The biggest, baddest, largest prize wake surf event in the short history of wake surfing featuring big airs, big names, big Centurion surf wakes and big jumbotron tv screens to watch all the action. And did we mention the nationally televised live footage and $100,000 in prizes?
The setting- Lake Las Vegas. Weather conditions- near perfect following the thirty mile per hour wind gusts that proceeded the event. The action- surf and skim from over a hundred contestants who worked hard to train and pre-qualify at events throughout the nation. No points chase system, just an old fashioned final, an any given Sunday, the Super Bowl of wake surfing. While many of the athletes were just happy to be there by qualifying other noteables like Sean Cummings and Vanessa Gonzalez were a little upset not to make the final day heats. The party in Vegas had begun.
And then on Saturday the crowds drew in to watch the finals and to be near the athletes and you could feel the energy in the air, goosebumps of passion amidst a laid-back lakeside vibe amidst an endless wave we call wake surfing. First up in the women's pro surf heat, Ashley Kidd, looking to shake off her previous day's run with a couple tricks up her sleeve- reverse to shuv and then a huge superman set the bar that no one wanted to follow. But the young former champ Raleigh Hager had some surf of her own and she landed all of her big tricks besides the 720 attempt at the end that would have sealed the deal. Too close to call.
And then a couple highlights of the day included former champ Keenan Flegel with probably the most amazing run in mens pro surf history; Bri Chmel with number six in a row in women's skim and Drew Danielo also with his sixth title; Dominic Lagace, a crowd favorite, taking second in skim with his signature Hurricane move and the young Parker Payne taking first in amateur, meanwhile Stacia Banks was the only athlete to place in both skim and surf divisions. And then what a way to cap off the weekend with a standing ovation at the awards ceremony for the official board sponsor of the event- Mendonesia- and their team rider Chris Wolter as he walked on stage to collect his third place and $5,000 check. Five thousand for third, eight thousand for second and twelve thousand for first place finishes at the 2013 World Wake Surfing Championships. See you next year.
View more photos in our Facebook album: 2013 World Wake Surfing Championships