Adkison and Anderson win Pro/Am Rail Jam in Downtown Austin
AUSTIN, TX (May 23). The weather was perfect and the vibe was even better Friday night in Austin, Texas as some of the top wakeboarders and wakeskaters from across the country were on-hand for the Longhorn Rail Jam, presented by Malibu Boats. It was Stop #2 of the 2006 Texas Wakeboard Tour, a Fox Riders My Spot event, Texas style, featuring a pro/am wakeboard party in the streets. The rail jam took place in the heart of 6th Street, Austin’s notorious party strip. When it was all said and done, it was former World Champion Andrew Adkison and his teammate, Ryan Anderson, who sat atop the podium.
The course set-up stretched across an entire city block and featured a 12’ by 50’ starting pool; a 40 foot kinked rail and wall ride and a huge landing pool that measured 30’ wide by 50’ long. The event was scheduled to start at 6pm, but some set-backs while assembling the huge rail and wall ride pushed the start back to about 6:45pm. By the time the contest got underway, the street was packed and the eclectic group of spectators where lined up five or six deep along the entire 200’ set-up.
The list of competitors was equally diverse. The contest mixed wakeskaters with wakeboarders and the ages ranged from 14 year old up and coming shredder Gunner Shuler…to his Fox teammate and the oldest competitor on the pro circuit – 36 year old Gerry Nunn. Shuler’s younger brother, 11 year old Gus, didn’t compete, but he tore up the rail for the amped up crowd between heats! Parks Bonifay and Dallas Friday were also on-hand to cheer on their Fox Teammates, but neither rode. They both hung out by the Fox bus, Parks on crutches and nursing his recently operated on knee and Dallas just kicking it with the fans. All told, there were fourteen pro and fourteen local riders who drew numbers to establish the teams and riding order for the pro/am contest.
The first round was broken into three heats – the first and second heat featured five teams (ten riders) and the third featured four teams (eight riders). Due to the number of riders and the time crunch from the late start (the event had to be wrapped-up by 10pm due to permit restrictions) each team would only get two chances to hit the rail and he top two teams in each heat would advance. With a killer line-up of talent on-hand, it was anybody’s game.
1. Gabe Lucas Billy North
2. Aaron Reed Kurtis Rauhut
3. Adam Errington Billy Garcia
4. Keith Lyman Joey Bradley
5. Tino Santori Brian Sasser
1. Rusty Malinoski Ross Skrudland
2 Tom Fooshee Bret Little
3. Brandon Thomas Duston Swafford
4. Kyle Hyams Richie McKee
5. Andrew Adkison Ryan Anderson
1. Derek Grasman Kyle Reed
2. Jeff Weatherall Gunner Shuler
3. Danny Harf Dustin Shows
4. Gerry Nunn Hank Carter
The end of the first round saw over half the field get dismissed including some fan favorites like multiple X-Games gold medalist Danny Harf, Aaron Reed, Rusty Malinoski and local rail-masters Gabe Lucas and Tom Fooshee. But there were still plenty of big names in the mix and more great riding to come. The semi-finals started with Liquid Force teammates Keith Lyman and Joey Bradley. Lyman, fresh off a first place win at the Blacktop Oasis Rail Jam in Southern California on Mothers Day, nailed a stylish FS board slide to 360 off the kicker. His teammate followed it up with a smooth BS board to FS board. It was enough to get them into the finals. Next up, the team of Tino Santori and Brian Sasser. Tino was consistent all night and nailed a FS 270 on - tail press to switch 270 out. Sasser had his best hit of the night with a huge back side 360 off the kink. They would also advance to the final where they were joined by the team of Andrew Adkison and the kid from Oklahoma…Ryan Anderson.
1. Keith Lyman / Joey Bradley
2. Tino Santori / Brian Sasser
3. Brandon Thomas / Dustin Swafford
4. Andrew Adkison / Ryan Anderson
5. Derek Grasman / Kyle Reed
6. Gerry Nunn / Hank Carter
The first rider off the platform in the final round provided the evenings only sketchy moment. Keith Lyman, who had been riding well all night, got ahead of his board on a front side board slide and went down hard, half on the slider platform and half in the pool, and ended up with a pretty gnarly bruise on his lower back and a couple of stitches in his elbow. His teammate Bradley picked up the slack and rode for Keith as the teams got two more hits on the rail each in the battle for the podium spots. They took third place which included $500 cash and some sick custom made chrome LHRJ trophies, courtesy of Houston based Lucky Devil Designs.. Tino Santori and Brian Sasser slid there way into a second place finish and received $1000 plus trophies and it was Andrew Adlkison and Ryan Anderson who would take home the biggest check of the evening by winning first place. They also received trophies and each got a set of KB 600 speaker enclosures as last minute bonus from Kicker Audio and Anderson secured a spot to compete in the finals of the Liquid Force Slide Show, September 29th in Houston, TX.
Some of the most exciting riding of the evening might have been after the contest when the crowd was rocking and the pressure was off. With a little time to spare before our 10pm curfew – several of the riders squeezed in another pull just for fun. Santori started with his 270 on – pressed the flat rail and launched off the kink for a 420 out. Bradley launched a 5 off the kinked kicker and Dustin Shows, who had been eliminated in the first round, got the crowd fired up when he threw a clean Tantrum off the kinked rail into the three foot deep landing pool.
It was definitely a premiere wakeboard rail jam event and it would not have been possible without the support of some very important sponsors/partners. In addition to Malibu Boats, the event was supported by Nissan North America, Fox Riders Co., Bud Light, Liquid Force Wakeboards, Reef Clothing, Kicker Audio, Spy Optic, Ten 80 Clothing, Straight Line, Body Glove, Da Hui, TBKS, Boardstop.com, US Smokeless Tobacco, Sun & Ski Sports and Central Texas Water Sports. Additional thanks go out to Red Bull, for providing a first class rider/sponsor VIP area and Wahoo’s Fish Tacos for keeping everyone fed.
Media partners included Alliance Wakeboard Magazine, Wakeboarding Magazine, Texas Boating Magazine, The Edge Magazine, Fuel TV and Austin’s 101X FM Radio Station. We were also joined on-site by the local FOX-TV and CBS-TV affiliates and David Gray and the crew from Webcast-TV who made a trip over from England to cover the event. Be sure and check out webcast-tv.com for video footage of the event to be posted soon.
Next up – the Texas Wakeboard Tour hits the road for our first event outside of the state. Don’t miss the US Air Force Big Air Double-Up Contest scheduled for Friday night, July 14th in Portland, Oregon, prior to the Pro-Tours third event of the season!