Wakestock Raises the Bar Yet Again!
Malinoski & Lidberg Win Titles - Canadians Breakthrough!
Toronto. August 14, 2005. Wakestock raised the bar for wakeboard contests yet again with its expanded festival format, incredible rail course, innovative jib pool, impressive crowds and unprecedented media coverage for the sport. Wakestock’s new Toronto Islands site offered up perfect calm water conditions for stop #2 of the WWA World Series, allowing the top pros to showcase their best tricks and deliver the highest level of riding ever seen.
Despite two days of rainy weather, 30,000 wakeboarding and action sports fans attended Wakestock’s four action packed days. In its most exciting Sunday finals ever, Canadian Rusty Malinoski won Wakestock’s Malibu Boats World Series Expression Session title besting Jeff Weatherall of New Zealand in a new head-to-head showdown format. Rusty was the last to ride and stomped his double-up, a backroll to blind with an indy grab to edge Weatherall, who fell on his backside 5 off the double-up.
“The new site is f-ing sick” enthused Rusty after his winning run. “Amazing water – the best rails I’ve ever ridden! I didn’t realize that I’m the first Canadian guy to take down the Wakestock title since Jeff Heer way back in 98. I was pointing at Parks (Bonifay) on the shore during my final run because I was so stoked. This win feels extra special because it’s on home soil and I was riding against the best guys in the world.”
Highlights of Rusty’s winning run included his signature toeside nuclear backroll to blind, a toeside 720, a switch method back mobe, and a smooth boardslide to back-lip to blind 90 out on the big 90 foot A-frame rail.
Brett Eisenhauer of Australia land-Photo: Richard Roth ed in third, followed by Kevin Above: Rusty Malinoski, Malibu Boats Expression Session Finals. Henshaw of Canada in fourth, Below: John Feldman, lead singer of Goldfinger wades into the crowd. competing in his first ever World Series finals. Henshaw had the run of his life earlier in the finals beating Parks Bonifay in a head-to-head showdown.
In the Women’s Expression, Canadian Sunni-Anne Ball reclaimed the Wakestock title she won in 2003 topping Americans Barrett Pearlmann and Meaghan McNeil.
Wakestock’s highly coveted Billabong Pro Railslide title was hotly contested by the who’s who of progressive wakeboarding. In a very tight finals where the top four finishers all threw down stand-up runs, it was American Keith Lidberg who was flawless, edging young Canadian phenom Aaron Rathy, competing in his first major pro event. Colin Harrington of the USA and Kyle Rattray of Canada followed closely in third and fourth respectively.
“Wakestock is the only contest that I look forward to every year,” said Lidberg after his win. “This new location on Toronto Island is Photo: Adam Levitt the best site for a wakeboard Above: Ryan Doyle, Wakestock Wakeskate Finals on the 90 ft Flatbar, contest that I’ve ever been to in Below: Olivier Derome on the 90 ft A Frame rail. my career. I liked how the rail course made for a more interesting final. I really had to step it up because everyone else was riding so well. In my final run I threw in three tricks that I didn’t even try in practice. This railslide contest made the rail riding more legit because everybody took their riding to another level.”
Highlights of Keith’s smooth, technical run was his boardslide to 360 over the gap to boardslide on the down rail on the big 90 foot Step-Up rail and a switch 270 to frontside boardslide on the 90 foot flatbar. Rathy also impressed with a ridiculous backlip up, backlip across the top to backside 270 off the down rail on the big A-Frame slider.
“This is the only contest that I feel relaxed at and I will definitely come back next year,” proclaimed Colin Harrington after receiving his Wakestock Billabong Pro Railslide awards belt.
In Wakestock’s Pro Wakeskate contest it was Chase Gregory of the USA who killed it with trick combinations like a backside big spin, followed by frontside big spin, and then back lipping the whole 90-foot long flatbar. Americans Danny Hampson and George Daniels, last year’s Wakestock Wakeskate Champ, followed in second and third respectively. Canadian Ryan Doyle finished fourth in his first ever pro finals.
“This new site is so huge and there was so much going on that it made Wakestock jump another step up from past years,” said Ryan Doyle. “Even though I grew up in the Toronto area, I had never been out to the Toronto Islands before – this is such an amazing site to have Wakestock. I hope that it stays here for a long time. This year the rail course was the best it has ever been; the rails were longer and more mellow and it allowed everyone to get really tech in wakeskating.”
Just in case the incredible rail course and riding on the water wasn’t enough, Wakestock created the biggest jib pool in the world. The Oakley Launch Pool was designed for both wakeskaters and wake-boarders and featured four different 30-foot long rails over a gnarly set of stairs. One of the rails was a full metal kinked rail. Riders rode through a huge upper pool elevated 15 feet above ground and down the rails to an even larger landing pool. Following two days of practice jams, Wakestock held a two separate Best Trick contests, one dedicated to wakeskaters and one to wakeboarders. The tricks were like nothing ever seen, with riders showing off new skate and snowboard style slides. “The Oakley Launch Pool is taking the sport in an incredible new direction,” said SBC Wakeboard Magazine editor Adam Levitt, who was part of the pool design team led by Pat Panakos of The Projects and Canada’s rail guru Jimmy Brace. “The photos I shot on the pool rails look more like snowboard and skateboard photos. The photos coming out of this are going to be insane.”
In the Oakley Launch Pool Wakeskate Best Trick, Canada’s Aaron Rathy blew everyone’s minds with his versatility and aggressive snowboard style to take the win on his very first trick attempt. He nailed a boardslide up to backlip down on the big “Up-Flat-Down” rail. In the Wakeboard Best Trick, Shane Bonifay adapted his smooth style quickly and took the win with a nose press to frontside boardslide on the down rail on the big “Step-Down” rail.
This year’s Wakestock World Series saw the breakthrough of a whole new wave of young wakeboarders and wakeskaters, including a several Canadians who debuted as pros at Wakestock. In addition to Rusty Malinoski and Sunni-Anne Ball, both in just their second year of pro competition, Aaron Rathy made a sensational pro debut placing second in the Billabong Pro Railslide and first in the Oakley Launch Pool Best Wakeskate trick.
First year Canadian pro Kyle Rattray served notice with a fourth place in Railside ahead of superstars Shane Bonifay and Josh Sanders, as did Canadian Chris Guard with a seventh place finished ahead of Jeff Weatherall and Danny Harf. Canadian first year pro Kevin Henshaw scored 4th in Malibu Boats Expression Session and fellow Canadian Olivier Derome, another rookie placed 8th. In Wakeskate, Canadian Ryan Doyle stepped up to a 4th place finish.
Along with an injured Chad Sharpe who watched his fellow Canadians from the shoreline at Wakestock, this exciting, break-out crew of Canucks is heavy on talent and fearless on rails!
With Wakestock’s new location in Toronto, the event enjoyed more media coverage for the sport than all previous years combined. Much Music televised Wakestock live across Canada on Saturday after from 3:00–5:00pm. All four of Toronto’s major daily newspapers covered Wakestock extensively as did all four of Toronto’s major TV broadcasters in their daily news reports.
Clouds gave way to beautiful sunshine as thousands crowded the Wakestock site on Toronto Islands for the festival’s biggest day. An estimated 18,000 enjoyed Wakestock’s most action packed day ever featuring Wakeboard World Series semi-finals; 18 bands performing on two stages; a packed Wakestock skatepark; incredible freestyle motox double jump exhibitions; ‘Best Trick’ jams on the wakeboard launch pool; and a shopping frenzy in the Wakestock Action Sports Marketplace. Semi-Finals wakeboarding action saw some big names get pushed to the wayside as several young Canadian pros stepped up their game. Aaron Rathy, Kyle Rattray, Kevin Henshaw, Chris Guard, Olivier Derome all made finals. Parks Bonifay, Daniel Watkins, JD Webb didn’t make it in Rails. Josh Sanders, Danny Harf didn’t make it through in Expression Session.
The Oakley Launch Pool Wakeskate Best Trick contest saw some sick tricks from Aaron Rathy, Brandon Thomas, George Daniels and Danny Hampson who drew a big crowd. But in the end no one could best Rathy.
Other highlights included a high energy performance by Californian punkers, Goldfinger on the Extreme Music Series stage in front of several thousand fans, several of whom got invited up on stage for the closing song, followed by a sunset performance by California ska headliners Reel Big Fish. On the Solo Mobile stage Protest The Hero and The Salads capped off an afternoon concert series featuring five bands.
Wakestock annual blow-out party, the Legendary Boarder’s, Bands and Bikinis Bash stepped up to a whole new level at Montana’s parking lot location behind Much Music in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district. The Party drew a near capacity crowd and featured the Miss Reef Canada Bikini Finals and three killer bands, Moneen, Kill Radio and Damn 13.
The freestyle moto-xers finally got the chance to perform on Saturday hitting back-to-back jumps in rapid succession. Red Bull team rider Robbie Maddison of Australia, the world trick distance record holder led the charge with his no-hand-ed back flips, followed by Red Bull team mate Mad Mike Jones, Florida’s Kenny Yoho and Canadian Jason Thorne.
The Wakestock Skatepark also debuted to a line-up of Toronto’s best skaters. The 1,000 sq ft custom built park was designed by Ryan Galush of Sumo Skate Shop and a team of Toronto skaters.
Perhaps the highlight of the day was the wakeboarding performance of a rookie in the truest sense. When Jimmy Jones, a 75 year old local Toronto Islands resident saw Wakestock on TV he was inspired to check it out. By chance Jimmy met one of Wakestock’s organizers, Steve Jarrett, who offered Jimmy a lesson. Jimmy took him up on the offer and with instruction from Phat Wakes Wakeboarding School coaches Jay Ruttan and Dave Scott, Jimmy got up on his first try. Jarrett then pulled Jimmy down Wakestock’s pro wakeboard course in between pro rounds to the cheers of thousands of spectators. Jimmy waved to the crowd as he rode down the course and a frenzy of media photographers and filmers recorded the magic moment, which went on to inspire thousands more with the newspaper and TV news coverage it received across Canada.
Despite a rainy start to the day, the sun finally broke through right around the same time the Malibu Boats Pro Expression Session was climaxing with a head-to-head finals. Kevin Henshaw eliminated Parks; Rusty eliminated Daniel Watkins; Jeff Weatherall eliminated Tino Santori; and Brett Eisenhauer took out Olivier Derome. Then as pressure and tension mounted Rusty beat out Brett; and Jeff beat out Kevin setting up the finals between Rusty and Jeff. In between rounds Parks and Danny Harf went out in a spur of the moment double-up show. Parks coming close three times to landing his double halfcab roll and Danny hitting a switch heelside 900 only to lose the handle on landing. The Wakestock announcers Bryan Gardner, Sean Fleming and Greg James whipped the crowd into a frenzy as they cheered every wake and rail trick that Jeff and Rusty hit, some of which even sprayed the front row capacity crowd watching from the water’s edge.
The Billabong Pro Railslide Championship was a showcase of the best rail riding ever seen. Lidberg, Rathy, Rattray and Harrington were the standouts, standing up their runs with ultra smooth style and the most technical slides ever.
The Oakley Launch Pool Wakeboard Best Trick capped the day with standout riding by Parks and Shane Bonifay, Rathy, and Lidberg. Shane scored a close decision over the other three.
Wakestock Pro Results – WWA World Series #2
WAKESTOCK MALIBU BOATS PRO EXPRESSION SESSION - WORLD SERIES MEN
1. Rusty Malinoski (CAN) J-Star, Fox, Tiga
WAKESTOCK MALIBU BOATS PRO EXPRESSION SESSION - WORLD SERIES WOMEN
1. Sunni-Anne Ball (CAN) O'Brien, Fox, Dragon, Bare
WAKESTOCK BILLABONG PRO RAILSLIDE CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Keith Lidberg (USA) Gator, Nautique, Projects
WAKESTOCK PRO WAKESKATE CHAMPIONSHIP
1. Chase Gregory (USA) Gator
WAKESTOCK OAKLEY LAUNCH POOL BEST TRICK
Wakeskate: Aaron Rathy
Wakestock is presented by Coors Light and the Extreme Music Series; Sponsored by Malibu Boats / Sun & Ski Marine, Billabong Clothing, Oakley Eyewear, and Solo Mobile; Supported by Reef Sandals, Garnier Fructis Style, Nintendo, Xcel Wetsuits, Reactor Watches, Straightline, Hyperlite, O’Brien, CWB, Double Up, Gator, Kampus, Much Music, The Toronto Star, 102.1 The Edge, Eye Weekly, SBC Wakeboard Magazine, and SBC Skateboard Magazine.
More info: www.wakestock.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wakestock™ is owned and produced by SBC Events Inc, an independant Canadian production company specializing in action sport & youth lifestyle marketing, in conjunction with SBC Media Inc., publisher of leading action sports magazines SBC Skateboard, SBC Wakeboard, Snowboard Canada, SBC Skier, Windsport, SBC Kiteboard, and SBC Business magazines. “Wakestock™” "Wakestock Festival" and “Wakestock Action Sports & Music Festival™” are trademarks of SBC Media Inc. in Canada, the United States and/or other countries.