(Merced, CA) -- World Wakeboard Champion Phillip Soven has just aligned himself with Team Malibu and now rides exclusively behind Malibu Boats. Soven, current World Wakeboard Champion, winner of the 2004 X Games and IWSF Rider of the Year in 2004 has long trained with Malibu team members Chad Sharpe, Brian Grubb, Jeff Weatherall and Dallas Friday and is excited to become a member of this team.
Malibu looks for special qualities in the athletes that join Team Malibu, beyond the tournament results. Soven, a great success story already at the tender age of 15, embodies the enthusiasm and positive personality characteristic of all Team Malibu members. He has attained a high level of respect among his peers so far in his brief career.
The Ride: “Malibu Boats have really been the most innovative boat . . . and the wake is one of the best wakes I have ever ridden,” said Soven of his choice to switch to Malibu. Plus, “I have ridden in the past a lot with Darin Shapiro and he is a great role model.”
While the decision to go with Malibu was Soven’s alone, the entire family stands by his choice. Said Soven’s dad, Wayne, "Phillip picked up his boat today and loved the boat, especially the wake. After Robert, my 14-year-old, rode behind it he actually got mad at Phillip that he hadn't changed to Malibu earlier he liked the wake so much."
Negotiating: Soven, who has been competing professionally since he was 11 years old, negotiated his own contract with Malibu.
Said Malibu Pro Team and Event Director, Lani Farmer: "I have watched Phillip grow up through magazine coverage and my frequent visits to the pro events. I can't imagine being sixteen and dealing with the kind of success he is experiencing and still constantly realizing new potential.
“But he is taking it all in stride. I dealt with him directly about his contract details, he is that mature. He is as personable as he is talented and I get the feeling he takes pride excelling in both areas. He is already Malibu-through-and-through and we are happy to have him."
Soven matter-of-factly noted: “It was not my first time negotiating my contract, but I think it is the biggest one I have done on my own.”
This is typical of the confidence exuded by Soven, who has seen his share of success and stress.
Falling For Wakeboarding: Despite a devastating fall on a slider that sent Soven into surgery to repair a deviated septum and reconstructive facial surgery, Soven continues to attack the wake with unbridled enthusiasm, racking up 10 first place finishes in 2005 including World Wakeboard Champion.
2006 And Beyond: And in 2006 Soven hopes to repeat his World Wakeboard Championship – especially since his new sponsor is the official tow boat. “It is definitely a good thing to have your sponsor pulling Worlds,” Soven enthused. “And it should be a good tournament. Texas has always been one of the better wakeboard spots.” No doubt, it will be a great year for Malibu, with Soven joining the rest of Team Malibu in the spotlight