Bala, Muskoka has a rich history as the central hub in Canada for all things wake. Since the early 90s, Muskoka has played host to the original Wakestock, Nautiques Wakeboard XCup Series, Muskoka Militia Crew Challenge, Jake Thomas’ television show The World of Wakeboarding and many more clinics, camps, marinas and events. It has been the home stomping grounds for multiple pro athletes and sport ambassadors, thus it is only fitting for Bala to be the top choice for hosting the 2013 Canadian Wake Championships.
"We are looking forward to seeing all the pro athletes from across Canada make their way back to Muskoka," says Canadian Wake Committee Director and long-time wakeboarder Sean Fleming. "Bala is where it all started in Ontario, it truly is the home of wakeboarding."
More than 150 athletes from across Canada are expected to attend including international pro riders James Balzer, Christian Primrose, Jess Polley, Robbie McMillin, Ashley Leugner and Erika Langman.
Spectators and enthusiasts can expect to see the best wakeboarding in the world right in their backyard. Bush’s Watersports Centre offers both perfect water conditions for riders, and prime viewing areas for spectators with amenities on site including What Wake Park and Muskoka Paintball. The Nationals isn’t just about the pros either, kids of all ages will be competing in the Junior divisions for their chance to win their own National Title.
On Thursday, August 22 The Kee to Bala will be the host of the Wake Nationals Kickoff Patio Party presented by Rip Curl and Monster Energy. The highlight of the event will be the film premiere of Rip Curl’s The Judgment video contest presented by Sony Action Cam. In its second season, The Judgment is Canada’s largest wakeboarding video competition with more $4000 in prize money. Riders will battle head-to-head for the best video of the summer, all to be seen for the very first time Thursday night at The Kee. Doors open at 8:30pm, premiere starts at 9:30pm.
Ones to Watch:
Christian Primrose – Barrie, ON
Named the 2011 Rookie of the Year at the Canadian Wake Awards and the Waterski-Wakeboard Canada junior Wakeboard Athlete of the Year in 2012.
Earlier this year won the Red Bull Raise the Bar contest in King City, Ontario with a jump of 12-feet. An aspiring Jr. Pro Tour competitor, Primrose career highlights include a second place finish at the 2011 Wakeboard Worlds and the 2011 Wake Nationals Open Division and a fourth in the 2012 Open Division.
Robbie McMillan Lake of Bays, Ontario
Won the Men 1 (19-24 age group) at the 2012 Canadian Wakeboard Championships presented by Monster and firth in the overall Men’s Open event. Finished third in the Men’s Open event at the 2011 National Championships and Won the 2012 SBC Wakeboard Judgment Contest. Named the named 2012 Wakeboarder of the Year at the Ontario Wake Awards. Rides on the Roots circuit in Ontario and teaches wakeboarding on Lake of Bays in
Dary Znebel Lake Muskoka, Ont
Local Muskoka wake instructor and past national team athlete. 2011 Canadian wakeboard national champion. However, he was injured quite badly at the event and has been on the road to recovery since. One of the top contenders for the top spot at this years national championships.
James Balzer Langley, British Columbia
Monster Energy pro wakeskater and Canadian National Championship three times (2006, 2009, 2012). Placed first at Wakestock in 2012 and third at Brostock in 2009, along with second place at Wakestock last weekend.
Instrumental in developing wakeskating in British Columbia.
Tanner Champion – Nanaimo, British Columbia
Wakeskates in Canada 365 days of the year – created #wakeskateeverydamnday. Finished Third in 2102 Wakskate event at the 2012 Canadian National Championship and second in the 2011 edition. BC development coach, and tournament organizer.
Tom Bailey – Midhurst, Ontario
Finished fourth in the 2102 Wakeskate Competition and at the 2012 Wakeboard Canadian Nationals. Works for the local Nautique dealership as a boat sales person in Muskoka.
Erika Langman – Orangeville, Ontario
Nicknamed the “Penguin” Langman is heavily involved in the Ontario Wakeboard scene and “The Roots” wake series. She was the 2012 Waterski and Wakeboard Canada female Wake Rider of the Year and finished first in both the Women’s Open and Features competitions at the 2012 Canadian National Wakeboard Championship. Other highlights include a second at 2013 US Nationals and 3rd at the World Pake Park Series in Waco, TX.
Ashley Leugner – Fort Qu’Appelle, Saskatchewan Finished second in the Open event at the 2012 Canadian Nationals as well as third in the features competition. She won the Open competition in 2011 2010, and 2008. In 2009 was the runner-up in the IWWF World Championship.
Taylor Johnson – Estevan, Saskatchewan
An up-and-comer entering her fourth year of competitive wakeboarding in
2013 Johnson has won the Junior Open Event at the Canadian Nationals the last three years while also finishing third, second, and fourth in the Women’s Open event over that same time. She rides at the Boundary Dam outside Estevan, Saskatchewan. She is currently living and going to school in Regina.
Emily Tenwesteneind – Keene, Ontario
Up and coming rider from Kawartha Lakes, and the 2013 overall Roots series champion. Finished second in Wakestock 2012. Emily is a learning facilitator and is responsible for training new coaches in Ontario. She just finished a Bachelor of Science and is working as a personal injury trainer in Peterborough.