I clearly remember my introduction to Justin Wagner, the founder of Waves and Wheels in Osage Beach, Mo. It was a humid late-August day in 2006 and Tom Newby—the legendary late Powerboat magazine photographer—and I were standing at the docks of Shooters 21 just dripping sweat while capturing boat detail shots as well as crew interviews and pictures for the monthly publication.
Wagner was parked at the famous waterside location that hosted the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout through 2007 in his white 31-foot American Offshore catamaran that had an audio system that turned heads before it was even turned on. He found Newby and me, introduced himself and proceeded to show us the equipment in his boat from the amps to the Kinetik batteries he was using at the time for his systems.
While Waves and Wheels was just starting to gain recognition around the lake, it was apparent that Wagner was forward-thinking and driven to see his business succeed on a level beyond the lake. Now there’s no way I could predict that you’d see Waves and Wheels entertainment systems featured on several of the most high-profile boats at the 2015 Miami International Boat Show almost 10 years later—and I’m guessing that wasn’t on Wagner’s list of goals back in 2006—but I can’t say I’m surprised.