(Toronto, Canada) 2007 - Wakestock's famed wakeboarding belts were awarded in six different pro wake events capping the 10th anniversary of one of the most storied contests in the sport of wakeboarding and wakeskating. In a historic final day both Phillip Soven and Keith Lidberg defended their respective Wakestock titles, while Brian Grubb and Shane Bonifay returned to earn repeat titles.
First up was the Billabong Pro Wakeskate where three time Wakestock champion and wakeskate legend, Brian Grubb faced off against the new generation including three Wakestock rookies. Despite some incredible riding by rising talents Nick Taylor, Aaron Rathy, Ben Horan, Ryan Doyle, and Stuart Shinn, Grubb was flawless. In fact he didn't fall all weekend and stuck the first toeside wake to wake frontside bigspin ever stomped in competition. Grubb's performance easily earned him his fourth Wakestock title and belt. The Malibu Boats and Billabong team rider had this to say about his incredible win: "Wakestock is the biggest wakeskate event of the year so the win here means a lot and highlights a great year for me."
Next came the Billabong Pro Railslide featuring the best rail riders on the biggest and toughest rails in the sport. As rail finalist Andrew Adkison put it: "The Billabong Pro at Wakestock is essentially the world championships of wakeboard rail riding." Keith Lidberg, the world's premier master prevailed in Pro Railslide but not without a fight from Aaron Rathy and Kevin Henshaw who were forced to settle for 2nd and 3rd respectively. However, Lidberg's ultra smooth style and high degree of technical difficulty won the day and his 3rd consecutive Wakestock Rail title and belt.
The Malibu Boats Expression Session was held late in the afternoon under hot sunny skies and pristine water conditions. Many of the world's greats, including legends Parks Bonifay, Shaun Murray and Randall Harris had been dispatched in the tough qualifications and quarter-finals that boasted the biggest pro field of the year at over 40 riders. The final four of this WWA World Series event came down to American maestro Phillip Soven, the defending Wakestock champ vs Jeff Weatherall of New Zealand; and Canadian powerhouse Rusty Malinoski, the reigning WWA World Series Champ vs 2-time American world champ Andrew Adkison. Soven packaged a perfect run of 11 tech tricks including a Switch Toe 9 and a Nose Grab Crow Mobe 540 plus two flawless rail tricks to dispatch Weatherall. Then in one of the closest duels of the contest Adkison edged crowd favourite Malinoski the reigning WWA World Series champ. Adkison gave Soven a run for his money, but fell twice, including his double-up. Soven responded with another flawless stand-up run. Confident that he had the victory in hand, Soven attempted a Backside 9, a first in competition, but just missed. Soven's two consecutive Expression Session titles was a Wakestock first.
After receiving his Wakestock award belt, Soven commented: "I really enjoy competing at Wakestock because it has such a big crowd and the water and the wake is so great here!
Adkison agreed: "The Wakestock spectator crowd is the largest and most enthusiastic on tour. They really get you pumped up to ride! That's why a lot of firsts go down at Wakestock."
The last event, and arguably the most sensational at Wakestock was the Oakley Pool Jam Best Wakeboard Trick contest. The Oakley Pool is without a doubt the sickest wake pool ever built! Three pools and multiple rail sets covering over 400 feet of real estate. The new addition of the giant 80 foot funbox between the 2nd and 3rd pools was where the wakeskaters had thown down huge stunts the previous day with upstart American Stuart Shinn claiming the Oakley Best Wakeskate Trick as he led a new generation in a breakout performance.
In the Oakley Wakeboard Best Trick contest the spectacular opening rail transfer over a 14 stair set was where all of the best tricks were being thrown down. That was where all of the photographers and filmers were gathered to catch the battle between Shane and Parks Bonifay, JD Webb, Aaron Rathy, Keith Lidberg and Danny Harf, the reigning champ. But with a perfect Switch Frontside Boardslide to Backside 180 Transfer to Boardslide to 90, it was Shane Bonifay who prevailed reclaiming the Oakley Pool Jam title he had won at Wakestock 2005.
Music highlights at Wakestock 2007 included a blistering two hour set by headliners the Deftones on the TELUS Main Stage. The Deftones capped a heavy festival line-up of over 30 acts including standouts De La Soul, Goldfinger, Lupe Fiasco, Story of the Year, Del tha Funkee Homosapien and breaking Canadian band illScarlett. The Deftones also played a special Wakestock Club Concert with Canadian mega-band Alexis On Fire anounced in secret just days before Wakestock. A Skate 4 Cancer benefit concert, the show went down as one Canada's biggest club shows of the summer!
Wakestock also included one of Canada's biggest skateboard contests of the year: "Island of the Ams" presented by Element Skateboards with a feature demo by the legendary Chad Muska and other members of the Element International Skate Team.
A record crowd of 39,000 turned out over the four days of Wakestock's festival of wakeboarding, action sports and music. Check out some of the images from the event in the Wakeboarder.com Photo Section.
WAKESTOCK 2007 TOP 8 RESULTS
MALIBU BOATS EXPRESSION SESSION - MEN
Presented by Gordon Bay Marine and Paris Marine
1. Phillip Soven, USA: Malibu, Liquid Force, Body Glove
2. Andrew Adkison, USA: Oakley, CWB, Mastercraft
3. Jeff Weatherall, NZ: Malibu, J-Star, Reef, Alpinestars, Ogio
4. Rusty Malinoski, CAN: Hyperlite, Fox, Mastercraft, Roswell
5 (Tie). Adam Errington, USA: Ronix, Red Bull, Fox, Tige
5 (Tie). Danny Harf, USA: Billabong, Ronix, Fox, Spy, Nautiques
5 (Tie). JD Webb, USA: Hyperlite, Reef, Red Bull, Nautiques
5 (Tie). Dean Smith, AUS: Ronix, Rip Curl, Smith, Nautiques
MALIBU BOATS EXPRESSION SESSION - WOMEN
1. Amber Wing, USA: Oakley, Liquid Force
2. Sunni-Anne Ball, CAN: O'Brien, American Gramby
3. Barrett Pearlman, USA: Liquid Force, Slidinglass.com