, created by damming portions of the Colorado River, offer boaters endless opportunities for recreational activities, from wake sports to paddle boarding.

Austin Texas Kayaking And Paddleboarding Boat Trader

Above: Austin Texas is a great location for kayaking and paddleboarding on Town Lake along the shore’s of the city’s downtown area. Photo by Boat Trader.

Lady Bird Lake, in particular, is a favorite spot for SUP enthusiasts. This is a quiet, peaceful way to relax and take in the stunning views of the city’s parks and skyline as well as a great social activity where locals meet up and celebrate the weekend in the sun. SUP yoga has also gained popularity in Austin. Participants take their yoga practice to the water, balancing on their paddleboards while practicing various yoga poses.

Canoes and kayaks also dot the waterways here as well. The Colorado River, in particular, offers more adventurous paddling experiences, with various sections suitable for different skill levels. Barton Creek, a tributary of the Colorado River, is another popular spot for kayaking, especially during the wet season when water levels are higher. Kayak and canoe rentals are readily available in Austin, making it easy for individuals or groups to enjoy a day on the water. Many outfitters also offer guided tours, which provide insight into the area’s natural history and wildlife.

Tige and ATX Surf Boats – Proudly Texan

Waterfront Homes On Lake Austin Along Colorado River

Above: A Tige RZX wake boat sits at the docks along the banks of the Colorado River where it is dammed up to form Lake Austin, a big wake surfing, wakeboarding and water skiing outdoor recreation area in Austin, Texas. Photo by Boat Trader.

On the shores of Lake Travis, we meet Daniel Gutierrez, President of Tige Boats and ATX Surf Boats, both Texan boat brands. He explains to us how Austin’s boating community thrives, and the wake surfing and wakeboarding scene are particularly popular. The city’s proximity to Lake Austin and its vibrant boating culture make it a haven for water sports enthusiasts. The green hills surrounding the lake add to the city’s charm, making it a sought-after destination for boaters across the country.

Daniel Gutierrez President Tige Boats

Above: Daniel Gutierrez, the President of Tige Boats and ATX Surf Boats sitting at the helm of an ATX 24 Type S while Stomping Grounds host Ryan McVinney interviews him for episode 10 of the show. Photo by Mary Martin Armstrong for Boat Trader.

Both Tige and ATX Surf Boats have gained recognition in the wakeboarding and wake surfing community for their innovation, craftsmanship, and commitment to delivering exceptional boating experiences. Tige Boats was founded in 1991 in Abilene, Texas, by Charlie Pigeon and has been crafting wake boats for over three decades. The company’s name, pronounced as “tie-guh,” is a combination of the founder’s last name and the word “tiger,” representing strength, power, and agility.

The TAPS 3T Adjustable Performance System

Renowned for their innovative wake shaping technology, which has significantly contributed to the progression of wakeboarding and wake surfing one one of the brand’s hallmark features is the TAPS 3T (Tige Adjustable Performance System) wake shaping technology. It allows drivers to adjust the size and shape of the wake using an easy-to-use touch screen, tailoring the wake to suit different riding styles and skill levels.

ATX Surf Boats is a sister brand of Tige Boats, founded in 2019 by the same team that brought the world Tige’s renowned wake boats. ATX Surf Boats focuses on producing premium value-class wake boats, providing boaters with a high-quality option at a more affordable price point. As a relatively newer brand, ATX Surf Boats has quickly gained popularity in the wake sports community for its dedication to quality and performance. Both Tige Boats and ATX Surf Boats take pride in their Texan heritage and commitment to excellence with the vessels designed and manufactured in Texas.

Wake Surfing Dog – Water Sports With A Furry Friend

Morgan Lohmeier And Ryan McVinney on a Tige Wake Boat

Above: Morgan Lohmeier and Stomping Grounds director/host Ryan McVinney onboard a Tige 24 RZX wake boat on Lake Austin in Austin Texas. Photo by Scott Sanders for Boat Trader.

Morgan Lohmeier, also known as “MOLO,” is a professional wake surfer and a beloved figure in the wakeboarding community. She has lived in Austin, Texas, for over a decade and has been wake surfing for most of that time. Morgan’s passion for the sport and her impressive skills have earned her recognition and respect among wakeboarding enthusiasts. She and her pup joined us and took us on a wake surfing adventure on Lake Austin with Tige Boats, a wake boat brand that has been a long time collaborator and supporter of her career.

Morgan Lohmeier and Wake Surfing Dog

Above: Morgan Lohmeier, aka “MOLO”, and her wake surfing dog Chunky together on Lake Austin surfing the wake behind a Tige 24 RZX. Photo by Scott Sanders for Boat Trader.

What makes Morgan’s wake surfing adventures unique is her furry companion, Chunky. Chunky is a Labrador Shepherd mix whom Morgan rescued from a shelter when he was just a pup. As they spent time together on the water, Morgan noticed that Chunky had a natural affinity for the waves and seemed to enjoy the boating experience.

Training A Dog To Surf

With love and patience, Morgan started training Chunky to join her on the wakeboard. Over time, the two formed an incredible bond, and Chunky’s comfort on the board grew. He learned to balance and move gracefully alongside Morgan as they surfed the wake.

Chunky The Wake Surfing Dog

Above: Chunky the wake surfing dog gets ready to surf the wake behind a Tige 24 RZX wake boat on Lake Austin in Austin, Texas. Photo by Scott Sanders for Boat Trader.

Chunky quickly became a sensation on social media, gaining a significant following as “the wake surfing dog.” People from all over the world fell in love with Chunky’s adorable and adventurous spirit. Videos and photos of him gracefully gliding across the wake, with Morgan by his side, garnered widespread attention.

Their unique partnership showcased the fun and joy that boating and wake surfing can bring to both humans and their furry friends. Morgan’s commitment to sharing her passion for wakeboarding with Chunky has inspired many others to include their pets in their boating adventures.

Morgan Lohmeier And Chunky The Wakesurfing Dog

Above: Morgan Lohmeier and Chunky her wake surfing dog. Photo by Scott Sanders for Boat Trader.

Aside from wake surfing, Morgan is also an advocate for animal rescue and regularly promotes responsible pet ownership. Her heartwarming story exemplifies the strong connection that can form between humans and their pets and how boating can be a source of enjoyment for the whole family, including our four-legged friends.

Whether they are showing off their impressive wake surfing skills or simply enjoying the water together, Morgan and Chunky have become an inseparable team, capturing the hearts of boating enthusiasts worldwide. Their story is a testament to the special moments and memories that can be created when we share our passion for boating with those we love, including our furry companions.

Austin’s Bat Boats – Unique Custom Pontoon Boats

On the shores of Town Lake in downtown Austin, Capital Cruises takes people on bat watching excursions on their unique “bat boats” – custom pontoon boats designed to offer a unique and memorable experience for tourists and locals who want to witness the famous bat spectacle under the Congress Avenue Bridge. The primary purpose of these bat boats is to take people out on the water to view the nightly emergence of the Mexican free-tailed bats from the Congress Avenue Bridge.

Austin Bat Boats

Above: A custom “bat boat” pontoon boat designed for taking locals and tourists to view the bats emerge each night from under Congress Avenue Bridge on Town Lake in Austin, Texas. Note the metal bat mounted above the stern of the vessel. Photo by Boat Trader.

Austin is home to one of the largest urban bat populations in the United States, and the nightly bat flight is a popular attraction for both visitors and locals. The bat boats play a significant role in Austin’s tourism industry, as the nightly bat flight is one of the city’s top tourist attractions. The bats’ emergence draws large crowds, and the bat boats provide an excellent vantage point to witness this natural spectacle from the water.

Austin Bats Under Congress Ave Bridge

Above: Millions of Mexican free-tailed bats emerge from under Congress Avenue Bridge in downtown Austin on Town Lake with the Frost Bank building in the background. Image screenshot from EP. 10 of Stomping Grounds.

Capital Cruises and similar tour operators prioritize environmental responsibility during bat watching excursions. They ensure that their boats and activities do not disturb the bats or their habitat by utilizing nearly silent electric propulsion from Torqeedo motors, allowing visitors to experience the bats’ flight in a respectful and sustainable manner.

Capital Cruises Austin Texas

Above: Capital Cruises takes tourists and locals alike for rides along the Colorado River in Austin, Texas. Photo by Boat Trader.

Exploring Boating in Other Texan Locations

Beyond Austin, we venture to other boating hotspots in Texas. We visit Dallas, known for Eagle Mountain Lake, a beautiful reservoir perfect for various water activities. In the Texas Hill Country, we find excellent fishing opportunities and picturesque rivers ideal for tubing and kayaking. San Antonio’s Riverwalk charms visitors with its scenic beauty, and the Texas Cavaliers River Parade delights spectators with a captivating boat parade.

Texas Boating Culture

As our boating journey through the Lone Star State comes to an end, we are left with a profound appreciation for Texas’ boating culture. From the dynamic city life of Austin to the tranquil lakes and rivers across the state, Texas offers a boater’s paradise for enthusiasts of all kinds. Whether it’s exploring the Colorado River or witnessing the mesmerizing bat spectacle, boaters in Texas embrace the state’s captivating charm and unyielding spirit.

So, if you’re looking for an exciting and diverse boating experience, head to Texas, where everything truly is bigger, including the love for boats and the joy they bring to people’s lives.

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