Seven down and two more to go... Cope & Mc Phetres in Rocklin, CA was the host of the seventh Liquid Force Slide Show presented by Monster Energy. The Hot temperatures (over 100) and hot rail action made this event in the suburb of Sacramento, CA one to remember.
Luckily for all in attendance, Danny Hampson was on hand for his first Slide Show as a Liquid Force athlete. Danny did not ride at the event, but it was great to see Danny out representing after his injury. Always the character, he was definitely a crowd favorite. He didn't even ride yet his presence was felt all day long as he was rocking the tunes from the Kicker System and keeping everyone entertained. You can tell this kid lives close to Miami... his DJ and Karaoke skills are definitely something to be witnessed. When Danny is finished wakeskating, don't be surprised if Danny moonlights as a lounge singer at night. Good to see you Danny!
Along with Danny, Shawn Watson, Kevin Henshaw, Aaron Reed, Gregg Necrason, Melissa Marquardt, and the nomad, Kyle Walton made the trip to Nor Cal. They were all on hand to give the crowd an action packed show. You can tell this crew has been hitting these rails jams all summer... the riding level has increased at each event and all of them are making things look way too easy.
Luckily for us, we had the Am Jam to keep things from looking too easy! This event featured a wide array of local talent looking for their piece of Slide Show Fame. We had a couple of guys wakeskating (Pat Milo and Ryan Schuppert), a few guys strapped in (Jaret Brantley, Jacob Locken, Aaron Aubrey, Nick McBride, Chris Canuel, and others), and... for the first time ever... a female rider competing at the event. Shelby Cantor was competing, and she was in it to win it! With perhaps the biggest fan base in attendance (including the fan of the day, her Grandma), Shelby quietly went about her ways, wowing the crowd with her smooth style and consistency. She was definitely one of the most consistent we'd seen all year. While she went about her business, the guys were battling it out trying to one up each other. The early standout was Jaret Brantley, but a solid knock to the chin slowed down his momentum a bit. Not wanting to lose out, Jaret avoided the hospital and inevitable stitches and finished things off with some tech and stylish hits on the rails. Aaron Aubrey was the rider with perhaps the least amount of rail experience, but he didn't let that hold him back. After a few early bails, he was getting things dialed and quickly became one of the stronger competitors. His talents still lie on the double ups, but we were stoked to have him come out and represent in Rocklin!Jacob Locken also rode solidly and seemed to be trying to win the "amplitude" award as he constantly threw his body in dangerous positions. In the end, his riding was not enough to advance to the finals, but he was one of the crowd and team favorites. Another stand out at the event was Chris Canuel who flew all the way from Kelowna, B.C. This kid is one of Henshaw's friends that we’ve been hearing about for a while. Kevin wasn't kidding when he told us Chris ripped....his stylish 270's to backlip on the rail were as good as any we'd seen from the pro's. This is one kid you will all here more from in the future.
After the one hour rail jam session, the competition was cut down to three riders that would be competing in a final round of head to head to head competition...Jaret Brantley, Chris Canuel and Shelby Cantor were the chosen ones.
Before the final three got to compete, though, it was time for the LF pros to give the crowd another show. We all know that Shawn Watson and Kevin Henshaw are incredible wakeboarders, but we've quickly learned at these Slide Show events that there wakeskating talent is almost just as good. A back lip to shuv out is not easy, especially being pulled by a winch, but these two made it look easy. Not to be outdone by his "strapper" friends, Aaron Reed got busy and showed why he is a step above. Aaron landed some pretty impressive maneuvers such as front board 270 shuv out and back board big spin out. He has consistently wowed the crowds all summer and this may have been his best appearance yet. The session was not complete though until the Monster Energy Bunny Hop contest was over. After a 15 minute battle between Necrason (who showed that veteran's can still throw down), Henshaw, and Watson, Kevin was deemed the "King of the Monster Bunny Hop". He was the only rider to successfully clear four cases of Monster Energy.
On to the "Am-Jam" contest… Unfortunately, Jaret may have knocked himself a little silly early in the competition, because he never managed to regain his early dominance and had some pretty serious bails in the finals. Chris was super smooth, making things look way to easy. However, the stand out of the day was Shelby Cantor. She put the boys to shame with her consistent and flawless riding. At the end of the day, it was Shelby on the top of the podium. Although she was the winner and was on her way to Houston, the LF Slide Show crew decided to give a Houston invite to 2 riders that day. The LF team decided to put the Canadian, Chris Canuel through to the finals in Houston as well. Since there wasn't a stop in Canada, Chris was given an honorary Int'l invite for making the effort to travel all the way to Rocklin from Canada. Both Chris and Shelby will be joining previous Slide Show winners at our finals later this month in Houston, TX.
Once again, we owe a special thanks to all of the sponsors that helped make this event happen… Cope and Mcphetres for hosting the event, as well as Monster Energy, Malibu Boats, Reef, Alliance, Spy Optic, Kicker, Lake Powell, and Surf Expo for all the support.