The next two weeks will be busy for us with a wakesurf contest here in Northern California and then the following weekend in Florida for the USA Wake Surf Nationals wakesurf contest. Both of these events are overseen by the Competitive Wake Surf Association or CWSA. The CWSA is comprised of most of the organizers of wakesurf contests here in the US and then committees for most of those that are outside the USA. It represents a collection of most of the stakeholders in the sport that seek a consistent framework for scoring and running an event. The vast majority of wakesurf events are multiple day events with cash prizes and major sponsorship by boat manufacturers. This was the basic model of the World Wakesurf Championships, but has been refined in the last few years by Todd Gaughan of Towanza.com who has worked as the central organizer of the WWSC for the last several years.
BUT, they weren’t always that way. Here is a picture of stop 1 of the NorCal INT League’s wakesurf contest series back in 2006. Can you recognize some of the folks in that picture? James Walker and Chase Hazen are now world champion wakesurfers James is one of the owners of Flyboy Wakesurf boards and Chase currently rides for Liquid Force. Those two used to battle it out in these small grassroots contests held on Villa Lagos. If you can imagine that was a man-made lake that was probably about 8 feet deep on a good day! At the time, there were no other contests available to these folks other than the WWSC, so staging these events was a huge step to increasing awareness. Also, the American Wakesurf Association was formed to establish a set of working guidelines and judging criteria that could be used at any wakesurf contest. Those guidelines were introduced into the public domain in 2007 and were freely used by most events from that time.
One of the boards awarded as a prize that first stop was an Xtreme Wakesurf fish, you can see it in the picture. Xtreme no longer exists, but they were part of sponsoring the growth of the sport!
The AWSA had significant input from Jeff Walker now of Flyboy Wakesurf, Dennis Horton of The Walker Project, Jerry Price of Shred Stixx, Mike Armstrong of Calibrated Wakesurfing, Larry Mann then of Trick Boardz and Ed Sullivan who helped establish the Midwest component of the AWSA. Over the years the AWSA was disbanded and now the newer CWSA is in it’s first year.
You can see Jerry Price in the lower left and Dennis Horton and Jeff Walker on the right all are wearing the yellow AWSA Staff T-shirts. For those of you that follow wakeboading you’ll recognize the Hoffman sister, Shawna and Raquel in the first row!
If you get a chance you can come out to a good old fashioned grass roots wakesurf contest this weekend on Sunday June 24th. Even if you don’t enter you can come out to watch. It’s being held on the Mossdale Quarry Lakes you can follow the link to the details of the event. Now it’s a departure from the current model of wakesurf events that are multi-day and with huge cash purses. This is event has none of that, just good folks having a good time and you’ll be home for dinner! There are divisions for everyone and there is a strong likelihood you could win a new wakesurf board. There will be medals awarded for podium finishes, but the prizes are awarded via a drawing from the registered competitors. This model of wakesurf event, this grassroots variety is very low key. Come on out and get a chance to ride on a private lake, this one is 35 feet deep. No rollers or anyone but YOU on the lake during your run.
We’ll all cheer you on and at the least you’ll have a great wakesurf session!
You’ll also get the chance to see some of the best of the best in professional wakesurfing Chris Wolter with Shredt Stixx, James Walker of the Flyboy Division of Inland Surfer, Mike Kozecek riding a Calibrated Wakesurf board, Sean Cummings of Centurion Boats, Inland Surfer and Wake Shredder clothing, Vanessa Gonzalez riding for CMS and Inland Surfer and we have word that we’ll have Todd Johnson, pro surfer out to show his skills behind the boat!
We’ll be posting pictures of the event after it’s conclusion and hopefully will also have short unedited clips, posted on the Flyboy Wakesurf Boards site and also on our Youtube channel, so be sure to check back the first part of next week! BUT don’t hold us to that! We’re hoping to actually get video, but man oh man that require pushing a button and making sure the batteries are charged!
Also a huge THANK YOU to the events sponsors, Flyboy Wakesurf, Inland Surfer, Calibrated Wakesurfing, Wake Shredder Clothing, Towanza, Cal Marine Sports, Supreme Boats and of course all of the folks that volunteered to help out and our hosts Chuck and Linda Payton of NorCal INT League! and of course everyone we forgot to mention!