OPA Worlds Day 1: Miss GEICO, Shadow Pirate, Typhoon And More Take Charge
Inside SOTW Mag: Factory Billet’s New Power Paradigm
OPA Fleet Approaching 50 Teams For World Championships
Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Hires Executive Director
Commentary: And Joe Sgro Served The Pizza
All Gain And No Pain In Skater 36 ROS Swap Out For Verado 400Rs
Arrow
Arrow
Slider

Jason Johnson, my partner in speedonthewater.com, and I reached the east end of the Desert Storm Street Party last night just before 7 p.m. The mile-and-a-half stroll up McCulloch Boulevard took the better part of two hours. By any measure, even if we’d crawled there on our hands and knees, that’s not a blistering pace.

Welcome to the 2012 Desert Storm Fair.Welcome to the 2012 Desert Storm Street Party in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.

But there were people to see. Thousands of them. Marine industry hands to shake. Hundreds of them. Babies to kiss. (OK, none of them.) And the simple biomass of all those people, plus a street narrowed by vendor booths and go-fast boats, made moving forward a chore. Click here to see more photos.

But that, as a former chief financial officer friend of mine likes to say, is a high-class problem. The Desert Storm Street Party is a raging success.

Do boat builders sell a lot of new models there? No. A tiny fraction of the people in the street each year are interested in buying a new boat. (But boats reportedly did sell well at the Lake Havasu Boat Show the weekend prior.) Do the aftermarket product vendors move a lot of product? Some, I’m told, but not a ton.

But what every exhibitor does from the moment the show opens at noon to the time it closes at 9 p.m. is answer questions from folks who may never be customers but are captivated by the go-fast boat eye-candy and paraphernalia that lines the street.

Example: While Johnson, was doing an interview with Bruce Bullock of Texas-based Bullock Marine—Bullock has been coming to the event for the last 12 years—I took a seat on the trailer holding Phantom, a 48-foot-long catamaran from Marine Technology, Inc. A woman I would put somewhere in her late seventies to early eighties walked up to me with this huge grin, touched the boat behind me and said, “I can’t imagine what it would be like to be on the water in a boat. It must be like flying—it must be so exciting.”

I told her it was. There were tears in her eyes, I swear, when she walked away.

Let’s face it, folks, the general public isn’t exactly in love with the high-performance powerboat world. We are generally perceived as loud and tacky and wasteful and reckless. So anything that creates a positive impression for us, anything that makes people say things like “It must be like flying—it must be so exciting,” is a very good thing.

To that end, I would argue that the Desert Storm Street Party is more important than today's poker run and tomorrow's top-speed shootout, events the masses can see but have a hard time getting close to. The Street Party gives those outside our world a chance to touch it, maybe even a chance to dream about it.

And that give us Street Cred.

Latest Videos

  • Miss GEICO 2.0 was spotted testing recently.
  • Adrenaline Powerboats ZXR 47 Stringer Infusion Timelapse
  • Adrenaline ZXR 47 Hull Infusion Timelapse
  • Buffalo Drone Skater
  • Boyne Thunder 2017 016
  • Boyne Thunder 2017 Boyne to Charlevoix
  • Test-driving the all-new MTI-V 57 with quad Seven Marine 627 engines.
  • All-new MTI-V 57 Runs in Miami
  • Livorsi Marine Multi-Stepped Trim Tabs
  • Speed On The Water 2016 Year In Review on Press
  • 2016 SBI Key West Offshore World Championships—From The Air
  • Skater 318 No. 2 Runs 122 MPH.
  • Christian 42 3rd Run
  • Christian 42
  • Lake Lanier 388 Skater
  • Skater Powerboats 368 at the 2016 Pirates of Lanier Poker Run in Buford, Ga.
  • DCB M35 with Mercury Racing 1550 Engines
  • Swoop Motorsports Dial 911 Skater test session on Lake Havasu in March 2016.
  • Kenny Mungle and John Tomlinson of TNT Custom Marine tested Mungle's 36-foot Skater in Miami today.
  • Mercury Racing ROS Teaser 3
  • Mercury Racing ROS Teaser 2
  • Mercury Racing ROS Teaser 1
  • Blackwater Boats 36 Sport, 36 Sportfish, 36 TE Models
  • Waves and Wheels Optimus Prime Skater Unveiling
  • Mystic Powerboats M3900 Delivery
  • DCB Performance Boats Lickity Split delivery on Lake Havasu.
  • DCB M35 Lickity Split
  • Pure Platinum 388 Skater Powerboats catamaran testing in Jacksonville in early April.
  • Waves and Wheels Ironman-themed Hustler 377 Talon.
  • QMSF Qatar Cup - Doha 2015
  • Mystic Powerboats C4400 test run
  • Waves and Wheels Cigarette Racing 38 Top Gun update.
  • First Mystic C4400 Water Test
  • Mystic C4400 First Dip
  • Mystic C4400 First Fire
  • AJ Interview Transcoded 01 YouTube 720p
  • Bob Nixon Interview Final YouTube 720p
  • Win Farnsworth Interview - Monster Bash 2014
  • Speedonthewater.com Sunsation Powerboats interview from 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout
  • Mystic 39 Center Console Sea Trial
  • Speedonthewater.com MTI interview from 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout
  • Speedonthewater.com Gone Again interview from 2014 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout
  • Ray Lee of Speedboat Magazine wows the SCOPE Poker Run crowd with his rendition of Johnny B Goode.
  • Chaparral Villian Water Test
  • LOTO, Hall of fame awards
  • Pirates of Lanier Poker Run party
  • Tom Cat Skater Powerboats catamaran
  • Some video highlights from the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in Boyne City, Mich.
  • Start of the 2014 Boyne Thunder Poker Run.
  • 2014 Boyne Thunder Poker Run
  • 11th annual Boyne Thunder Poker Run street party.
  • 2014 Jacksonville River Rally Poker Run
  • Dan Lawrence in Porsche 918 Spyder
  • Outerlimits Kilo Run
  • DCB M35 with Mercury 1100s
  • DCB M35 with twin Mercury 1100s
  • Miss GEICO Mercury 1650 Engines
  • Nor-Tech 390 Sport with Seven Marine 557 engines 2
  • Nor-Tech 390 Sport with Seven Marine 557 engines 1
  • Nor-Tech 390 with Seven Marine 557 engines close-up
  • Broadco Property Restoration Offshore Racing Team Test
  • fpc miamishow14 mangroves
  • fpc miamishow14 mangroves
  • fpc miamishow14 stop1
  • fpc miamishow14 start
  • fpc miamishow14 mti42s
  • Sunsation Boats 29 CCX
  • 43 Outerlimits
  • Formula Boats 353 FAS3Tech with first set of Ilmor Marine 570 engines.
  • Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Panic Mouse
  • Lake of the Ozarks 2013 SuperCatFest
  • Texas Outlaw Challenge 2013 Party
  • Texas Outlaw Challenge 2013 MTI Catamarans
  • KeyWest PokerRun13 NorTech DJ
  • Big Cat Poker Run 2013 Baehr 39 Cigarette

Latest Videos

Speed on the Water