Rider Experience 2021 Has Officially Kicked Off
Malibu Boats was stoked to kick off our Rider Experience’s 9th season in St.George last week. Hosted by Taylor’s Boats, the wake community gathered at Quail Creek Reservoir for the first stop of the 2021 Malibu Riders Experience, WWA Regional Championships West. The early-season chill in the water couldn’t stop competitors from coming out and strutting their stuff in wakeboarding and wakesurfing.
Friday morning kicked-off Freeride Friday for the weekend with riders of all ages and skill levels practicing their runs behind the brand new 2021 Malibu M220 and receiving coaching from the amazing team of Malibu and Axis Pro Riders. Jeff Langley, Luca Kidd, Guenther Oka, and Stacia Bank, were all in attendance as they helped the next generation of riders reach their full potential on the water.
Saturday marked the start of the Regional Championships West. With 18 different divisions of both wakeboarders and wakesurfers throughout the day, every age, skill level, and gender was represented. "We couldn't have asked for a better start to the 2021 competitions season than what we had this weekend," said WWA Executive Director Corrie Wilson. "This event encompassed riding of all types and is truly what these events are all about." From the youngest competitor, 5 year old Hadley Sabian to the talented Veteran division, from the 5 members of the McInnes family who rode in their very first contest, to the Jr. Pro riders who have entered more contests than they can remember; the Malibu Rider Experience truly offers something for everyone.
"This event encompassed riding of all types and is truly what these events are all about..."
Corrie Wilson//WWA Executive Director
In addition to the amateur riders, the Malibu Jr. Pro Series has always been the most prestigious contest series for the Jr. Pro division, and this year Malibu Boats raised the bar even higher! This year marks the first time Jr. Pro Women joined the Jr. Pro Men for the Malibu Rider Experience Jr. Pro Series. Throughout the season, these Jr. Pro riders will be collecting points for a chance to be included in the $20,000 of travel scholarships for the top 5 riders after the 5 events of the season. Per usual, the field of Jr. Pro competitors was stacked with talent and it was anyone’s guess as to who would take the first win of the 2021 season. Battling though tough semi-final heats, the finals would see The Patrick sisters (Ellie and Alexie), Payton Gross, and Kira Lewis on the Jr. Pro Women’s side and Cody Hunnicut, Jaden Reichl, Alex Albin, and Jamie Huser on the Jr. Pro Men’s side. For the Jr. Pro Women, Kira Lewis (FL) stood above the rest as she landed a run filled with a variety of inverted tricks and spins that gave her enough points to take the win, followed by Payton Gross (NC) and Alexie Patrick (TX) in 2nd and 3rd respectively. And the Jr. Pro Men saw Jamie Huser (SUI) take the win with impressive moves like his dum-dum, toeside backroll to blind, and a heelside 720. Alex Albin (CA) and Jaden Reichl (OK) rounded out the podium in 2nd and 3rd respectively.
The WWA West Regional Championships represent what the wake industry is all about: hanging-out, having fun, and progressing the level of everyone’s abilities. From riders who were entering their very first contest ever, like Mark McEnroe who entered in the newly formed “Wake Surf Dads” division and placed 2nd among the other fathers; to the familiar faces of the Malibu Riders Experience like Hudson Haynie who grabbed himself another WWA West Regional Championship title to add to his growing trophy room; everyone had an absolute blast from start to finish!
As the 5-part series continues, the Malibu Rider Experience moves to Ft. Worth, Texas as they host the Central Regional Championships on May 15-16. We look forward to seeing old friends and meeting new riders throughout the 2021 season. Learn more aobut the rest of the Rider Experience stops here!
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