Feb 12, 2008
Author: Lance Koudele
Who’s that? You mean the guy in the maroon van? That’s A-train, we like to refer to him as Ambassador Adrian Brauenig actually. He runs the unofficial welcome wagon for the sandbar and if you ask me he should be appointed town mayor. One of the most positive, entertaining and fun guys you could be around.
If he isn’t handing out beers he’s reporting to the locals on the wind conditions and offering tourists words of encouragement to get involved with the sport. He’s one of the first guys on the beach and always one of the last to leave.
I’ve even seen him pull ambulance service with his van a couple times too. One guy, a total first timer, was pretty shaken up with a broken leg... all sprawled out on the picnic table waiting for the paramedics to arrive. A-train just sticks his face in his and asks if he’d like a lift to the ER room in a crazy Aussie accent- some mutant hybrid persona of Crocodile Dundee and Billy Idol. Billy Idol isn’t even Australian by the way.
A-train continues to go off in character fully to just entertain the guy and take his mind off the leg... all the way to the hospital. I think he might have talked like that for the rest of the day too.
It’s easy to understand why he’s such a character in the first place, he grew up in Key West Florida. A spot known for colorful characters. I mean his high school mascot was the Fighting Conchs. Have you ever seen a fighting snail? Anyways he started windsurfing back in the day which originally took him to the Gorge and like many people he eventually tried out kiteboarding and was hooked.
The boy has game too, he kites multiple sessions everyday. Always with a smile and stoke to share along the way- no matter the conditions.
He’s an accomplished artist as well and has done some impressive paintings upon found objects, walls, tables, even kiteboards. Combining elements of sun/wind/sand his work reflects the environments in a psychedelic nature. Banana leaves merge with aliens, indigenous patterns mix with waves. His work shows a lot about how he thinks and it’s pretty cool.
It’s not uncommon to see a crowd post session hanging out in the van drinking and chilling. Adrian puts out a positive vibe that just draws people around him.
Next time you’re down at the sandbar... Stop by and introduce yourself. A-train would love welcome you to the Hood River sandbar. No matter who you are or where your from you’ll get VIP treatment the whole way... Ambassador Adrian style.
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