Saturday, June 27th was the 3rd stop in the Arizona Wakeboard Association's annual rider series held at the private Spring Mountain Ski Ranch in Buckeye, AZ. When I rolled up, one of the first to arrive, the first thing that caught my eye was Company team rider and local legend Ben Christensen already ripping it up behind one of Century Marine two gorgeous Nautique 210's they had brought to pull the event. Right behind us was the Wake Lab themed AWA trailer, packed full of Red Bull to make sure every rider had their wings. Despite it only being eight in the morning, it didn't take long for the temperature or the competition to heat up.
Intermediate rider Mickey Hernandez kicked things off laying down a huge tantrum on his first pass and attempting a wrapped heelside 360 on the return. His run was good enough to land him in 1st place followed closely by Mike Capuzzo and Ahren Benziger in 2nd and 3rd.
The outlaw division riders are notorious for always being last to ride in AWA competition but with everyone arriving early and eager to get a piece of the perfect conditions, we couldn't convince them to wait. Joe Shipka took to the water poking out some stylish grabs and landing back to back inverts. Judges had to do a double take when Larry Taylor surprised everyone throwing a switch crow mobe, aka "the skeezer," and riding away clean. Unfortunately, one fall and stiff competition kept him out of the top spot grabbed by Ben Christensen. Jimmy Wolf walked away in a respectable 3rd place and Matt Coldren, placing 4th, landed his first tantrum to blind in competition.
Crowd favorite, and AWA boat driver extraordinaire, Glen Coy dominated the master's division but, in a surprising upset, was defeated in the advanced category by two phenomenal runs by Chris Levandowski and Wes Williams. Competition was fierce amongst the other divisions as well. Check out www.theawa.com for complete standings and event dates. Special thanks to our sponsors Century Marine, Liquid Force, and Red Bull for supporting the AWA.