Blake Hess has 25 years of experience as an athlete, founder, and innovator in the action sports industry. While attending the University of Illinois, Blake traveled the world as a professional water skier and wakeboarder. After settling down in Texas, he worked as an art director for a local advertising agency. It did not take long before Blake began missing the excitement of watersports. Blending his business acumen, advertising experience, and his love of watersports, Blake co-founded Texas Ski Ranch (TSR) in 2000. TSR is an action sports complex that includes a wake park, skate park, Burton LTR snowboard park, trampoline park and much more. During this time Blake was recognized by the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA) for numerous awards including: the nations best boat dealership (Wake Zone), best wake park (TSR), best retail shop (Board Shop) and most importantly the Larry Meddock Award, given to an individual who has gone above and beyond to promote the towed water sports industry.
Fifteen years later, NLand chose Austin as its first location for the world’s largest inland surf lagoon. Blake joined NLand in August of 2016, two months prior to opening to the public. About a year later Blake was named NLand’s General Manager and oversaw operations, facilities, and marketing for all aspects of the park. In December of 2018 the WSL purchased the Austin site and Blake was retained as the property’s General Manager. With lots of improvements underway we are all excited to see the Kelly Slater wave technology in Texas!
Blake has an abundance of experience in action sports ranging from marketing, to creating and managing parks, to organizing and judging world competitions for the World Wake Association (WWA). The lessons learned from these opportunities, make Blake one of the most experienced individuals in the world of action sports theme parks.