(THIS CONTEST ENDED ON 9/1/08)
Riders Choice Awards Archives:
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Every year you guys keep coming back to the virtual ballot box harder and stronger. You made 2008 another record-breaking year for participation in our 8th Annual Riders Choice Awards. We have spent the day tabulating results and now your collective voices will be heard by the wake industry! WakeWorld appreciates your participation and thanks everyone for making a statement about the riders and products that make up wakesports.
In addition to making a statement, each entrant got the chance to pick up some free wake goodies from Liquid Force, Spy Sunglasses, Liquid Force Clothing and Sidewayz.
As if it wasn't obvious from the stack of prizes below, you can see that Liquid Force, our presenting sponsor, hooked up our winners in a big way with all kinds of gear, while our other sponsors made sure our winners look stylish and have plenty to do when they're off the water! Check your email inbox to see if you're the winner of one of the following prizes...
So what do the results look like for 2008? As usual, there are a few surprises and probably a few on which you would have bet the farm.
As far as the Top Male Wakeboarders go, Rusty Malinoski grabbed the #1 spot for the second year in a row. Phillip Soven jumped up one spot to follow Rusty in the #2 position and Randall Harris made the biggest leap of 2008 by going from #8 in 2007 to #3.
For the first time ever, a Bonifay does not appear in our top ten as both Parks and Shane got bounced out. Also leaving the top ten was Andrew Adkison, who had made it all the way up to #5 last year. That means we had three newcomers to the top ten. Apparently, the Hyperlite team must have gotten out the vote because they are all Hype riders; Aaron Rathy (#7), JD Webb (#9) and Austin Hair (#10).
In the Top Female Wakeboarders category, Dallas Friday continued to dominate despite missing a lot of time due to injuries. Amber Wing continued her climb toward the top by moving up one more spot to #2. New to the top five is the dominant Nicola Butler coming in at #3.
Aaron Reed is responsible for breaking the longest-running streak in Riders Choice history. For the first time in eight years, Brian Grubb did not come out in first position in the ranking of the Top Wakeskaters. Instead, he fell to second behind Aaron Reed. Other than a little shuffling, this category kept the same five players as we had in 2007.
The Rookie of the Year category was an easy pick for most since Jimmy LaRiche made such a big splash in the few pro tournaments in which he participated this year. He also grabbed his first Junior Men title, so he had a pretty decent 2008.
Rusty Malinoski broke his two-year streak of winning the Most Improved Rider category. He gave the top spot up to teammate Aaron Rathy, so Aaron will be the only rider to walk away with two trophies for 2008.
Now let's take a look at the 2008 products. This year's Wakeboard of the Year also won this category two years ago, so I'm sure Shawn Watson is happy to have his Liquid Force pro model back on top. In fact, the same thing happened in the Binding of the Year category. The Liquid Force Watson won two years ago and has now made its way back to the top. Since the Ronix One swept the wakeboard and binding categories last year, this makes three years in a row that a pro model has swept both these categories. Danny Harf's One pro model grabbed the #2 spot in both categories.
The Byerly Legacy continued its dominance of the Wakeskate of the Year category with its second win in as many tries. Both runner-up wakeskates are newcomers to the market as the Liquid Force SST and Ronix Zariel took the #2 and #3 positions respectively.
Another first for the Riders Choice Awards happened in the Wakesurf Board of the Year category. Hyperlite was knocked from the top spot by the Liquid Force Custom in its second year of production.
Boat of the Year again goes to the MasterCraft X-Star, an honor that boat has held since it introduction, with the Malibu Wakesetter VLX again holding down the #2 spot.
The Innovation of the Year competition went to one of the simplest ideas in the Liquid Force Vantage binding.
Finally, 1242 Productions grabbed the Video of the Year spotlight for the Oakley team video, Push Process.
Be sure to click on the links below to see the full results for every category and jump on the links at the top of each page if you want to see the Riders Choice Awards for the previous seven years. Thanks to everybody that submitted a vote and to all the sponsors that provided such great prizes!