Nestled between central Florida and the west coast beach town of Tampa, resides 15 acres of seemingly unusable low lying swamp land of Polk County. In 2013, Kevin Henshaw took it upon himself to create the most influential cable park within the wakeboarding industry, ‘Area 52’. His hard work and dedication spawned some of the most progressive video parts to ever be released in wakeboarding. For a few short years it became the stomping ground for the world’s best riders and videographers alike.
Nearing the end of 2016, cinematographer Taylor Hanley and riders Dylan Miller, Kevin Henshaw, Mark Rugala, Keaton Roper, and Ben Leclair, set out to create one of the first night pieces to date. Weeks were spent under the lights, riding and filming in some of the most frigid fall temperatures of the year caused by an unusual cold front.
Nearing completion of the night piece, Ben Leclair went out filming on the morning of November 25, 2016 working on a personal project when suddenly a trick went wrong rendering him unconscious, and he was airlifted to a nearby trauma centre. Ben suffered a severe spinal injury resulting in several parts of his body paralyzed.
Today Ben is continuing to fight against the diagnosis of many doctors and specialists with rigorous physical therapy. Everyday for Ben is an uphill battle, one that he is willing to fight. He has already proven several specialists wrong by regaining strength in previously immobile muscles and nerves. It is truly inspirational to see him train and continue to push through the unknown with his extensive physical therapy.
Please help support Ben’s recovery by donating to his Road2Recovery fund linked below.
Kevin Henshaw, Dylan Miller, Mark Rugala, Keaton Roper, & Ben Leclair