UPDATE: James broke his board last night while out wakesurfing with friends. It seems he took the board to his head and the rail is cracked. James says he’s ok, but he ran off to the store for some pain meds, so hopefully he’s well enough to ride today. We are wondering if the damage possibly started while transporting the board in travel. We noticed that some pictures of James riding looked like they were diminished or something. Possibly started by the airlines and finished with a shuv to revert to smack upside the head! James will be trying to borrow a production flyboy for the actual contest. He’s practiced on his contest board for the better part of two weeks, so lets give him TONS of good wishes as he now SWITCHES over to a production board for the actual contest. It’ll be a challenge, to say the least.
James is up in Washington for the NWWSA event being held on Lake Tye. It’s being pulled by Supra this year, which is a change from years past when it was pulled exclusively by Centurion. One of the hallmarks of the World Series of Wake Surfing is that there are a few different boats that are being used in the series. We’re not familiar with any other wakesurf event being pulled by the Supra. James hasn’t ridden one since he was like 12, so this will be interesting! In the past, the pros that were giving lessons, as part of the NWWSA, didn’t really get to ride much behind a similar boat as the contest boats, we’re not sure if that is still in effect. It’s such a decided advantage to get practice time behind the contest boat. Speaking of which, the NWWSA holds a full day of practice, first come, first served where EVERYONE gets one chance to ride.
It’s really the only fair thing to do, at least in a contest setting. By the time you read this, practice and prelims for the pros will have been completed. The pro divisions only advance 3 riders into the finals so we’ll keep our fingers crossed for James that he makes it to the finals on Sunday!
Anyway, James isn’t behind a contest boat, before the event, and he never would try. Instead, he was behind a 60 foot yacht! Here is a quick cell phone picture of the bow of the boat, check the fat sacks! This wakesurf session was organized by Jeff Page of Inland and all of the Inland Team riders that attended this event seem to have made it out on the boat.
James was telling us that there is something like 4,000 pounds of fat sacks on the swim deck! PLUS it’s a 60 foot yacht! It looks like there were two folks out when this picture was taken, that we stole from James’ Instagram page.
James was telling us that from the flats to the top of the lip is head high and they run at 17 mph! It’s a little fast for James’ signature board, but he went out and had a blast.
We couldn’t get this video by Jon Shields that shows James doing a backside wake transfer behind the yacht at 17 mph. We’ve included a link, HERE so you can see the video. We just couldn’t figure out how to embed Instagram videos!
Everyone seemed to have a blast behind the huge boat and the tall wake. If you watch the first part of that video, that is if it works for you, it brings up a great topic we want to talk about in terms of planing surfaces and how water flow affects that. As you see in that video, James is able to surf the little Flyboy board at 17 mph. When a board is planing on the surface of the water, like that, how do you suspect lateral and parallel water flow impacts the board? We’ll take a look at that and dispel some myths in a future post!
Anyway, James was enjoying the big boat surfing and having the opportunity to visit with the Inland Surfer team. The contest runs Friday thru Sunday. The scoring is NOT cumulative, so you qualify for the finals being in the top 3 and then your final run determines your podium placement.
This contest is also in conflict with the Canadian Wakesurf Nationals. It’s been a tough year for date conflicts between tours, but now also between stops in the same tour! The Canadian championship is being pulled by a Centurion, so most of the Centurion riders migrated up there, the non-Centurion riders seemed to congregate here at this Washington contest. We are still undecided on this situation. Does it spread the talent a little too thin? Or does it break up a rather boring pre-determined outcome? It seems like there won’t have been too many people that have ridden behind the Supra, other than the one practice run, so that will help level the playing field some and no doubt diminish the BORING factor a bunch. Back to that date conflict, last year the Calabogie event was on a different date and changed it to conflict with the NWWSA event. The season up in Canada is crazy short, but you also can’t expect an established event to change it’s dates. Last weeks TWC conflicted with the WTD event which has been held on the same date for ages and ages. Is that the deciding factor? Whomever stakes their claim first gets that weekend? We don’t know, obviously location is going to be a consideration also, North East vs South West might be responsive to the needs of participants. Obviously not everyone can travel all over for these events, so having one locally, as opposed to across the country would benefit those that aren’t able to travel everywhere.
Anyway, we don’t have the answer there, so we’ll wish James a ton of Luck, he’s been living out of a suitcase for a week and hasn’t seen this wake before, so hopefully he’s able to bring it altogether to make it to finals and a podium spot! He’ll be up against some of the best pros in the sport: Chris Wolter, the new kid Parker Payne and a host of others!
Thanks so much for following along, we really appreciate it.