Home Music Music Country Lists

Boat Life: See Photos of Jake Owen on a Wakeboarding Excursion

“Real Life” singer spends an off-day in Nashville boating and “wake-surfing”

Jake Owen

Florida native Jake Owen shares photos of his life on the water in an exclusive gallery.

Joseph Llanes

Jake Owen invited Rolling Stone Country out to Nashville's Commodore Yacht Club to share, like the title of his current single, his "Real Life" on the water, aboard his tricked-out ski boat. The event was put together by Owen's tour sponsor, Discover Boating, a campaign aimed at helping people experience the joy of being out on the water.

With a bold new single that's unlike anything he's released before and a new album on the way, Owen has been working hard in the studio and on the road, joining Kenny Chesney this summer for his massive Big Revival Tour. With that in mind, the Vero Beach, Florida, native was more than ready to unwind, show off his getaway spot on the Cumberland River, tell stories about his childhood on the water and do a little wake surfing. With the sun shining, a cool breeze blowing and a river that was "like butter," Owen revealed a real side of himself most fans never get to see.

Jake Owen

Riding Giants

"I always get home on Mondays after a Sunday show," Owen says. "So my weekend is Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays, and no one is out here on the river like that." He was right: We only saw one fisherman cruise by, which must have been quite a sight from his perspective.

Jake Owen

Joseph Llanes

Captain Owen

One of Owen's favorite spots is the driver's seat of his boat. With a killer sound system, beautiful natural surroundings and relief from the pressures of stardom, he jams out to his latest music, wakeboards (or wake-surfs) or just cruises down the river to clear his head.

Jake Owen

Summer Games

Owen popped right up onto the wake like there was nothing to it, then started carving in and out as the boat chugged along at about 10 miles per hour. He nailed a 360 right off the bat.

Jake Owen

Hot Doggin’

After riding for a half hour, landing some impressive tricks and taking a few spills, Owen called for one more run. "Check this out! I'll give you a real cool shot!" he yelled to photographer Joseph Llanes.

Jake Owen

Boating in Stereo

When Owen's making new music, he loves to listen to it on the boat. There are no distractions and it gives him a feel for how fans might hear the songs. "The only time I ever hear my stuff when I'm making a record is usually in my car, but when people come out on the weekends and listen to music with their friends, a lot of times it's on a boat or outside."

Jake Owen

Surf’s Up

After explaining the difference between wakeboarding and wake surfing (surfing is done at a slower speed just 10 feet behind the boat and riders literally "surf" the boat's wake, rather than hold on to a tow rope), Owen decided to jump in and get cooled off — and maybe do a little showboating.

Jake Owen

Reflection

"Even on the weekends, you might see 15 people out here," says Owen about the tranquil surroundings. "Unlike the lakes [around Nashville] which are all rocks around the edge, here you can just pull your boat right up on the bank. If we kept going a couple of miles down the river there's a sand bar that never moves with a volleyball net, and that's 'Redneck Island.' That place gets fucking crazy."

Jake Owen

River of Dreams

"When I turned 13, my dad surprised my brother and I with a 13-foot Boston Whaler with a 40-horsepower Johnson on the back of it, and took us for a little 15-minute ride to show us how to use it," Owen recalls. "I'll just never forget how freeing it felt to be able to get in that boat after school at 13 years old and just ride around the river anywhere I wanted to go."

Jake Owen

Freedom on the Water

"I can't believe as a kid I wasn't scared to break down or anything," Owen says about getting into the boating lifestyle. "I didn't have a cell phone, nothing. I'm glad I did that as a kid, because now it gives me such a cool feeling to come out and do it with my daughter, Pearl." 

Jake Owen

Me Time

"I used to keep my boat here and I would come off the road, put my shit in the house and in five minutes I could be right here, on the boat," Owen says. "Sometimes I'd just come out here by myself and just ride — go all the way up to Ashland City, there's a restaurant up there, have breakfast or lunch up there by myself, and I'd just ride back just like this, listening to music."

Jake Owen

Dad Duty

"My first memories of being on a boat were when I was a kid before I could drive it myself," Owen says. "I would go with my dad and he'd let me sit in his lap. And I've got photos on my phone now of Pearl doing that with me, so through her I'm realizing now what I felt like as a kid. . . it was awesome."

In This Article: Jake Owen

Show Comments