May 2012 26

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:
http://youtu.be/LiwIPdr72CI 

Photo and Video Credit: Mark DeVelde

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