February fifth 2011 marked the first big grassroots event of the year with Texas Ski Ranch’s 8th Annual Freezeride. Despite some of the coldest water my body has ever entered and having to brush the previous days snowfall off the chairs on the beach, this was a great event. Riders traveled from near and as far as Kansas, Florida and even Ohio just to compete on the thawed ice at TSR.
First off the dock was the beginner class and even though most of the riders were blue in the face by the time warm-ups were through, the competition was fierce. With most riders just praying not to fall, the beginners went out and put it all on the line.
Next came the Intermediate and Advanced, or, as Tom Fooshee so elegantly re-titled it, the Semi-Pro division. Mason Markwardt took the top of the podium for Intermediate and Marshall Lewis laid down a flawless run to take home first in Semi-Pro. The rest of the competition fought hard and threw down some hammers, but in the end Brad Mason's explosive air tricks and Colton Moran's big kicker hits were only good enough for second and third respectively.
After a long morning of sitting around the fire and watching frozen wakeboarders, TSR needed to heat it up a bit, so the crowd headed inside for a hot’n spicy fashion show displaying some of the freshest gear from top brands like Reef, Nike and Roxy. Once the bros and the beauties were done strutting their stuff on the catwalk, we all headed outside to keep on freezeridin' with the Pro Men wakeskate and wakeboard divisions behind the boat.
There was some high-flying action and some low temps to kick off the boat comp. Local legend Bret Little did what he could, but the icicles on his shoelaces distracted him and he just couldn’t pull out the victory over another Texas local, David Rohme. Tyler Figol rounded out the podium for Men's Wakeskate Boat.
Pro Men Boat turned out to be a battle of the hammers with J.B. “Justin Beiber” O’Neil’s huge blind judge boosting him into third. But the big story of the day was Gabe Lucas. No surprise to those who follow the style master, but wow! The guy shows up late, doesn’t fall, completely murders the wake and then throws down one of the biggest slims I have ever seen off the double up and then goes back to work...dry, I might add. Props also go out to Tom Fooshee for a sick technical ride to grab second.
After the boat contest, everyone headed back to the fires on the beach to finish out the day watching the Pro Men wakeboard and wakeskate on the cable. On the wakeskate Bret little proved to be unbelievable again with stylish slider hits and technical kicker and water tricks to take the win, while Kansas pro Colin Haas took second and David Rohme rounded out the podium.
In Pro Men Cable Wakeboard, the competition was hard and cold as all the riders did everything they could just to not get wet. In the end, the warmest ended up being the winners. In third place was Sam Scoggins with a great, stylish and smooth run from the second he jumped off the dock. In second, Kyle Cameron slayed the rails, killed the air tricks and stomped his Pete Rose to seal the deal. Finally, in first was the little big man himself, 2010 Rider of the Year, stomping a huge S-Mobe 5 for the Freeze Ride Championship, Tom Fooshee.
Immediateley following the awards there was a Texas Hold 'Em tournament...Tom won that too.
Click here for full results from the 8th Annual TSR Freezeride.