I’ve been competing at Active Water Sports Koppert Lake events for almost 10 years now, this will be my 9th summer actually, and one thing I have heard at every event is, “Man, I wish there were more events like this during the summer!” Your voices have been heard! This summer I added a new event to our schedule, the AWS Summer Classic. This was our first ever Summer Classic and also our first tournament we have held in the month of June. This tournament gave riders that missed out at our Spring Classic a chance to compete before our end of summer event in August, the Free Rider’s Ball. The Summer Classic also gives everyone another chance to go home with some more great wakeboard prizes for summer!
The event was organized and formatted the same as all of our other events with the free-ride and fun mentality we always bring. There were divisions for all levels including: Grom, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Women’s, Master’s, Wakeskate, Rails, and Open. As usual, our largest division was the Intermediate division that had 10 riders. It was awesome to see a few new faces at the lake. Devin Carlisle was a first time Koppert Lake competitor and found his way to the top of the podium in the Intermediate division with his smooth style and big inverts.
Another new edition to the contest was made by the support of SOL Republicheadphones. You’ll notice a few riders around the area that are now rocking a brand new pair of AWS custom designed headphone bands that were given out to our first place winners. These headphones created a huge stir and buzz by the rest of the crowd at the event and I know for sure if you weren’t able to take first at this contest, you better be working real hard to get to the top in August because these headphones are HOT!
The wake gods were smiling on us for another great Active Water Sports event, the weather greeted us with open rays of sunshine and all of our sponsors came through with amazing prizes (and a lot of free giveaways!) If you missed your chance to ride in this event make sure to stay tuned in and to get registered for our season’s largest event of the year, The Free Rider’s Ball! Thanks again to the following supporters and sponsors:
Northwest Riders ClothingO’neill
Active Water Sports
Photos taken by Corey Bruce: http://coreybrucephotography.tumblr.com/
Earlier this year on April 28th, Hydrous Wake Park hosted the 2012 Wake The Line Qualifier event in Allen, Texas. Riders from all over the world including Australia, Sweden, and Canada, registered to ride for their chance to win an all expense paid trip to Germany for O’neill’s Wake The Line Cable Competition in which the winner will take home $50,000!
I showed up to the Hydrous Wake Park a few days before the event to get in some practice, but mostly to get some good free riding time in because the weather in the northwest is still a little cold. The first day spent at Hydrous I met the owner’s Chad LaCerte and Victor Toledo. These two guys are exactly what wakeboarding needs from it’s cable owners: an extremely high level of stoke and an overall passion and kindness shown to their customers and the sport. Chad and Victor are at the cable every day not only running the business, but they go out and shred with the customers! There were several times throughout the weekend I saw Chad personally giving new riders tips on how to start off the dock, take the cable turns, and how to edge properly.
Behind Chad and Victor they have an incredible team of employees that share the same level of stoke and passion. Not only are their employees dedicated to the cable but they’re also incredible riders. Cody Johnson rides for CTRL wakeboards and is the “do everything” guy at the cable. Jade Whirley not only leads the coaching team at Hydrous but also rides for Slingshot. From 9am-9pm these two guys are non stop riding and working, whether it’s anchoring new rails, building decks, or sharing their excitement and passion with first time riders. Overall, I have never been more impressed with a cable park, not only because the facility is brand new and looks amazing, but the vibe there is unmatched!
After meeting the crew at Hydrous I met up with co-Slingshot team riders Nate Perry, Mike Ennen, and Oli Derome. We shared our travel and airport stories of how we all got there and shortly after strapped in to go for some laps around the cable. Being able to hang out and ride with the Slingshot crew really helped me to relax from the contest pressures and reminded me that the whole point of this contest was to have a great time.
As the weekend approached, more and more riders began to show up at the park. It was cool to be able to catch up with friends that I met during my stay in Florida, like Brenton Priestley, who has been having a breakout year with his video part “In-Transit.” Andrew Adams and Davis Griffin from Shredtown stopped in at the park to hang and ride. Pat Panakos from Sesitec and Unit was on site watching his cable systems do their work. I was even lucky enough to go for a few laps around the big cable with the legendary Panakos which I consider a definite privilege!
The contest hosted 30 riders with the top 4 winning their expense paid trip to Germany. The set up was simple: first hit was the Unit Pipe system rail, 2nd hit was the Unit Quarter pipe, and the 3rd hit was Unit’s newest XL kicker. Judge’s Rob Corum, Bret Little, and Gabe Lucas would score each hit equally out of 33.3 points, all three totalling to a perfect 100. Because the WTL event in Germany is a very tight course, in that every trick and hit must be done quickly and controlled, the judging criteria for Hydrous matched that of which the judges in Germany will be basing their scores on. The criteria included: Variety, Creativity, Control, Style, Intensity, Difficulty.
In my first heat I was able to put together a solid run which provided me the highest score in my heat and pushed me through to the second round. After a l0ng break watching the other riders finish their first run, the second round began. I was unable to put together a consistent run and was unfortunately unable to make it through to the finals.
Winners of the contest and of the expense paid trip to Germany included Brenton Priestley, Oli Derome, Keith Holley, and James Windsor.
My experience and stay at Hydrous will definitely be a trip to remember. Even during the competition the same relaxed, have fun vibe was shared between all the riders. When riders were bumped out, there wasn’t any disputes or arguments, we all just simply posted up on shore and shouted out some “bro-noises” to keep the rest of the riders pumped.
After the event, Cody and Jade both played as excellent hosts showing us the good spots for grubb and beers. Chad and Victor were accommodating to all the riders making sure everyone was having a good time at the event. Huge thanks again to all the guys at Hydrous for hosting such a fun event and also in their efforts to represent wakeboarding and pushing the sport in the best way possible. Thanks again to Slingshot Wake and Active Water Sports for always supporting me and making this trip possible! I already can’t wait to visit Texas again!
Check out the contest video below:
Photo and Video Credit: Mark DeVelde
There’s no better way to kick off the coming wake season than to invite the entire northwest water sports community to Koppert Lake for Active Water Sports’ Annual Spring Classic event held on April 21st. After a long and strange snow season, I was as anxious as the rest of the northwest wake riders to get back on the water with my wakeboard. The weather during the days leading up to the Spring Classic made it difficult for any pre-contest practice rides, but that didn’t stop the 50 competitors from showing up for a great weekend of wakeboarding!
The day before the event, Active’s newest addition to the team, Jake Southard, and I spent all day in our rain gear setting up banners and flags around the lake. A little later in the afternoon the rain slowly drizzled off and we dropped the brand new Super Air Natique 210 into the water to get it sacked up and ready to ride for the contest.
A big surprise came later Friday night when Bryan Douglass from Slingshot rolled in with the Slingshot team van packed full of demo gear and offered all of the Central Washington University riders free rides and demos at the lake. I noticed one CWU rider even chose to use the Shredtown demo deck in the competition after testing it out Friday night!
We ended Friday by the campfire and I was really pumped to catch up and hang out with Eddie Roberts and the CWU wake team. I met most of the team last summer at the Collegiate Regionals tournament and was excited to see them all come out to Koppert as a team to represent their school. CWU brought 16 competing riders and with them their friends and family to show their support.
Saturday morning my head popped off my pillow 10 minutes before the alarm was set and I was awake and ready before the rooster crowed. The weather forecast called for rain all week, except Saturday we were promised mid 70′s and clear skies! The sun was a bit slower to get out of bed than I was, but by 10 o’clock the blue skies were out and the shoreline was quickly covered with lawn chairs and excited riders and spectators alike. For most of our riders it was their first ride of the season, but a few were lucky enough to make it out once or twice before. We totaled almost 50 riders to compete in the event. The contest offered the same divisions as our previous events: Grom, Novice, Intermediate, Advanced, Master’s, Women’s, Wakeskate, Rails, and Pro. Our division participation was pretty well rounded throughout the competition. Every division held between 6-10 riders and that gave a fair chance for all the riders to get on the podium.
Lots of free t-shirts, hats, and stickers provided by our sponsors were thrown out to the crowd throughout the day and we once again had amazing prizes for our top placers including head phones, wakeboards, vests, rope and handle packages, and apparel. Corey Bruce was on site shooting photos of the crowd and the riders all day sacrificing the safety of his own skin in the sun! Contest results are listed below along with a photo gallery. Huge thanks to all of our continuing sponsors:
Grom: Novice: Intermediate:
1. Tanner Higham 1. Austin Preuss 1. Dave Bodi
2. Seth Mckeon 2. Talon Sorensen 2. Sean Cebell
3. Paige Storey 3. Sterling Fry 3. John Macarthur
Womens: Masters: Advanced:
1. Molly Hawken 1. Ray Durkee 1. Tyler Higham
2. Priscilla Stultz 2. Mike Raines 2. Corbin Schafer
3. Michelle Moos 3. Darren Halsey 3. Ammon Markstaller
Wakeskate: Rails: Open:
1. Aaron Huntley 1. Jake Southard 1. Kyler Green
2. Sean Cebell 2. Zach Schneider 2. Eddie Roberts
3. Patrick Mahoney 3. AJ Westlund 3. AJ Westlund
Salem Winching With Slingshot and The Oregon Trail Trash Crew
After a solid Summer of spending most of my riding days being pulled behind a boat, I was excited to jump on the opportunity to do some winching with Zak Stone and his Oregon Trail Trash crew (O.T.T.) down in Salem. I’ve talked with Zak a few times over the Summer and he’s told me a lot about his private spot down south, but it wasn’t until a few weekends ago that I was able to finally go check it out.
Anytime there’s adventure ahead it’s always smart to travel with companions, so first person I thought to call was Slingshot R&D Engineer Chris Boyle. Besides the fact Chris is always down for adventure, he usually has a few new toys that Slingshot is working on to use on the water. This time he brought with him a few Slingshot board prototypes to test out behind my wave runner to get some notes on how they edge. So, early Sunday morning before we packed up the Subaru to head south, we put on our wetsuits and went for a quick morning rip to warm up our presses and slayshes on the perfect morning butter water in my back yard provided by the Willamette River. Afterwards, we warmed up with some breakfast eggs, bacon, and coffee, packed up our gear, and started the venture south to Salem to fill the rest of our day winching.
The drive from Portland took almost 2 hours to get to Zak’s secret winch spot. After a few missed turns (which I’ve come to learn is expected when traveling with “bro’s”) we found ourselves deep in Salem and smack in the middle of farm land and cow pastures. As we rolled up to our destination we passed a herd of cows munching down on the grass just a few feet from the bumpy mud road, so naturally we honked the horn and made a few wild boy hand gestures at the cows for a good laugh. Zak wasn’t kidding when he told me he had the perfect lake to drop a wave runner in and build rails all along the shoreline. The lake is shaped like an “L” and provides good wind protection on either end of the lake no matter which way the wind is blowing. The water was a bit low to run the wave runner for this time of season, but luckily there’s a ditch that can be filled by a drainage pipe that empties from the lake, perfect for winching. The target for this session: small kicker to 10ft pole jam or stop sign smash. I had never done much of a pole jam or kicker to bonk hit before so I was super pumped to get to it. We spent the rest of the evening taking turns sessioning the hit, each taking photos for one another and getting our hands dirty on a GoPro or two.
Thanks to Evan Applegate and Tallon Hoke for the pictures and to AJ Westlund and Brent Breitbach for joining in on the shred. Huge thanks to Zak Stone and the O.T.T. crew for letting us come down to shred his secret spot and get some solid pulls from behind his winch. The vibe riding with the crew was pretty awesome to be a part of. Everyone there was stoked on every trick landed and there was never hesitation to help with the camera work. Check out the photo gallery below to witness the session for yourself.
Active Water Sports presents the Annual Fall Classic 2011
October is a month only the true dedicated Northwest rider’s dare to strap on their wake boards, zip up their neoprene suits, and brave the cold water. Active’s annual Fall Classic competition is a contest held at the end of the season to give those truly passionate about wakeboarding one final chance to prove that their Summer full of face plants, edge catches, and head slams to land that new trick, was worth it. Following a such great turnout from the Free Rider’s Ball, I was anxious to put on one last competition for the season and go out with a BANG! Once again the wake god’s smiled on us and helped me out by bringing dry weather for the weekend.
Friday, the day before the competition, I spent my morning unloading product from the Active Team box van that I brought up from our Oregon City store to stock up the pro shop in hopes to make sure every contestant had the gear they needed for the day of the competition. I also spent time setting up sponsor banners and flags. After a productive morning of set up, I then gassed up the boats and took a much needed rail set to relax and get me in the “shred state of mind.” I spent the rest of the evening until even past dark pulling riders who came early to practice their contest runs and camp out for the night. As always, the night before the contest Koppert hosted a campground full of riders and spectators for the event, but this time Koppert had the privilege to help celebrate one of Koppert’s regular shredders, Priscilla Stultz’s birthday! Priscilla is one of our favored women’s division riders known for throwing down huge backflips on her board and is no stranger to the top of the podium.
Saturday, the morning of the competition, I was more than excited to once again wake up to clear skies and fresh “warm” Fall air. We opened our pro shop and registration booth at 9am and by 9:05am I had a line out the door of rider’s anxious to sign up for the event. In all, 57 riders were signed up, matching our Free Rider’s event held in August! I was hugely stoked and surprised to see how many dedicated riders showed up to our event even in the late season. By 10:15am our first rider left the dock being towed by Ned Baker’s 2011 Super Air Natique 210. Our contest held the same format as the Free Rider’s event, but with only one slight change. Rider’s were allowed only 2 falls, as opposed to the previously allowed 3 falls. This helped save time which we needed no thanks to Fall’s early sunset times. Riders were judged on the same format as Free Rider’s, focusing on amplitude, difficulty, variety, and most importantly, their style! Grabs always help score big and going bigger is always better!
The weather continued to stay dry with even breaks of sun in the sky throughout the day. Without a hiccup, the contest ran as smooth as I could’ve anticipated and was confident to expect to get everyone in the water before dark. As the contest came to a close, we finished the day with the Pro level division. Koppert was privileged for the second time of the weekend and we all got the chance to invite long time pro rider and Oregon original, Collin Wright, to shred with us in the competition. For those that don’t know their wake history, Collin was a long time Double-Up and Billabong team rider and also one of the first Slingshot team rider’s. He’s even been in a wakeboarding game, Shaun Murray’s Unleashed, and was featured in Alliance Magazine’s video “Innuendo” riding along side with some of the industry’s best like Danny Harf and Ben Greenwood. So needless to say, it was an absolute privilege to see what true style and smooth riding looks like. Collin placed on the podium third, Brenden Lieb landed second, and Kyler Green, once again looked down at the others from the top and took home $130 cash for first! Kyler had an unbelievable run stomping his whole set landing a backflip backside 3, toeside 720, roll to blind, front roll frontside 180 and I seriously can’t even remember the rest of his run because he threw down so hard. It’s a lot of fun to watch someone at the age of 17 progress so quickly and handle the competition like a pro. For our rail division, I was lucky enough to sneak in a first place podium spot, followed by second place winner Jake Southard, and third place was reserved for Brad Hess.
The competition finished with perfect timing. The sky had just turned to dark as I announced the last of our podium placers and handed out the last of our prizes. Every first place rider from each division took home either a new wakeboard or pair of wakeboots, and second and third place winners took home a DVD and their choice of a clothing item donated from one of our event sponsors.
I will staple this year’s Fall Classic as a huge success and will put it in contention with one of our best Fall events of all time. Thank you everyone who came out to shred and spectate. Huge thanks to Slingshot for the amazing prize donations and for bringing out the new 2012 Slingshot wake gear and awesome tent to hang out in! Thanks huge to Northwest Riders Clothing and O’neill for always hooking us up with the best of threads. Thanks to Liquid Force, Ronix, and Hyperlite as well for the sweet board and product hook ups. Thanks huge to the contest help, Ned Baker for bringing his boat down to shred behind and for representing Active’s newest boat line Super Air Natique. Thanks to the judge’s Brad Hess, Spencer Norris, Nick Korum and Brenden Leib. Thanks again to Spencer Norris for keeping us entertained on the microphone all day and thanks to the Ammon “A-Frame” Markstellar and Ian Markstellar for keeping us in line on the dock and in the pro shop. And without Jake Southard sitting in the captain’s chair of the boat all day, none of us would’ve been able to show off our skills on our boards. If there’s anyone that I missed, feel free to call me up at the Oregon City store and I’ll sign you up to be put on our mailing list and you can then write your complaint to me! Enjoy the slideshow pictures below provided by Garett Kopp and stay in touch over the winter to hear about our fun events such as the “Evening With the Stars” event held in our Oregon City store on November 18th.
Contest Podium Results
1. Livia Molodyh
2. Madison Luell
3. Olivia Kull
4. Paige Storey
1. Sean Cebell
2. Grant Karstedt
3. Aaron Huntley
1. Lewis Griggs
2. Grant Karstedt
3. Craver Small
1. Darren Postforoosh
2. Sean Cebell
3. Mick Korum
1. Jeff Ward
2. Darren Halsey
3. Ray Durkee
1. Kyler Green
2. Brenden Leib
3. Collin Wright
1. Zach Schneider
2. Jake Southard
3. Brad Hess