Winning this year’s Wakeoff Advanced Division was especially sweet for Michael Guido because it was on his home lake.
Guido grew up Ripplewood Drive near the Lake Forest Yacht Club and started wakeboarding with two of his three siblings about five years ago. He’s the youngest of the four children of Russell Guido and Sandra Quaranta-Guido.
While brother Anthony and sister Alexandra no longer wakeboard, they accompany Michael on most training rides. Anthony drives the boat and “Alexandra’s my cheerleader,” Guido said.
His brother and sister encouraged Michael to learn new skills and increase the difficulty, he said. That will continue as he moves toward the professional division for next year’s competition.
Guido played baseball, soccer, and basketball in high school but never stood out, he admitted. “I’m not really fond of team sports,” he noted. “Everybody’s different.
“I was never the best at anything, I really found myself with wakeboarding,” he said.
He rode against 13 others in the advanced division in July. Asked what won the division for him, he said “standing up.”
Competitors are allowed three falls in a run, and everyone else in the group fell at least once, he said. He said the win was very special because it was at Lake Forest.
Although Lake Hopatcong is home, Guido went to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton and plans on returning to Deerfield Beach, to teach wakeboarding over the winter.
While in college, he started Tidal Apparel Company.
“Why should I buy board shorts for $80 when I can make them for $17.90?” he asked. Now he sells them for $60.
He credits friends and family support for the success of this burgeoning endeavor as well.
Guido designs the board shorts, bikinis, t-shirts, long-sleeved windbreakers and the trendy cut-off hoodies which all bear the distinctive palm tree logo. Anthony found the screen printers and has a half interest in Tidal Apparel.
The swimwear is made in China, which has taught Guido a lot about staying up all night because of the time difference. All other apparel is produced domestically.
“I would like this to be my full-time business, but I haven’t put the work into it yet,” he said. He just graduated from college in May, so he hasn’t had a lot of time.
Guido’s degree is in finance, but three internships told him he didn’t want a 9 – 5 office job.
“I like working with my hands and being active,” he said.
Guido has some local outlets for the clothing and will approach shops when he returns to Florida. Last winter he got turned down for lack of inventory, but he’s going back with more stock.
He also believes some of his wakeboard students will become brand ambassadors.
His website is tidalapparelco.com.