There were some groundbreaking tricks on the Pro Wakeboard Tour during Stop 1 in Acworth, Georgia. Alli did a trick breakdown after Harley Clifford sealed the deal with his bonus trick on the way in, a switch KGB 540 and Rusty Malinoski won Best Trick in the double-up contest with a switch toeside 1080.
Harley Clifford Sealed the Deal With Bonus Trick
New for 2010 in Acworth, Georgia, the finalists got awarded a bonus trick that would be scored on the way into the dock after their final pass. This replaced their usual double up, but the riders also had a double up-specific contest later that evening.
Photos: Spencer Smith
Harley doesn't even need a double up to throw the hardest moves in the sport and he proved that by stomping a switch handle-pass KGB 540 for his bonus trick. Before that, Harley had already landed three different mobe 5's in his run (nose grab crow 5, front mobe 5 to flats and whirly 5).
The switch KGB 540 is a very technical move, combining a switch heelside back roll and a backside 540 degree-spin (one and a half revolutions). It was impressive that Harley Clifford did it switch, because he had also pulled a regular-stance tail grab roll to blind in his run, which is the base move of the KGB.
This was the first time a handle pass KGB 5 has been landed in a pro contest. Shaun Murray has landed several wrapped KGB 5's in the past, but no one has ever attempted the handle pass version in this pressure-cooked contest arena. This move sealed the deal for Harley to take first place in the event.
Rusty Malinoski Won Best Trick With Switch Toeside 1080
It's only the second time a 1080 has been landed in a Pro Tour event, but both were landed by the same rider – two Pro Tour stops in a row. Rusty Malinoski stuck the first in Reno, Nevada during the 2009 Tour finale, and the second went down in the double up contest at the first event of 2010 in Acworth, Georgia.
“I was just in the zone. I felt so good that day.” -Rusty Malinoski
Photos: Spencer Smith
"I just knew it was gonna go down," Rusty said. But how was he so sure he could just go out and land the hardest trick he's ever done? "I was just in the zone. I felt so good that day. Plus I was a little pissed off that I knew I got second in the finals, so that gave me a little extra push."
Amazingly, Rusty stomped it on his first attempt – totally clean. "I didn't know that I'd land the first one, but I knew I'd get one of the two." The thousands of fans on shore and the party-boat chain of over 250 boats completely blew up with cheers. "I never felt like I was part of such a big show," Rusty added. "It was insane. After I hit shore and did the live interview I just got swarmed. People asking for autographs, photos… just totally swarmed."