Putting a value on grassroots riding cannot be underestimated in wakeboarding. They are your every day riders who push the scene hard in their own regions. Today's first day of the Nationals proved that, as a diverse field of amateur riders shredded the course all day long. There are a lot of riders from all over the nation who can totally rip!
The Mens 1 (19-24 yrs. old) division was super impressive, but each division had it's own level of entertainment for sure. Definitely stay tuned for the Amateur finals on Thursday and then watch out for a hungry pack of pro wakeskaters to hit the scene Friday. Then all the Pro Men Wakeboarders will storm into town and the parties will begin! All kinds of crazy moves have been going down back in Orlando, some publicly claimed, some under wraps... so we are all fired up to see some top notch riding, possibly even the first 1080 in competition. Here is a look at what we saw today.
Masters division veteran Billy Garcia made the trek up to Oklahoma in an RV from his homeland, Austin, Texas. Garcia has been rocking the Texas scene for years and is a staple in the sport's history there.
Numerous-time National and World Champion Jeff Barton rocked the Masters division, busting a huge 180 roll to start off his second pass. At 30-something years old, JB is in top notch shape and just recently had the best session of his life back home in New Jersey.
The Noise Of The North, Dano The Mano alongside his partner in crime, the N-I-C, Nick Weinacker. These two have quite a comedy show going on the King Of Wake series and keep the venue rocking all day long.
Mike VanPatton busts a huge melon front flip during his second pass in the Masters semifinal. Scoring 66.44, VanPatton took first place in his heat and will be someone to watch out for in the finals Thursday.
Jason Nagle pulls a nosegrab 180 in his run, scoring third in his Masters heat today. He missed the finals by one spot, but is hoping he can get a Worlds invite from his Nationals run.
Nick Weinackers announcing capabilities are stamped by the fact he is a super-stylish pro men's competitor as well. "What do you have to say? The mic's in your face."