Sunday was the final day of the World Cup in Tokyo. There was such incredible riding here today. As the tide gets lower, the tension in the rope gets higher, and handle passing becomes increasingly harder. But that didn’t slow anyone down. At 10 am on the dot the pro women were underway. Angelika Schriber had a killer run, with a roll to blind and a blind judge, that landed her in first place in the womens. Right on her heels was Cosima Giemza who landed a dumb dumb off the kicker for the first time all weekend in the finals. Taking up third spot was Denise De Haan with a flawless run as well.
I was in the second heat in the semis. I started out really strong, with a toeside 270 transfer, followed by some toe side and heelside air tricks. Then, as I approached the kicker I knew I had to go all out, so I went for the mute double half cab roll. Unfortunately, the kicker out here is a bit smaller than what I’m used to, and I under rotated. Because there is only one kicker, its important to land it. So that put me just outside the finals, with Dominik, Laszlo Papp, and James young making it through to the finals. The final was a spectacular showing. Freddie Von Osten killed it, with an inside front mobe, outside crowmobe, and switch toeside backside 450 transfer to name a few, landing him in the top spot. Dominik was right on his heels, as was James Young, both landing crow mobes off the flats and raley 540′s. These guys are always able to land their runs, despite the tide or the conditions. The contest wrapped up with the awards ceremony where the riders were presented with their trophies and checks.
After that we went to the city to experience Tokyo. This is such a different place. The culture here is very conservative compared to most of the places around the world. For instance, if you have tattoos, you are not allowed in the pool area. A giant group of us hopped on the metro from the hotel to the city center. Here we passed by all types of people. In Japan, it’s the traditional wear for men is business slacks with short sleeve, white button down shirts. An astonishing 75 percent of the men here dress traditionally. That is quite different than the variety of clothes you see worn in the US.
The metro rail was an adventure in and of itself. Deciphering the Japanese map on the wall, and then finding someone who spoke English proved to be quite the challenge. Once we were on our way, the view from the metro alone was amazing. After almost an hour of connecting train rails, we arrived at our destination which was swarming with locals. From here the group of foreign wakeboarders began ferociously snapping photos as if it was going out of style. After enough media was captured to feed a small village, we started to look for a place to dine. Trying to accommodate a group of 30 people in a last minute dinner is something I never wish upon anyone. Eventually, we all went our separate ways according to our tastes, and met back at the metro later on.
Every part of this event was extraordinary for me. From the riding to the people, I had an amazing time. Coming from a boat riding back ground, the thing I love about cable is that it is truly an international sport. There were somewhere around 20 countries represented among the 44 riders here. When the riding is all said and done, its the friendships we develop along the way that remain. I’m so grateful for the friendships I’ve made this trip, and I can’t wait until the next one.