Somehow we managed to stave off the rain in Acworth, GA for the first stop of the 2013 Mastercraft Pro Wake Tour. Thousands of fans looked on as some of the biggest names in wakeboarding came together for an impressive weekend of riding. It came as no surprise to see Phil Soven in the number one podium spot after laying down two very solid runs in the men's pro finals. Soven fought hard to beat out the incumbent PWT champ Harley Clifford, Shota Tezuka, and wakeboard powerhouse Rusty Malinosky.
In the Women's competition, veteran rider Dallas Friday was barely edged out by Amber Wing for the win. But the biggest highlight of my day was the epic Mute Mobe that was laid out by none other than Aaron Rathy to win the big air competition. Still, with four stops left in the tour it could be anyone's game.
The final top three standings are listed below for each division:
- Phil Soven 90.00
- Shota Tezuka 87.50
- Harley Clifford 86.00
Orlando has been the heartbeat of watersports for years. Nearly every professional in the industry has left a mark on the city and it is constantly on the cusp of innovation.
No matter what discipline you prefer, there is something for everyone. Cable parks for wakeboarders, private lakes for boat riding, and competition ski lakes for serious slalom skiers. And don't let the professional influence intimidate you.
Riders of all abilities come to Orlando to improve their game and associate with fellow riders to stay motivated. So whether you're just learning to land 360's or you're on the verge of breaking a world record, you can improve and progress in Orlando. At the very least, visiting a city with such a strong watersports influence will have a big impact on how you view the sport.
I am curious to know how many Orlando locals we have lurking around here. So if you're representing O-Town then give us a shout out in the comments.
As I have been trudging through boat after boat looking for 2013's best new wake makers, I have noticed that every company puts out a model that is a true crowd pleaser. It's the boat that keeps everyone happy and comes at a price tag that won't break the bank.
Most of all, these boats are more easily attained by the masses. Making them extremely versatile and practical.
Listed below are my top five picks for 2013's crowd pleasers.
- 2013 Centurion Elite V C4
- 2013 Mastercraft X-2
- 2013 Sport Nautique 200
- 2013 Pavati AX Aluminum
- 2013 Axis A20
Then, once you have docked your new 2013 boat, take a peak at this surefire method of weighting your boat for the perfect wake. And hey, don't forget to shout out what your favorite boats are for this year.
Although the new year technically started on January 1st, my year really doesn't kick off until April 1st. That marks the month when the water is finally warm enough to drop the boat in and finally get back in the water. 2013 is already shaping up to be a landmark year for watersports. There are dozens of new boat innovations hitting the market, crossover boards which incorporate stand up paddleboarding with wakesurfing, and four major contests to look forward to.
At the top of my list of plans for this year is to test as many boards, skis and boats as possible and do some wake based traveling. I have been riding in the Smoky Mountains for years and I'm ready to branch out and hit the water in places like Charleston, Orlando, and definitely Lake Powell. But I'm most curious to here what you ladies and gents in the About.com community are planning for this season.
Maybe your going to sell your boat, buy a new one, learn how to 180, travel to some exotic locales? Whatever the case, we want to hear about it. Let us know in the comments what's on your agenda in 2013.
As we move right into the month of March, I find myself growing increasingly restless to get back in the water. It always seems like winter moves by so slowly. So I am hoping that mother nature will play nice and start raising the temperature by the end of the month.
I will say though, that all of this time out of the water has had me thinking a lot about what it was like for me when I first started wakeboarding. I remember riding my Neptune twin tip board behind a 17 ft Glastron outboard, and as a beginner I'll say - it was tough to be consistent. It was a total guessing game as to whether I would be able to stand up, and if the boat would even have the power to pull me up (those outboard motors are very finicky). But now, thankfully, boards and boats are much better and it's much easier to get consistent riding as a beginner.
So in honor of March being the first month of Spring, I have declared it to be the month of Wakeboard madness -- I know it's not the most clever of titles. But nonetheless, I have put together a few instructional items for all you folks who haven't quite jumped over to that dark side of watersports we call wakeboarding. I have everything from, how to pick the right wakeboard, learning how to stand up, learning to jump, basic grabs, and even a historical wakeboard timeline. I anticipate that the timeline will be an ongoing chronology of the sport so please feel free to contribute what you can.
So if it's warm enough where you live -- make March the month of wake.
In Portuguese, there is a word that has no direct English counterpart. The word is saudade (saw-dow-jee) and, at the risk of oversimplifying its definition, it is basically an intense form of nostalgia where you yearn or ache for something from the past. And while it may sound a little dramatic, I'm sure that we are all feeling a little saudade for warm summer days behind the boat.
So rather than dwell in agony, let's take a few moments to talk about our own personal highlights from the 2012 watersports season. I have started a show and tell section for 2012 where you can upload your favorite photos from this past year and tell us a little about how your season went.
The picture above is provided to us by fellow About.com reader, Susan Baker on Lake Shasta. She summed this photo up perfectly when she said, "I live for being airborne."
I absolutely love walking into the pro shop after the latest gear has arrived. Each year manufacturers consistently up their game to bring newer and better innovations to watersports, and if I had my way I would personally demo every single piece on the market. Perhaps this year I may get to do just that, but in the meantime I wanted to share some of my favorite pieces of equipment for 2013. I have chosen two for each category.
These choices are just the surface of what 2013 will have to offer, and I'm eagerly looking forward to seeing what else the industry has in store for us. But I'm even more interested in knowing what you are most looking forward to. Tell us what your top prospects are for 2013 in the comments section.
Every year when the inboard boat manufacturers roll out their new lineup, I'm always most excited to check out the flagship models. They are easy to spot because they are usually large, hold 14 or more people, completely decked out, and typically cost the same as a small single family home.
It's hard to deny the illustrious lure of these completely amazing boat models, because they represent the current progression of boat research and development. They are living testaments to how far boat manufacturers can push the limits of a tow boat and they still keep getting better and better.
The 2013 flagships are shaping up to be nothing short of amazing. Innovations like Tige's ConvexVX hull attachment and Malibu's SurfGate are turning great boats into legendary surfing machines. And most manufacturers are now integrating touchscreen LCD screens and tower mounted cameras to make it easy for riders to quickly review their techniques and make faster improvement.
It's going to be a great year for boats and listed below are my favorite flagship models for the upcoming season.
- The 2013 Centurion Enzo SV244
- The 2013 Mastercraft X-Star
- The 2013 Malibu Wakesetter 24 MXZ
- The 2013 Tige Rz4
- The 2013 Super Air Nautique G25
- The 2013 Axis A22
- The 2013 All Electric Epic 232 SE
- The 2013 Supra Launch 242
Photo © Tige Boats
What kind of boat do you prefer to ride behind? Let us know in the poll below: