Pleasant Prairie, WI – The Malibu WWA Rider Experience North and Regional Championships saw everything from first time rides to career highlights with Tyler Higham taking the overall Jr. Pro Series title! Riders and families from all over the region came out for their chance to ride with the pros on Freeride Friday behind the Malibu 24 MXZ, learning some new tricks and getting their runs dialed in. Saturday's Regional Championships discovered some new talent in the north headed to the WWA Wakeboard National Championships next month! Surfgate Sunday was all about shredding the MXZ's massive, long wave for a group of aspiring pros and passing by observers turned surfers!
"This is what the Malibu WWA Rider Experience is all about! We met some amazing people new to the sport that are now joining us to compete at Nationals as a family. This is where it all starts and we're excited to have so many new members in our family of wake. Thank you to Munson Marine and Malibu Boats for making this series happen!" said WWA Executive Director Corrie Wilson.
Intensity was at an all time high in the Jr. Pro Men division with the overall title and prize money on the line. Heading into the final, Luca Kidd (GBR) and Tyler Higham (USA) were separated by only five points in the series standings with rough water in a winner takes all situation. A major slip by either rider would put Tyler Worrall (USA) in the number one spot. First off the dock, Worrall came swinging, hitting a whirly 540 that was enough to land him in second with a score of 64.00 just ahead of Luca Kidd by the smallest of margins. Kidd had no choice but to go big, throwing down a H/S 720 and a sick stale roll to blind in his run going down just before the grand finale to score 62.33 in third place. Higham was last off the dock and played a smart game with two stand up passes that saw him land F/S and B/S 720's a nose crow 540 for the winning 83.33 score.
"I'm over the moon right now on winning the Rider Experience series! I'm super thankful to everyone that helped me out this year and, of course, to everyone that put on all of these events!" said Malibu WWA Rider Experience series Jr. Pro Champion Tyler Higham.
The Masters division was stacked with talent and good vibes on the dock. Eric Gifford (MO) hit a big backroll and tantrum in choppy conditions to take third place with 46.67 points. Madman Nick Cankar (IL) let his style shine through with a nose H/S 540 and tantrum to fakie for a second place score of 69.17. Division World Champion Tom Pazerunas (IL) threw a big indy glide and a tootsie roll in his run for the win with two stand up passes to score 76.67.
The Boy's Beginner division showed us that the future is bright in the northern region in a super competitive round of competition that didn't see a single fall. Ryan Will (WI) took it old school with a fashion air and big grabs that earned him a third place score of 66.67. Zachary Hanes (WI) placed second scoring 73.33 with a method grab and a melon half cab. Kaden Kelly (MN) made Prior Lake proud in his first WWA Regional Championships taking the win with big W2W 180's regular and switch along with big solid grabs that impressed the judges for a score of 90.00.
We were joined by some big names and big tricks in the surf competition. Taking the podium in third, Zachary Haynes (WI) scored 65.83 with some big turns, slashing the lip with style. In second, Josh Mitchell (MI) threw a 360, a 180, and a switch shuv to score 80.00. One of the top names in wakesurfing, Shane Blanton (WI), took the win, putting on a clinic with an alley-oop 360, big airs, a shuv and a B/S bigspin to score 91.66.
A big shout out goes to Kira Lewis (NJ) who competed in all three events placing first in Surf, first in Wakeskate, and second in Girls Wakeboard.
Surf Gate Sunday was a blast, bringing out a crew of connoisseurs and first-time riders that jumped in on the fun after simply walking by on a whim. The next stop of the Malibu WWA Rider Experience heads to Peterborough, Ontario, Canada July 21–23! To learn more about this exciting rider development series visit thewwa.com.
About Malibu Boats
Malibu Boats is the world's largest manufacturer of watersports towboats, known for leading the industry with major innovations, including the first onboard computer system in 1993, the ingenious Power Wedge hydrofoil in 2006 (completely redesigned in 2014), the industry's first wake-maximizing hull in 2000, and Surf Gate, the innovation that changed the face of wakesurfing forever, in 2012. Malibu markets the Wakesetter and Response models – as well as the Axis Wake Research brand – through a worldwide dealer network. With some 450 employees and three manufacturing facilities, in California, Tennessee, and Australia, Malibu builds boats to help you live a #lifewithoutlimits on the water. (NASDAQ: MBUU)
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About the WWA
The World Wakeboard Association is the global leader inwake sports sanctioning. The WWA owns and operates the WWA Wakeboard World Series, WWA Wake Park World Series, WWA Wakeboard National Championships, WWA Wake Park National Championships, WWA Wakeboard World Championships, WWA Wake Park World Championships, WWA Wake Park Triple Crown, WWA Pro Card and WWA Rider Experience. With 27 affiliate countries worldwide, the WWA is a rider-formed organization dedicated to promoting and growing wake sports worldwide. It is the primary source for riders, event organizers and competitive standards. For more information on the WWA and its events, check out thewwa.com.