Nick didn’t have any trouble strolling onto the Wakeskate Tour and immediately kicking ass. He was like a contest ninja: no identity, deadly accuracy, and always a secret weapon up his sleeve. He finished sixth overall on the tour, went on a trip to Europe with his board sponsor, Southern Wakeskates, and always left a winch spot with a clip or two. Nick basically sauntered out of a cable park in south Florida and straight into the hearts of Wakeskate Tour fan girls everywhere. And we couldn’t be happier that he did.
A lot of wakeskaters worked really hard this year to make stuff happen within the industry, but you got to hand it to Reed Hansen. Reed slaved for months to construct his vision, pouring money and Bobcat hours into the dreamy Battle Falls setup. Then he was kind enough to host an event for all of us to come out and hit. Aside from that, Reed won two tour stops, did tricks no one else can do, and came out with the closing section in Noisia Vision. Reed’s on the clock!
PARTY OF THE YEAR
Once a year wakeskaters get to take over the small town of Nahunta, Georgia for this annual event, and it’s always filled with good vibes and friendly faces. From mudding to wakeskating to everything in between, Retention never disappoints. Go to the middle of nowhere, meet up with a bunch of friends and wakeskaters, shred, camp, and chill for the weekend, then tell us there was anything else you’d rather be doing instead. Come one, come all.
Cassandra Scott & Jen Gilanfarr
All the lady skaters killed it this year, but Cassie and Jen especially stood out. Jen has been at the forefront pushing women’s skating for years and it was no surprise to see her fighting to get their own event at every tour stop. Right by her side, Cassie was taking the wakeskating to the next level. Hubbas, Lock-ins, these rippers are doing it all. Props!
BLEED DAILY AWARD
Matt, you scared the hell out of everybody this year. Never do that again, bro. Even more baffling than Manzari’s slam into the rocky shores of Bithlo was the fact that he ended his year by putting out an amazing part in Noisia Vision and also came back to the last event of the tour and blew some minds with the same brand of technical and consistent riding he’s always been known for. You can’t keep a good wolf down!
REDNECK OF THE YEAR
Redneck seems to be a consistent theme for wakeskating style throughout the years. Is there any other board sport that really has this going for them? I think not, and the answer is because not every sport has Florida-born moccasin-rassling swamp dwellers growing into their ranks. Trucks, mud, shotguns, canned beer, confederate flags, you name it. This year even the Water Monsters team got into the redneck spirit for the Devise and Conquer weekend in April. In fact, there are a strong number of rednecks our wakeskate community, but George Daniels ultimately wins this for his Johnny Rebel toting Battle Falls run, and his consistency in living a life in line with the sacred code of the Florida redneck. Just remember, everyone makes fun of a redneck until your truck breaks down.
It’s likely that Reed was in about a dozen different time zones this year, flew over almost every major ocean, and racked up thousands of road miles along the way. The dude travels more than anyone we know, and always seemingly on a whim. A creature of instinct and a seeker of good times, Reed knows how to gypsy harder than anyone. Live the search, Doctor Watson.
The Pulley, by Aquarium
The capper of Aquarium’s craftiness is their pulley, specified for wakeskating to allow even more possibilities for line direction. Set your winch wherever you want, tie the pulley up to the best pulling spot, string it up and away you go. Nice thinking, fellers.
We are proud to give this award to Hooker for his continued leadership in leisurability. Captain Hooker knows how to make the best of a bad situation and always keeps his cool. When not styling around on a wakeskate Matt can be found sailing the waters of his Long Island home, vibing out in some Brooklyn dive, or spilling beer on your daughter at a Rangers game.
INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
Battle Falls, Groveland
Never before has someone created a water wedge as part of their pool gap set up, but that didn’t stop Reed Hansen from nailing it with his backyard behemoth. Having the ability to do tricks on the way down and back up created a rad dynamic for his Battle Falls contest, and the footage that was captured is testament to the success of this innovation. Hopefully we see more of these to come, because this is some seriously cool shit.
FOREIGNER OF THE YEAR
Like the great European adventurers before him, Leo is an eager explorer. He took a seat in the Remote van and saw more sights of America than most of us native patriots did the last ten years. Leo constantly had us wishing we were half as Euro-cool as him, or could at least wakeskate half as well. Leo wins not only for being an exceptional foreigner, but also because of how mad he would get at us if he didn’t win this.
BUSINESS CASUAL AWARD
Is he business or is he bro? Silas is good for both. He can dish out a hi-five or a handshake, a barroom joke or a business proposal, and all the while has discovered the ins and outs of how to get shit done in our industry. And if the amount of fun he has leads you to any indication that he isn’t serious, keep in mind the dude just got engaged. Congrats, buddy!
CABLE RAT OF THE YEAR
Tons of energy, loads of style, and three square meals of candy per day. Daniel was raised on the cable but doesn’t seem to have any trouble taking his skills to all other terrain. He’s even splitting his time between wakeboarding and wakeskating right now just to let the rest of us catch up to him. How thoughtful. If you have to choose just one, Daniel, we all hope you turn to the dark side…
SHOP OF THE YEAR
The Liquid Playground
Austin Watts puts more wakeskate-specific effort into his shop than anyone we know. From throwing premier parties to sponsoring riders to carrying a diverse line of skates, Austin has successfully created the most passionate and sincere support for wakeskating from a retailer this year. The reason for all this? Mr. Watts simply loves wakeskating, and his stoke is infectious. We’re glad this dude runs a shop!
WEB VIDEO OF THE YEAR
Andrew Pastura, Dragon Presents
Classic WM vibe with a plethora of progressive trickery, Andrew is still The Champ.
ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
There is so much to say about this dude! Marcus and his crew are on a nonstop mission to seek fun. We just watched him stick a front big heel down Retention with the homies doing a party wave in the back. Who does that? WM was lucky enough to snatch this whipper-snapper up and we believe the motives behind that decision are pretty obvious. This dude has a good head on his shoulders and we can’t wait to see what he throws down next year.
VIDEO OF THE YEAR
From South Africa to the shores of America, Dieter Humpsch has been following a dream and honing his craft on the waters of central Florida and Noisia Vision is the culmination of this journey. This movie worked as a real showcase for wakeskating this year, complete with a teaser that racked up over half a million views. Noisia Vision’s got sick riding and awesome cinematography, if you haven’t checked it out yet, leave now and do so.
WAKESKATER OF THE YEAR
Every clip of Yan’s wakeskating this year has been a treat. Whether he was flying around the last contest setup or getting critical for the Red Bull Winch Missions, Yan consistently impressed everyone. He ollied what could be the largest drop ever done on a wakeskate, then went and learned kickflip backlips after Contingency. Yan is versatile and consistent, with an approach to wakeskating that is a blast of fresh air straight from the Canadian wilderness he calls home. Beyond that, he is down for the cause enough to ride around for weeks on end in a stinky bus for Remote’s Almost Heroes tour this summer. We are proud to say Yan Lecomte is the Wakeskate Magazine’s first ever Wakeskater of the Year.