Malibu Boats Rider Experience South Recap
The Malibu Rider Experience South saw the region’s wake community come together in full force for another incredible weekend in Orlando, FL hosted by Tommy’s Florida. Malibu Pro athletes were on hand all weekend long to give riders all-access to the best of the best in instruction and competition behind the world-class Malibu 25 LSV. Freeride Friday showcased a beautiful Florida day with everyone from wakeboarding’s hottest up and comers to first-time riders hitting the water to push their skills to the next level. The WWA South Regional Championships went off on Saturday including the Malibu Pro Card Qualifier #1 and all WWA amateur, Jr. Pro, and wakesurf divisions. Surf Gate Sunday kept the stoke high with the infamous blue walls the Malibu Wakesetter Series technology is known for.
“We had an incredible turnout for the first stop of the series and witnessed some of the most progressive riding this event has seen...”
Corrie Wilson//WWA Executive Director
“Thank you to Malibu Boats and all of our partners for another great Rider Experience! We had an incredible turnout for the first stop of the series and witnessed some of the most progressive riding this event has seen. Picking off this weekend’s momentum we are excited to see how the series and riding abilities continue to evolve throughout the year,” said WWA Executive Director Corrie Wilson. “We look forward to seeing everyone for the West stop in Boise, Idaho this June!”
Saturday’s WWA Regional Championships was full of many firsts and competitive returns with high fives, smiles, and thrills. Competing for their chance to represent the South this year at the WWA Wakeboard National Championships, cheers from family and friends on the dock had riders super-charged with remarkable performances throughout the day.
In the Girl’s division, local rider Kira Lewis (FL) threw down displaying big amplitude and grabbing all of her tricks to secure a first-place finish with a score of 80.00. In second, Jordan Wolfe (NC) scored 71.67, followed by Madison Lavrack (NC) in third with a 63.33. Alex Albin (CA) earned his first-place finish in the Boys division, throwing down a stalefish tantrum and a super clean switch nosegrab 360 to take the heat with a score of 76.67. Rounding out the Boys podium had Cameron Flinkingshelt (NC) in second with 60.00, and Beaux Wildman (IN) in third with 46.67.
Scott Leason (CA) of the Adaptive Standing division came down to Florida to train and familiarize himself with the Malibu 25 LSV’s wake before his National qualifier in June, the Malibu Rider Experience West. Leason, the WWA’s first and only blind competitor, threw multiple T/S and H/S 180s throughout his run for a final score of 80.00. Aaron Cutler (FL), another well-known adaptive athlete, had an equally impressive weekend as he not only competed in the Masters division but came away with the top spot scoring 56.67.
The wakesurf competition cranked up the world-famous wave behind the Malibu 25 LSV with the biggest crew of female riders this event has seen. Defending champ, Ashley Inloes (FL) had a massive run, throwing a switch big spin for the win with a score of 91.67 in the Women’s Wakesurf division. Kailey Grainger (FL) placed second scoring 75.00 in her first-ever wakesurf competition and Kelly Albin (CA) placed third with 60.83. David Williams (FL) killed it in the Men’s Wakesurf division with his unique longboard style, starting with a shuvit and continuing his run with multiple body varials and the classic Hawaiian cross step up for the win scoring 78.33.
The Jr. Pro South Regional Championships saw an aggressive final round with Toya Ikeda (JPN) coming out on top going big and technical on every move. To officially seal the deal, Ikeda threw his super stylish grabbed 720 and an indy moby dick for a winning score of 80.00. Josh Swift (AUS) put it all together with a whirly 540 and a skeezer to cap off his second place finish scoring 66.67 followed by Jamie Huser (SUI) in third with a score of 62.67.
Mikey Conrady (USA) and Mizuki Takahashi (JPN) led the pack of the six riders who punched their Pro Cards this weekend. Additional riders coming away with their Malibu Pro Cards included Luca Kidd (GBR), Bryson Hancock (USA), Lorenzo Soprani (ITA), and Ulf Ditsch (ARG).
The Rider Experience South moved over to Clermont to finish off the weekend with Surf Gate Sunday at Lilly’s on the Lake. Newbies and veterans alike took to the water alongside Malibu Pro athletes to shred behind the endless wave of the Malibu Wakesetter Series. The shoreline was buzzing all weekend with spectators and competitors enjoying support from WWA partners; Malibu Boats, Rockstar Energy Drink, Ronix Wakeboards, Obrien Watersports, Tommy’s Florida, and Freedom Wake Park.
As the Malibu WWA Rider Experience continues across the nation, our community of wake continues to grow with this unique series dedicated to the progression of all things wake. Check out the rest of the Rider Experience stops here.
See full results here!