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Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       01-24-2012, 9:25 PM Reply   
I was just curious as to who everyone considers to be the best free-riding wakeboarders of all-time, and why. I haven't heard this discussion in quite some time, and I thought it'd be interesting to get people's opinion given how the sport has changed so much in the last couple of years.

Here's my two cents:

#1 - Danny Harf
#2 - Parks Bonifay
#3 - Harley Clifford
#4 - Phil Soven
#5 - Darin Shapiro
Old    DC (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       01-24-2012, 9:39 PM Reply   
Replace #4 Phil Soven with Randall Harris... I would be content with that list
Old    Korey Griner (jkgriner)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-24-2012, 9:48 PM Reply   
Scott Byerly, Shaun Murray, Ben Greenwood, Parks, Danny Harf.
Old    Scott T (thescott)      Join Date: Nov 2007       01-24-2012, 9:51 PM Reply   
I don't know if I'd say "best of all time", but my favorites to watch these days are Rathy, Benny G., Harris and lately Josh Twelker and Trever Maur.
-in no specific order.
Old    Dwight Kinley (beretta5spd)      Join Date: Jan 2010       01-24-2012, 9:52 PM Reply   
1. Lon
2. Level 10 gymnast
3. cisco
4. nick the mastercraft fanboi
5. tige guy with tramp stamp
Old    DC (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       01-24-2012, 10:22 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by beretta5spd View Post
1. Lon
2. Level 10 gymnast
3. cisco
4. nick the mastercraft fanboi
5. tige guy with tramp stamp
Winner winner, chicken dinner!!
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-24-2012, 10:55 PM Reply   
1. Randall Harris: most stylish rider ever, goes bigger than anyone except Darin



2. Darin Shapiro: A freak! Balls of depleted uranium. Goes scary huge. Did tricks others wouldn't dare attempt even when he was years past his prime. If I was set the challenge of learning to ride like any of the riders on this list (not that I could ever come close, obviously), I'd be most intimidated by Darin's riding. Watching the video below is awe inspiring and terrifying. I can't imagine the falls he must've taken over his many years of riding like this



3. Harley Clifford: Most complete, well-rounded rider ever. Oozing style, dizzying tech, and goes huge. Does the hardest tricks in wakeboarding, period. Pushing wakeboarding to a whole new level that not even Phil Soven can match.



4. Keith Lyman: Goes huge, clean, smooth style. So unique! No one but Randall has ever ridden like him.



5. Dean Smith: Less tech than Harley, but makes up for it with amplitude and style


Last edited by TheHebrewHammer; 01-24-2012 at 11:03 PM.
Old    R{west Side Ryder} W (rmotoxxx711)      Join Date: Oct 2008       01-24-2012, 11:04 PM Reply   
1) Keith Lyman
2) PB
3)Gnarley Clifford
4)Rathy
5)Benny G Wood
Old    Erik Jernberg (juniorhawk)      Join Date: Jul 2004       01-25-2012, 6:28 AM Reply   
In terms of being the best of their contemporaries, the further back you go the easier it becomes to see the picture. All number 1's in my book.

Scott Byerly
Randy Harris
Shawn Murray
Aaron Rathy
Danny Harf
Old    Jamie (Wiatowski)      Join Date: Aug 2011       01-25-2012, 7:08 AM Reply   
Needs to be more of a top10 than 5
Top of the list for me is Murray.... nobody executes a smoother and seemingly effortless ride than him. Fill in the rest after that.
Old    Ben Wilcox (benjaminp)      Join Date: Nov 2008       01-25-2012, 7:26 AM Reply   
^Murray is so smooth he could put a tumbleturn, a huge whipped powerslide, and a million fun little things he does into a contest run, finish it barefooting, and still place top 5. I'd have to say my top 5 (in no order) are:
-Murray
-Benny G
-Watson
-Harley
-Rathy
Old    Reid (ryoder)      Join Date: Feb 2009       01-25-2012, 7:43 AM Reply   
If we are taking in terms of "free-riding" then i would go with..

#1 Randall
#2 Greenwood
#3 Lyman
#4 Murray
#5 Harley

Notice 1-4 have been around for a long time in terms of the wakeboarding world. I think thats due to the fact that riding is making a movement that is geared towards technical competition type riding. (minus Twelker and the delta guys that i believe are still trying to advance free riding). However if you watch a video of Harley its hard not to have him on the list.

its all in the eye of the beholder..like the thread though
Old    Brendan (kybool)      Join Date: Aug 2004       01-25-2012, 7:59 AM Reply   
1. Randall, Randall, Randall
2. Harley
3. Shapiro
4. Dean
5. BennyG
Old    Miguel (migs)      Join Date: Aug 2006       01-25-2012, 8:05 AM Reply   
Harley
Randall
PB
Harf
Lyman
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 8:08 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryoder View Post
Notice 1-4 have been around for a long time in terms of the wakeboarding world. I think thats due to the fact that riding is making a movement that is geared towards technical competition type riding. (minus Twelker and the delta guys that i believe are still trying to advance free riding). However if you watch a video of Harley its hard not to have him on the list.

its all in the eye of the beholder..like the thread though
Twelker has some sick style, but let's not put him on a pedestal here like he's some free-riding Lyman-esque rebel who's above competitions and has a different philosophy than the other riders of his generation. He's just as much a technical contest rider as he is a free rider. If you want to talk about current riders that are advancing free riding, you need look no further than Harley Clifford. Twelker is an amazing rider with awesome potential, but he has a very long way to go to match Harley's contributions to free riding.

Last edited by TheHebrewHammer; 01-25-2012 at 8:11 AM.
Old    Justin Harrelson (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       01-25-2012, 8:22 AM Reply   
Lyman competed for years, he just didn't do very well at it.

Twelker takes common tricks puts them in a blender and pours out something new. All the ingredients to a grabed HS/FS 5 are there, but his interpretation is truely innovative.

I am a big fan of both.
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       01-25-2012, 9:02 AM Reply   
for an "all time list"... can"t be without the God Father, The Hook, Scott Byerly

Byerly
Randall
Parks
Murray
Lyman

deffinately tough to pick just 5 though
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 9:15 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiboarder View Post
Lyman competed for years, he just didn't do very well at it.
He won worlds as a junior, did he not?
Old    Justin Harrelson (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       01-25-2012, 9:34 AM Reply   
Yes, but he competed several more years with limited success as a professional. I was responding to your comment, "free-riding Lyman-esque rebel who's above competitions." He wasn't above competitions, he just did not do well at them and so he is not well known as a competitive wakeboarder. He was there on Fridays, just not many Saturdays or Sundays.

Also, this is not a negative comment. I am not good at contests either and I have always been impressed with Lyman's amplitude and style.
Old    Josh Diaz (steezin4noreason)      Join Date: Mar 2009       01-25-2012, 9:39 AM Reply   
Lyman
Randall
Harf
SOB
Benny G
Old    Justin Harrelson (skiboarder)      Join Date: Oct 2006       01-25-2012, 9:48 AM Reply   
If you want to check-out a good free-rider look to Zucky. He is 50, rides a soft board without fins (behind the boat) and looks as good on the water as in the air. He is a great rider, totally under the radar at least in the Western Hemisphere. (He would be in my top 5)

There are a few web videos of his riding, but if you want to see an awesome section look up "Ensamble". It is a Japanese video from the mid 2000s.
Old    Josh Diaz (steezin4noreason)      Join Date: Mar 2009       01-25-2012, 9:51 AM Reply   
Do you guys really think Dean has good style? He's sick and goes huge, but he's not fluid, and I've always thought of him as a hucker that just goes for it. I see people here and there commenting that he has good style......it always trips me up though. I'm not trying to take anything away from him as a rider. I just wouldn't put him next to Lyman, Benny G, Murray etc. in terms of style. His wakeboarding looks impressive, just not particularly good in the sense of style.
Old    Reid (ryoder)      Join Date: Feb 2009       01-25-2012, 9:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Twelker has some sick style, but let's not put him on a pedestal here like he's some free-riding Lyman-esque rebel who's above competitions and has a different philosophy than the other riders of his generation. He's just as much a technical contest rider as he is a free rider. If you want to talk about current riders that are advancing free riding, you need look no further than Harley Clifford. Twelker is an amazing rider with awesome potential, but he has a very long way to go to match Harley's contributions to free riding.
I wasn't putting him on a pedestal. Thats why I had lyman and harley on the list and not twelker.. i was just saying that he is "trying" to push free riding.
I do respect your opinion of harley pushing free riding though, and im excited to see what he has for the future of wakeboarding.
Old    Joe Lo (JoLo_Si)      Join Date: Oct 2011       01-25-2012, 10:16 AM Reply   
Harf
Benny G
Ruck
Lyman
Oshea

In no particular order.
I also think PB and Vandall are sick, they just arn't my favoraite to watch right now. Harley is also the man, he just wins to many contests to be the right answer.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 10:58 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by skiboarder View Post
If you want to check-out a good free-rider look to Zucky. He is 50, rides a soft board without fins (behind the boat) and looks as good on the water as in the air. He is a great rider, totally under the radar at least in the Western Hemisphere. (He would be in my top 5)

There are a few web videos of his riding, but if you want to see an awesome section look up "Ensamble". It is a Japanese video from the mid 2000s.
Hell ya! I was thinking of him too. I wouldn't put him top 5 overall, but he's one of a kind and amazing to watch. I would love to learn the surface tricks he does. He just makes riding look so fun:



Quote:
Originally Posted by steezin4noreason View Post
Do you guys really think Dean has good style? He's sick and goes huge, but he's not fluid, and I've always thought of him as a hucker that just goes for it. I see people here and there commenting that he has good style......it always trips me up though. I'm not trying to take anything away from him as a rider. I just wouldn't put him next to Lyman, Benny G, Murray etc. in terms of style. His wakeboarding looks impressive, just not particularly good in the sense of style.
I know what you mean. His landings often look really harsh and stiff. He just has a weird stance that looks really different from other guys in kinda the same way as Rusty's does. It's a little awkward at times. That said, once he gets in the air, he's got some of the sickest pokes and tweaks out there. Check out 1:17, 1:43, and 2:06 of the video I posted to see what I mean. He also does the meanest nuclear whirlybird I've ever seen. In fact, I'd probably have to say that Dean's nuclear whirlybird is my favorite trick in all of wakeboarding.
Old    Matt Simpson (slob02)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-25-2012, 11:17 AM Reply   
Murray
Byerly
Shapiro
Randall
Adam Wensink
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 11:17 AM Reply   
Also, I'd just like to say one more thing about why I like Harley's riding so much. He's figured out and taught himself the most efficient ways to produce and control rotation in the air, be it vertical, horizontal, or both. When you watch him spin 9s or mobe 5s, it doesn't look nearly as "hucked" as when other people do it. Watching him do these tricks in slow motion is like poetry. He's in complete control the entire time and he makes it look easy. There is no flailing and no wasted motion. He charges up a huge amount of energy in the line and in his shoulders and gives one strong yank on the handle to unleash it in a particular direction, and then he lets this energy carry him effortlessly through the rotation(s). This is especially evident with his crow 7 and whirly dick. His wake to wake backside 9, an insanely difficult trick that no one else can do, looks even smoother than his frontside 9. He puts it down softly as if it was a simple backside 180. It's just ridiculous.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       01-25-2012, 11:57 AM Reply   
Boy I am going to Date Myself in no order.

IGOR Reoutt
Parks of Course
Randall
Corey (Cordell) Kraut RIP
Mark Kenny RIP
Old    Henry Gates (captain_vilfo)      Join Date: Apr 2007       01-25-2012, 11:57 AM Reply   
i think nick davies should be somewhere on that list..

idk if any of you seen him bulls**t around at the park but its pretty remarkable
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 1:57 PM Reply   
Ya, it's interesting that nobody's picking cable riders. I feel like I don't yet know enough about cable riders to pick a top 5 for them.
Old    Andy Nintzel (andy_nintzel)      Join Date: Sep 2004       01-25-2012, 2:04 PM Reply   
no bodies picking the OG's
Old    Joe Jones (BamaLurker)      Join Date: Dec 2011       01-25-2012, 2:06 PM Reply   
Of all time

1. Byerly
2. Tommy the tooth (horrell)
3. PB
4. Shaun murray
5. Harf

today
1. Vandall
2. Benny g
3. Twelker
4. Harf
5. Oshea
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       01-25-2012, 2:09 PM Reply   
in no particular order:
Randall
Byerly
Greg Nelson
Parks
Josh Smith

Consolation prizes:
Benny G
Lyman
Ricky G
Old    Joe Jones (BamaLurker)      Join Date: Dec 2011       01-25-2012, 3:48 PM Reply   
Forgot about Josh smith. He's all time. Like a west coast byerly. He knocks Thomas off my list. Necrason deserves mention here too!!!!!
Old    Bryce Stevens (SS_Hooke102)      Join Date: Sep 2011       01-25-2012, 4:04 PM Reply   
The thing about Dean Smith is he isn't the most fluid rider, but his style is one of his own (imho), the dude doesn't do everything perfect and frankly I think that it's super sick. He is a fantastic rider, but we also have to realize, this guy isn't going to be landing super smooth, he is absolutely boosting. I don't know about you guys, but when I go past wake to wake i'm definitely not landing super smooth, there is simply too much compression. As for my list, there are simply too many that I really look up to in this sport to name or rank them...
Old    Seahawks #1 Fan Robert T (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       01-25-2012, 4:20 PM Reply   
1 Randall Harris
2 Shaun Murray
3 Keith Lyman
4 Darin Shapiro
5 Chad Sharpe
Honorable Mentions
Dean Smith
Parks Bonifay
Scott Byerly
Benny Greenwood
Danny Harf
TECH WIDZARDS
Harley Clifford
Phil Soven
Aaron Rathy
Rusty Malanoski
Andrew Adkison
Old    DC (durty_curt)      Join Date: Apr 2008       01-25-2012, 4:55 PM Reply   
obviously top 5 is too tough for us. Perhaps if it were top 10???
Old    Steve (scvlx)      Join Date: Jan 2012       01-25-2012, 5:12 PM Reply   
Byerly, Harris, Murray, Lyman.
Old    Jason Callen (westsidarider)      Join Date: Feb 2003       01-25-2012, 7:07 PM Reply   
Byerly
Horrell
Igor
Nelson
Schmaltz
Staker
Heavener
Murray
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       01-25-2012, 7:51 PM Reply   
Here's the reasoning for my picks:

#1 - Danny Harf -On any given day he could throw a mobe 7, double-invert or one of multiple 1080s in his arsonal. He is in my opinion the best spinner out there, landing tricks like TS BS 9s and the 1260 (which is arguable the hardest trick ever landed... but you could argue the double-mobe). I think he's got pretty decent style too. I just think he's the most well-round boarder out there IMO.

#2 - Parks Bonifay - although he's generally taking it pretty easy these days, back in his prime he was doing: whirly 7s, the 1080, different mobe 540 variations, and about 5 different double-invert variations. He did all this with wakes that weren't as big, and equipment that was probably twice as heavy. He's proven he can compete with the best of them on the rails. He's not a cable rider, but some how he's still landed tricks like double S-bends to blind. His "triple-up whip tricks" have yet to be matched also. He's the only person to land a double-invert with a handle-pass. And as i mentioned already, the double-mobe could be argued the hardest-trick in wakeboarding.

#3 - Harley - can do a lot of the hardest tricks ever landed, with consistency!! He's already invented a number of tricks, and we'll keep pushing tricks that haven't been done. I think he has the potential to go down as the best of all-time at this rate. It's hard to tell now days though with all the new talent.

#4 - Phil Soven - although I don't care for his style, and am not a fan at all, I think it's hard to deny the impact he's had on the tech aspect of the sport. People are just starting to figure out some of the tricks that he's been doing for years now (crow 7, whirlydick). There are still tricks that he's done that nobody else has (dum dum 540, moby dick 7, etc).

#5 - Shapiro - In my opinion, goes bigger than anyone! Not only that, but he also has a few tricks in his bag that no one else has done (orbital 540s, speedball). He is the only wakeboarder that I know of to attempt a triple invert.

I would put Muarry right behind these guys. He's got awesome style, is extremely creative with his tricks, and can also go huge! He can also throw down tech with tricks like the KGB5. I actually just saw him at the boat show. He threw an AIR s-bend to blind on the system 2.0 which was a highlight for me. However, I think he needs to add a couple big bangers to his list of tricks before i would put him in the top 5. Once he stomps a 1080... or double-invert.. or mobe 7, I would have to re-consider.

I would also say that Rusty has made a strong case that he's one of the best.

If this was a list of who has the best style, my list would be a lot different. However, style is a subjective thing and only one aspect to wakeboarding.

Anyways, that's just my opinion....
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 7:55 PM Reply   
Good reasoning, but what mobe 7 does Danny Harf have?
Old    Jordan (hockeysk8er222)      Join Date: Jul 2009       01-25-2012, 7:56 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by BamaLurker View Post
Of all time

1. Byerly
2. Tommy the tooth (horrell)
3. PB
4. Shaun murray
5. Harf

today
1. Vandall
2. Benny g
3. Twelker
4. Harf
5. Oshea
Excellent, perfect list, except for O'Shea. Something about his riding is really strange to me, but if you could help me understand why he made your list I would be in full agreement.
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       01-25-2012, 8:25 PM Reply   
HebrewHammer, Danny is throwing down crow 7s now... and maybe more we don't know about yet. When I watched Defy, there was about 5 or 6 tricks in his section at the end that I've never seen him do prior to watching that video. I won't ruin it for ppl who haven't seen it though.
Old    Dan (texastbird)      Join Date: May 2003       01-25-2012, 8:30 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheHebrewHammer View Post
Ya, it's interesting that nobody's picking cable riders. I feel like I don't yet know enough about cable riders to pick a top 5 for them.
Might be because free riding implies boat. Not trying to be a d!ck, just saying.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-25-2012, 8:30 PM Reply   
Damn! I'll have to pick that up.
Old    Damo Cox (d4m0)      Join Date: Apr 2009       01-26-2012, 5:09 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_nintzel View Post
Boy I am going to Date Myself in no order.

IGOR Reoutt
Parks of Course
Randall
Corey (Cordell) Kraut RIP
Mark Kenny RIP
So stoked to see someone throw kenneys name in there!
Old    Matt Simpson (slob02)      Join Date: Mar 2004       01-26-2012, 5:11 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by andy_nintzel View Post
Boy I am going to Date Myself in no order.

IGOR Reoutt
Parks of Course
Randall
Corey (Cordell) Kraut RIP
Mark Kenny RIP
I forgot aboaut Mark Kenny!!!! Pretty sad of me!!

Last edited by slob02; 01-26-2012 at 5:13 AM. Reason: Missed something
Old    DJ (Dj2up10)      Join Date: Aug 2010       01-26-2012, 7:02 AM Reply   
Nice to see Horrell get some love. I had the privilege to go to his wakeboard camp/his parents Ski School back in late 90s and was amazed by how fluid he was. He, without question, deserves to be on the all time list.

As with many of the most stylish riders, their video sections hinted at how stylish they really ride. I think Zucky really highlights a completely stylish rider. It is all of the little things in between each trick.

That said I don't disagree with most of the lists but I'd love to see some complete sets by guys like Harley etc
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-26-2012, 7:09 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dj2up10 View Post
As with many of the most stylish riders, their video sections hinted at how stylish they really ride. I think Zucky really highlights a completely stylish rider. It is all of the little things in between each trick. That said I don't disagree with most of the lists but I'd love to see some complete sets by guys like Harley etc
Like what? And who's on your list?
Old    Walt (Walt)      Join Date: Jan 2003       01-26-2012, 2:03 PM Reply   
I don't know about best but fun to watch ride,

Randall
Dean
Lyman
Murray
Cook
Old    Logan Downer (logan)      Join Date: Dec 2011       01-26-2012, 9:48 PM Reply   
Some of these lists make me want to hurl!

1. Lyman
2. Vandall
3. Ricky G
4. Oli Derome (sp?)
5. Dean Smith
Old    R{west Side Ryder} W (rmotoxxx711)      Join Date: Oct 2008       01-26-2012, 9:53 PM Reply   
too damn many haha all inspirational. deromes, and a couple other (youngins) that i dont think were mentioned but strait rip... adam errington and bob soven
Old     (Bam6961)      Join Date: Apr 2011       01-26-2012, 9:59 PM Reply   
that video of zucky doesn't do him much justice. Here is a better one although the quilty is poor cuz it looks like it was taken in the 90s because of the binds/board he has on( shows it at the end).

Old    John Haile (waterdork88)      Join Date: Aug 2005       01-26-2012, 10:16 PM Reply   
1. Parks Bonifay
2. Nick Davies
3. Harley Clifford
4. Randall Harris
5. Ralph Derome
Old    Tampa Wake (tampawake)      Join Date: Mar 2008       01-27-2012, 6:47 AM Reply   
What are some good videos to buy with Randall in them?
Old    Dwight Kinley (beretta5spd)      Join Date: Jan 2010       01-27-2012, 7:45 AM Reply   
hahaha at that Zucky vid @ 1:34 .... double up pwnage

He sure is a great rider tho.
Old    B Poser (bbr)      Join Date: Apr 2002       01-27-2012, 8:27 AM Reply   
Nintzel got it right!! Igor and Kenney are a couple of my favorite riders ever!!! I'm also a huge fan of Josh Twelker. That kid is ridiculous!!
Old    Clay (xclay89x)      Join Date: Feb 2009       01-27-2012, 3:00 PM Reply   
Collin Wright needs to be added to this list!!!!

I agree Harley does some insane stuff, but I feel like his style is not as rad to watch as people like Murray, Randall, Dean,etc.,etc.... He is definitely a GREAT rider, but there is a lot more out there than just throwing down hammers after hammers and getting super tech. I would much rather watch gnarly BS 180 to the flats than a whirly 5 that just looks like it is for a contest pass. This is purely opinion though. I just think that there are a lot more other riders out there that should be on the top 5 free riders list than Harley. (not bashing him at all he shred for sure!)
Old    Professor (brhanley)      Join Date: Jun 2001       01-27-2012, 3:33 PM Reply   
Agree on Collin Wright, one of my personal favs. Not sure if you've watched Harley enough...he's pretty frickin' good at both...look at 5:00+ in this vid for example:

Soven and Harley from iwake.com on Vimeo.


Last edited by brhanley; 01-27-2012 at 3:38 PM. Reason: edit
Old    Greg Smith (greg_smith)      Join Date: Sep 2006       01-28-2012, 3:43 AM Reply   
BTW, does anyone know where there is a video of Soven's Dum Dum 540? It's like the one trick I've never seen... kinda interested to see it!
Old    Korey Griner (jkgriner)      Join Date: Oct 2009       01-28-2012, 5:56 AM Reply   
I've already stated my top 5, but after reading through this, I'm surprised Gator hasn't gotten a mention. His old video sections when he's riding a squirt are amazing.
Old    Brendan (kybool)      Join Date: Aug 2004       01-28-2012, 6:40 AM Reply   
'but there is a lot more out there than just throwing down hammers after hammers and getting super tech.'

I would consider a well-executed BS 180 into the flats a 'hammer' as well. Check out the TS BS 180 off the double up in the vid BRHanley posted above.

Wait a minute - Hanley? Harley? Hmmm..suspect
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-28-2012, 4:44 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by tampawake View Post
What are some good videos to buy with Randall in them?
Trangression.

Also, the people knocking Harley's style should take a good look, because he has some of the most stylish pokes, tweaks, shifties, and backside 180s in the game. He's more stylish than a lot of the so-called "style riders" that people worship, but he gets overlooked just because of his "technical wizardry."

Also, Harley can style out tech tricks better than any other rider. That's the true measure of style in my opinion. Anyone can poke out a backside 180, but only the best can poke out a handle pass kgb or a heel 9.
Old    Derek Seaman (nautiqu13)      Join Date: Dec 2000       01-28-2012, 6:35 PM Reply   
I guess the question doesn't make sense. So are you asking the top 5 best wakeboarders of all time? Because every wakeboarder "free-rides" and by the look of most answers, this is the case. To me, a free rider makes his mark and/or money without winning contests.

Top two that belong so far above everyone else is Byerly and Gator.

Next is the westcoast guys; Schmaltz, Smith, Nelson, Wright, and obviously Randy.

Lyman, Randy, Greenwood, Watson, Cook, and O'Brien are the newer guys.

Murray somehow can qualify but should not be in the top 5.

Parks doesn't count, he won it all before he took it to another level. Same with Harf, Shapiro, etc.
Harley is not a free rider because hes better at both contests and freeriding than anyone else.

Last edited by nautiqu13; 01-28-2012 at 6:38 PM.
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       01-28-2012, 6:53 PM Reply   
How famous was Byerly before he made his mark in competition?
Old    Luke Johnson (luke_j)      Join Date: Jul 2008       01-29-2012, 8:12 AM Reply   
The only reason i wouldnt nominate Harley is because every video of him feels the same. while his talent is amazing, and the runs he puts together in contests and on the open water are absolutely insane. but when I think of a freerider, I don't like to be able to predict every next trick he's going to do... 4 fs 9's, whirlydicks back to back, crow 7s, kgb 5, and handful of ts3's and back 180's, then usually ending on a bs 9... It just seems like even his video sections are contest runs.

That being said, my list would go...
1. Darf
2. Parks
3. Deano
4. Watson
5. Benny G
Old    Ben Ax (hawkeye7708)      Join Date: Feb 2007       01-29-2012, 1:33 PM Reply   
Oh man... It'd be so much easier if it were "Contemporary" favorites. If you go All-Time, this gets way more complicated, and the scope has to be widened up a lot. My list if we're going All-Time list, accompanied by brief thoughts, would be (no order here)

Harris- He's been around for ages and still riding like no other.
Lyman- A massive talent that's earned fame and his following through his style and amplitude. (Also a true Patriot I might add)
Parks- There's not much you couldn't say about Parks. Invented how many tricks? Innovated the sport. Has done INSANE things on his wakeboard that others haven't.
Danny Harf- An all around wakeboard legend and somebody who continues to push the envelope.
Murray- Just makes everything look fun and also goes massive.

Honorable Mentions:
Byerly
Shapiro
Greenwood
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       01-29-2012, 4:26 PM Reply   
I had thought about Gator, but I dont think he had the staying power to be considered a top 5 freerider of all time. shoot, when was the last time Byerly was even considered a wakeboarder? and look how many people still list him as a top 5 freerider!
I would put Schmaltz and Colin Wright ahead of Gator. although, his hoochie and front flip to fakie were bigger than anyones back then.

Byerly was well known within the "wakeboarding" industry before his "world record" run at nationals in like 1996. I think that was his first contest on his flight 69 as well.
Old    Clay (xclay89x)      Join Date: Feb 2009       01-30-2012, 9:34 AM Reply   
"Also, the people knocking Harley's style should take a good look, because he has some of the most stylish pokes, tweaks, shifties, and backside 180s in the game. He's more stylish than a lot of the so-called "style riders" that people worship, but he gets overlooked just because of his "technical wizardry." "

You're forgetting the many other shredders before him. The ones that invented the tricks Harley is throwing, and styled them out before him. Don't get me wrong at all Harley shreds and is an amazing all around rider. Top 5 is hard I keep making my list longer and longer. It's hard to narrow it down to just 5.
Old    Jay Smith (snoopy1173)      Join Date: May 2010       02-01-2012, 5:46 PM Reply   
Hands down no competition, this guy takes the cake! Tobi Rittig, he has the coolest stlye I have ever seen. So fresh and so much fun to watch
http://vimeo.com/30531918 heres another video http://vimeo.com/16235569
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       02-01-2012, 7:39 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoopy1173 View Post
Hands down no competition, this guy takes the cake! Tobi Rittig, he has the coolest stlye I have ever seen. So fresh and so much fun to watch
http://vimeo.com/30531918 heres another video http://vimeo.com/16235569
Eh, not bad.
Old     (Nick77)      Join Date: Dec 2011       02-02-2012, 1:52 AM Reply   
You definately have to go back and look att some of the legends.
Jason Callen (westsidarider) is so right. But it's hard to pick 5. The way Thomas Horrell rode when he was wakeboarding was so stylish. Everyone of these guys had their own style and pushed the sport so hard. besides Horell my top names is Byerly, Nelson, Schmaltz, Randall.
I want to put in more names but you asked for top 5
Old    Bill Montanye (bill)      Join Date: Feb 2001       02-03-2012, 6:41 AM Reply   
1 Randall the Vandal
2. byerly
3 Harf
4.Murray
5.Parks

6 all the new school boarders are awesome but they cant get the nod overthe people who created and pushed the sport and the tricks that these kids are now emulati and yes at times surpassing.

*honorable mntion Sean Obrien never met the guy dont know who he is but from all the videos ive seen here on WW this guys might b the most underated and less known badazz of all time ??
Old     (TheHebrewHammer)      Join Date: Jun 2011       02-03-2012, 7:01 AM Reply   
Sean is a true badass and an excellent human being. He goes super huge and does big worms and osmosis tricks that not a lot of guys are doing.

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