New Format Legitimizes Pro Wakeboarders
Glass calm water and a huge wake set the stage at Freedom Wake Park in Orlando on April 13 for the first-ever Malibu WWA Pro Card wakeboarding qualifier, a development project by the World Wakeboard Association designed to fuel the vitality of competitive wakeboarding long into the future.
With an opportunity to secure a spot as a legitimate professional competitive wakeboarder, 20 riders competed for 16 cards on the day. The heats were stacked and the wake behind the Malibu Wakesetter 22 MXZ was banging. In the four-man final, camaraderie outweighed the riders’ competitive nature, but they all pushed each other to throw down.
19-Year-old Mike Dowdy was the favorite coming into the event and he proved why, landing a backside 720, Moby Dick 540, toeside 900, nosegrab crow mobe 540 and more, including his signature heelside double grab (nose/stale) ole’ 720.
That run put Dowdy in the top spot as winner of the first-ever Malibu WWA Pro Card Event. Dowdy was psyched on his result and appreciates the new structure created by the Pro Card system.
"I think the Pro Card is awesome," Dowdy said. "Anyone who thinks they are or can be a pro rider now has this opportunity to prove it. I was super stoked to come out with the win at the first event and the conditions were perfect. Everyone is killing it. All my friends were out here riding as well today and we are all having fun just pushing it and becoming better riders every day. There’s definitely a movement going on with this crew and I’m glad to be a part of it."
The Malibu WWA Pro Card was the first of five events for 2013. The remaining regional events will consist of Pro Card qualifiers and the "Rider Experience," which will be events designed to help amateurs develop into pros. Check out more at wwariderexperience.com.