Friday June 13, 1997
Ambush is born in a small 1,200 square foot shop in Kennesaw, GA.
Ambush is involved it its first trade show; The Atlanta Boat Show
Ambush puts on its first wakeboard demo; The Double Up Experience with Greg Nelson. About 20 people show up.
Ambush throws its first wakeboard contest. Thanks, Chris Denney!
Ambush puts on its first skateboard demo with Este Clothing and Charlie Wilkins.
Ambush makes its first expansion a few doors down the strip from the original location. The new storefront measures 3,500 square feet.
Ambush partners with Liquid Force to make its first appearance at the Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament. This is the only Masters Tournament that Ambush attends without something getting broken.
Friday, July 13, 1999
Ambush opens its second location in Gwinnett County. The new shop features a marquee and almost 5,700 square feet.
Ambush tears down one wall in its flagship Kennesaw shop and expands into the adjacent store, growing the shop to 5,500 square feet.
Ambush employees go on the first shop surf trip and the store catches fire while they are gone…literally!
Ambush makes its first attempt at putting a pro shop in a skatepark at Rampage in Duluth, GA. Within a year Ambush is over it and decides that skateparks are not their thing.
Ambush takes its first shop snowboard trip with many more to follow. Nothing burns down this time.
Ambush releases its first skate team video titled Bloody Chicken Boots. The film by Ryan Taylor and Brandon Gasaway gives the world its first glimpse into the Ambush realm.
Ambush launches BuyWake.com, an online hardcore wakeboard shop. The water sports industry doesn’t know what they ever did to deserve that.
Ambush plays host to the Enjoi Skateboards team. The Enjoi team puts on a demo on terrifyingly big, homemade ramps in front of nearly 1,000 frantic fans. Ambush was not prepared for that kind of crowd and the shop is almost destroyed by the mob.
Ambush puts on its first skateboard contest dubbed the Backyard Skate Contest in the parking lot of the Gwinnett Ambush. 68 skaters enter.
Ambush puts on its first ever Game of S.K.A.T.E. with a $300 cash prize. Phil Kent takes home the dough.
Ambush and BuyWake.com throw a party at the Masters Water Ski and Wakeboard Tournament (the fourth party at the Masters in as many years). Party goers almost completely destroy Callaway Gardens. Ambush is banned from throwing any more parties at the Masters.
June 2003 – August 2003
Ambush and BuyWake put on their first ever wakeboard contest series. The series consists of three stops, all of which go Richter. The INT decides that they don’t want to compete and eliminate their contest series in Georgia.
Ambush decides to make its life easier and consolidates both of its strip mall locations into one giant, free-standing building. Sales immediately go through the roof and suddenly Ambush management actually has time to skateboard, snowboard, and wakeboard again.
Ambush throws their second Game of S.K.A.T.E. Nick Paolucci becomes the youngest ever to win the game and pockets $250 in cash. Nick’s mom says, “I’ll take that for now.”
The Emerica skateboard team visits Ambush. Throughout the course of the night over 1,000 people show up. The team signs posters, cameras, shoes and the like for over five hours.
Carpal tunnel syndrome…ouch!
Ambush puts on their third Game of S.K.A.T.E. The contest draws 181 skateboarders from all around metro Atlanta. Cody Sosbee wins.
Ambush and BuyWake.com put on the second biggest wakeboard contest series in the history of the sport (behind the Pro Tour) and call it the BYOB Wakeboard Series. The series consists of five tour stops, including a nighttime slider contest with a multi-thousand dollar purse. Alliance Wakeboard Magazine thanks Ambush and BuyWake.com for finally giving them something to write about.
The Ambush skate team puts on its first demo in the sweltering confines of Frontside Skatepark. Josh Butler, Dustin Hart, JJ Patterson, Keel Turner, and Frank Lee are propelled into the local spotlight as they kill the Frontside setup. Nearly 500 kids cram into the park for the show.
Ambush and BuyWake.com team up to bring the Atlanta wakeboard community together with the Ambush/BuyWake Wake Mix. 80 wakeboarders form around the metro Atlanta area swap rides on twenty different boats. New friendships are born and new riding spots discovered during the event.
Ambush and BuyWake change the face of competitive wakeboarding again with the first ever Anti-Invert Challenge. In this contest, wakeboarders are handicapped by taking away their ability to go upside down. Style, amplitude, toeside maneuvers, and switch tricks are once again essential in wakeboarding.
Building on the merits of BuyWake.com, Ambush launches BuySnow.com and BuySkateShoes.com. BuySnow.com, a soulful snowboard ecommerce site, and BuySkateShoes.com, an online skate shoe boutique, give internet shoppers the complete Ambush experience.
The Zoo York skateboard team pays Ambush a visit and totally annihilates the Ambush street course. Donny Barley, Zered Bassett, Kevin Taylor, Kenny Hughes, and Ambush team rider JJ Patterson serve it up well into the evening.
Ambush releases its first skate team video in almost 7 years. Jon Imielinski’s video, titled The Ambush Video, sells 500 copies nearly overnight. Solid parts by Ryan Cooper and Josh Butler propel them into the local spotlight.
Ambush teams up with Kennesaw State University to throw the coldest wakeboard contest in Georgia history. The event, dubbed the Ambush Polar Bear Wakeboard Contest, is held in 40 degree air temperatures with the water temps hovering around 48 degrees. 82 nutcases enter the competition with one psychopath braving the conditions in only a pair of boardshorts. Ambush team rider Chase Andrews takes top honors.
The Pro Wakeboard Tour comes to Atlanta for the first time in 8 years. Ambush plays host to the wakeboarding world with two nights of raging parties, illicit gambling, and drums of vodka and Rip It. Fuel TV films a segment inside Ambush as dozens of the world’s top pros converge on Atlanta.
Ambush hosts the Liquid Force Slide Show. Keith Lyman, Gregg Necrasson, Kevin Henshaw, Colin Harrington, and Shawn Watson spend the better part of two days converting the Ambush parking lot into a slider park, complete with take off and landing pools, flat bars, and kinked rails. When the show begins, some riders get wrecked, others wreck s#!t. Urban wakeboarding begins to gain popularity in Atlanta.
The Flip Feast Tour rolls through Ambush with a vengeance. Bob Burnquist, Geoff Rowley, Arto Saari, Rune Glifberg, Mark Appleyard, Rodrigo TX, Lance Mountain, and Shane Cross (R.I.P.) sign autographs for over five hours. An estimated 1,000 skaters show up for the event, making it the largest autograph signing in skateboarding history. Fuel TV films the signing for a television segment, giving Ambush nationwide recognition as one of the world’s premier skateboard shops.
Friday, April 13th 2007
Ambush commemorates its 10-year anniversary with one of the most inventive skateboard contests in skateboard shop history. The Friday the 13th Freakshow employed a variety of obstacles (including modified automobiles equipped with handrails) and ramps to create a street course where the only option was to shred. WSB-TV, Marietta Daily Journal, and a few other news outlets came out to cover the event. Sturgil Horn wins.
June 13, 2007
Ambush celebrates its 10-year anniversary. The milestone thrusts Ambush into Atlanta skateboarding history by becoming second longest reigning skateboard shop in the metro area. To honor the achievement, Ambush asks its customers to design their 10th anniversary skateboard graphic. Juan Alcantar’s art is chosen.
Jamie Thomas, Chris Cole, John Rattray, along with nearly the entire Zero and Mystery skateboard teams pay a visit to Ambush. The teams sign autographs for over 500 skaters. Jamie Thomas forgets a Tupperware full of cookies near his chair, which get devoured by a few lucky fans.
The Element team makes its way down the East Coast and drops by Ambush for the night. Chad Muska, Nyjah Huston, and the Element crew chill with Kennesaw mayor Leonard Church in support of the town’s dreams of opening a public skatepark. Over 800 kids turn out to get their Element gear signed and show support for the building of a public skatepark in Kennesaw.
Ambush hosts its ninth and largest Game of S.K.A.T.E. The turnout is incredible with over 170 skaters participating in the contest. Cody Sosebee wins AGAIN!!! Geez…let someone else have a chance, homie.
Ambush puts on the 10th installment of the Ambush Game of S.K.A.T.E. The longevity of the event, combined with the increasing excitement and support of the competition, make it one of the most successful contest series in Georgia history.
Just when you thought the folks at Ambush have run out of ideas, they throw one of the most unique wakeboard contests ever. The Ambush Doubles Contest consists of two wakeboarders riding doubles behind the boat and competing as a team. The event was supposed to be judged based on technical skill and how well the teams rode together. Instead…we got a fully flared costume party. Teams entered dressed up as Top Gun pilots, Chippendales dancers, and even ZZ Top. The “Top Guns” of the day were Brandon Lee and Daniel Walden.
Red Bull builds the Red Bull Board Room inside Ambush Board Co. The Board Room becomes a fully interactive chill spot for Ambush customers and employees to relax, watch videos, play videos games, and recharge with a Red Bull or two.
TV star and skateboard legend Rob Dyrdek pays a visit to Ambush. Over 1,000 eager fans pack the parking lot. Rob Dyrdek snaps photos and signs autographs for six straight hours.
Ambush starts the School of Wake, an on-water wakeboard instructional program aimed at molding Atlanta wakeboarders into world-class rippers. The School of Wake is headed by wakeboard coach and Ambush team rider Brandon Lee and boat driver extraordinate Craig Reidy.
Ambush has a Deathwish…literally. Deathwish, Baker, and Shake Junt come together for the tour to end all tours. Andrew Reynolds, Erik Ellington, Jim Greco, Antwuan Dixon, Bryan Herman, and crew entertain the crowd with typical Deathwish shenanigans. The cops are called multiple times (even with security on hand) and Antwuan makes a drunk woman really, really angry.
Ambush hosts its 13th and Game of S.K.A.T.E. Nearly 200 competitors participate in the largest Game of S.K.A.T.E. to date. Rumors fly about Game of S.K.A.T.E. 13 being the last of the ultra popular contest series.
Ambush launches the Wake Trade-In promotion. Wakeboarders are able to trade in their old boards for credit towards a new one. Competitors attempt to knock off the program immediately.
Afterglow, Ambush’s third skate team video, premieres. S.E.C./Ambush filmer Max Yoder makes his most revered video to date. Afterglow makes its chaotic debut at a packed banquet room inside U.S. Play. Jordan Smith gets kicked out, but sports a disguise and gets back in to rock the house even more. S.E.C. and Ambush once again prove to be a vile combo.
Ronix supporters are rewarded for their purchases by being entered into a drawing for a day on the lake with Danny Harf. Four lucky winners learn wakeboarding tips, enjoy face time, and trade rides with Danny.
Ambush teams up with Vans to create some of the most uniquely colored footwear and apparel. The Vans Tie-Dye Day attracts dyers from all over Atlanta to customize their Vans shoes and clothing. Trippy.
AmbushBoardCo.com shifts from an online brochure-type site to a global, full service board sports shopping experience. The new AmbushBoardCo.com is a dramatic shift in the way Ambush services their customers online. The new site allows customers to shop, preview merchandise before they drop by the store, and keep in touch with all the Ambush goings on.
The in-store skate section gets a total remodel. The board wall is modified to create a more personal experience, the floors are changed from carpet to stained concrete, and Sector 9, Volcom, LRG, Nike, Vans, and RVCA get their own customized displays.
Ambush skate team rider Josh Butler is shot in the abdomen during a robbery. He makes a full recovery, but his medical bills are devastating. Ambush launches a fundraising campaign to help him make a dent in his expenses. The Josh Butler Medical Fund is established to accept donations and Josh Butler benefit skateboards are produced with all proceeds going to the fund.
Ambush updates the main counter system and the flooring on the wake/snow/surf side of the store. The renovations give the space a cleaner vibe and a more modern feel. Shoppers dig the new digs.
Progressive Skatepark and Ambush Board Co. team up to host the Josh Butler Benefit Jam. The event raises $3,500 for the Josh Butler Medical Fund, providing much needed assistance to Josh and his family.
Stormy, Charlie, and Mitch kidnap 8 willing skateboarders and take them on a daylong tour of the metro Atlanta skateparks. The crew hits Brook Run and gets rained out before they arrive at Bay Creek. Luckily, the crew at Progressive opened up the park for some afternoon shredding.
The Ambig team celebrates Go Skateboarding Day with Ambush. Matt Bennett, Sean Conover, and Clint Walker grill hot dogs, sign autographs, hand out free goodies, and skate with the kids.
[re]aWAKEning, Ambush’s first wakeboard contest in three years goes off. The contest is pulled by the Ambush x Byerly Edition Super Air Nautique 210. Old legends like Britt Rothove and Paul Urbanowski do well. But, the new crew from Lake Jackson kills it and announces their takeover of the ATL wake scene. Trip Brown wins the Open division.
The Ambush Premium Apparel line debuts for Back to School. The line goes beyond T-shirts into the realm of henleys, knits, tank tops, hoodies, sweaters, sunglasses, beanies, and hats.
In a further effort to ease the financial burden facing Josh Butler, Ambush hosts the Josh Butler Benefit Game of S.K.A.T.E. 195 skaters participate raising over $2,000 for the Josh Butler Medical Fund. Ambush team rider Dustin Hart (R.I.P) wins the event.
The storefront continues to evolve with an entirely new wakeboard department. Slingshot, Ronix, Hyperlite, and Liquid Force all get brand new sections. And…Ambush adds wakesurfer and SUP displays to the mix, as well. Other wakeboard retailers across the country scramble to modify their departments to keep up.
The 24-Hour Video Challenge (actually…60 hours due to weather) pits 13 of Atlanta’s gnarliest skater/filmer crews against one another in a video battle royale. The crews film over a 60 hour period and amass tons of sick footage. Then, have 48 hours to edit it all together. The entries are premiered at the shop. RNDB barely edges out Surya for the victory.
Ambush hosts its 20th Game of S.K.A.T.E. The legendary event draws close to 200 competitors, making it one of the longest running and most successful grassroots skateboard contests in history. Look out Tampa.
Ryan Sheckler, Torey Pudwill, and the Ambush Skate Team launch the grand opening of the Kennesaw Skatepark at Swift-Cantrell. Over 2,000 people come out to celebrate the park’s maiden skate voyage. The 40,000 square foot, Street League-inspired park becomes a destination for skateboarders across the Southeast.
Red Bull and Ambush team up to throw the first ever mini ramp contest in the Ambush parking lot. The event, dubbed the Mini Riot, pits skateboarders head-to-head in timed heats on Red Bull’s perfectly crafted mini ramp. Gage Gum takes home the $500 1st place purse.
March Radness takes over the Kennesaw Skatepark. Ambush puts on the first-ever contest at the new park. Over 120 skaters compete to be the first to win a contest at the brand new, Street League-inspired concrete dreamland. Jacob Hayes wins the street tournament and Gage Gum wins the pool contest. Tony Alva rolls through in the Vans tour bus and skates the park incognito without anyone noticing.
Slingshot x Shredtown x Ambush Board Co. collab to create a super limited Slingshot wakeboard. The Ambush Shredtown board boasts custom graphics that depict the adventures of life on the road Shredtown style. To celebrate the collaboration, Ambush ships one of the limited edition boards around the country to a new wakeboarder every week. Dozens get to enjoy the ride.April 2014
The inaugural Ambush Wake Classic goes down on Lake Acworth. Wakesurfers take over the event by making it the largest and most fun division of the contest. Taylor Van Haastrecht wins the Open Division and a cool $500.
adidas and The Boardr host the Skate Copa Southeastern Regional Qualifier at the new Kennesaw Skatepark. Skate shops from all over the Southeast battle for a trip to The Berrics.
Ambush places 3rd out of 17 shops in the prelims, but is eventually eliminated in the semifinals by event runner-up Plus Skateshop. Skatepark of Tampa wins the Skate Copa and qualifies for the finals in Los Angeles.
Ambush launches Skateboard Summer Camp, a program designed to nurture the next generation of skateboarders. Skaters as young as 6 years old can sign up for the week-long camp. The camp focuses on teaching skateboarding basics, park etiquette, and skateboard culture. A new era of skateboarder is raised on the lessons of instructors Wes Lembo, Skyler Clark, and John Stone.
Building on the popularity of wakesurfing, Ambush teams up with Nautique to host the G-Series Wakesurf Contest. The event is pulled entirely behind the new Nautique G21. The wakes make Lake Arrowhead look like a mini Kirra Point. Wakesurfers from 6 years old to 50+ participate in the competition, making it the largest age spread in Ambush contest history.
Legendary Atlanta tattoo artist and longtime Ambush supporter, Craig Foster, appears on Spike TV’s Inkmaster. Craig, the artist that created Snactoos and helped put Skinwerks on the map, quickly becomes a viewer favorite. Once he is done filming for the show, he launches his Ambush x Snactoos collab skate deck and T-shirt series. Tattoo artists and skateboarders are once again in symbiotic harmony.
Harley Clifford, BuyWake.com team rider and the consensus best wakeboarder in the world, takes time out of his busy schedule to spend a day on the lake with 7 of his biggest local fans. The Body Glove-supported event creates a once-in-a-lifetime experience for those fans by bringing them in the boat with Harley and giving them the opportunity to ride with him. One wakeboarder gets to take a doubles set with the man himself.
Two of the three women in the Ambush founding family survive breast cancer. As a gracious gesture in gratitude for their positive outcomes, Ambush Gives Back. The Ambush Gives Back event generates over $6,500 for Boarding for Breast Cancer.
The meteoric rise of wake team rider Alex Graydon begins with Ala-Cruzin, an Alabama inspired look into his life. The video by Cole Vanthof illustrates the creativity in Alex’s riding and makes him a staple in magazines from here on out.
Skateboarding and art have always been simpatico. Ambush and RAW Artists team up to create a 3 board art series featuring work from Toby Johnson, Kayla Ferraro, and Ansley Sproull.