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Commentary: Love The Enthusiasm, The Phones Not So Much

Well done performance boaters; it’s obvious 2022 was an incredibly fun year based on the reactions I’ve noticed while combing through thousands of images during production of the Speed On The Water 2022 Year In Review print magazine, which is now available for pre-order. From Arizona’s Lake Havasu to Lake Champlain on the border of New York and Vermont—and everywhere in between, especially Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri—the enthusiasm expressed by go-fast-boat crews across the country is remarkable. That said, sometimes the excitement is a little too much, turning a great picture into a “doesn’t-make-the-cut” photograph.

Speedonthewater.com chief photographer Pete Boden snagged a great picture of this happy group in an Outerlimits V-bottom during the Four Horsemen Poker Run in Wisconsin in June. Photos by Pete Boden/Shoot 2 Thrill Pix

Let me be clear, I love the noticeable joy in the terrific images captured by Pete Boden, Jeff Helmkamp, Tom Leigh and so many others who allow us to compile the visually stimulating, coffee-table-style magazine. I’d much rather see a bunch of people with huge smiles, thumbs up, arms in the air, you name it, than a group of deadpans staring ahead like they’re having no fun at all. We’ve all seen those too-cool-for-school cats before.

But I do have some advice: stay cool and don’t get carried away, and you won’t ruin the picture being taken from the helicopter above. I get it, that helicopter is exciting. It makes you want to look; it makes you want to stick your tongue out or flash the “rock on” hand signal—or Hook ’em Horns for you Texas fans—and, for many of you, it makes you want to pull out your cellphone camera. Please stop.

For the love of the photographers, for the love of the magazine art directors and for the love of the person’s boat you are riding in, please keep the phone in your pocket when there are people trying to capture a nice running shot during an event or a scheduled photo shoot. I mean what good is your shaky video of a helicopter zeroing in on and circling the boat in the first place?

Almost everyone in this Sunsation 40 CCX knew to play it cool with the photography helicopter hovering above.

Sorry, I know it’s not the end of the world and I’m certainly not trying to pick on anyone—but yes that’s my business partner, Matt Trulio, in the Sunsation Powerboats 40 CCX above snagging a video or a photo, which I assume were relatively useless or he would have shared them with me, of Boden trailing the center console at Sunsation’s 40th Anniversary Sun Run in August on Michigan’s Lake St. Clair. I couldn’t help but use Trulio as an example because, as you see, even the most experienced go-fast-boat passengers can get caught up in the moment.

So try to keep those cellphones down, at least for a few seconds of the photo shoot. Actually, it doesn’t really matter, don’t let me rain on your parade, just as long as you keep the enthusiasm high heading into the 2023 boating season. But before then, be sure to order your 2022 Year In Review magazine to get it straight from the printer next month.

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