High Point, North Carolina (June 2, 2002) - After two great days of friendly competition between the world's top professional wakeboarders with a few of North Carolina's best sprinkled into the mix, the Malibu Just Ride Series presented by Chevy Trucks and GM Vortec engines came to a close at High Point's Festival Park.
With two great heats of wakeboarders competing for Sickest Double-Up, Biggest Air, Best Slider and Best Crash it was tough to chose which were the best performances of the day behind the Indmar Marine engine powered Malibu WakeSetter.
Two pros made their way to the podium on both days of the event earning top honors in their field. For Eric Ruck he coupled a Best Double-Up award on day one with a Best Slider award after his work on the kicker. For Leslie Kent, her performance over the weekend was more consistent, locking down the Best Crash award on both days of the event. Sunday's crash sent her flying off the back side of the slaughter box. Leslie carried the war wounds to prove her dedication to the sport.
Brian Grubb used his wakeskate to earn the Best Trick of the day. His 360 got everyone's attention including his peers judging.
Daniel Watkins was in the running for Best Crash even though his splash down occurred before the event began, taping an early morning photo shoot. Unfortunately, Leslie Kent had Best Crash all sewn up. Watkins ended up settling for Best Double-Up with a huge Method Back to Blind.
If there was an award for best overall run of the day it would have to go to Darin Shapiro. Shapiro pulled everything out of the woodwork to excite the crowd and his fellow riders, and close the first event of the Malibu Just Ride Series in 2002. Next the Malibu Just Ride Series will convene in Minneapolis, Minnesota June 22-23.
High Point, North Carolina (June 1, 2002) - The competition was under way on Saturday at Festival Park in High Point, North Carolina for the coveted Malibu Just Ride Series crowns.
With the world's top professional wakeboarders ripping it behind the Indmar Marine engine GM Vortec powered Malibu WakeSetter just about anything can and did happen with the dubious achievements of Best Crash, Sickest Air,
Best Double-Up and Best Jib up for grabs.
Darin Shapiro and Erik Ruck came into the Just Ride Series as the top two ranked pro wakeboarders in the world on the World Cup list presented by Loogy Lube. Both Shapiro and Ruck proved they earned their rankings and that they can rip it up when the pressure of competition is off by capturing Sickest Air (Shapiro) and Best Double-Up (Ruck).
Shapiro's now patented 900 off the kicker, a move he perfected in the Sacramento Malibu Just Ride event in 2002, ended the day and earned him the Sickest Air. Ruck, the master of the double-up, landed a mute mobe among other tricks in his run.
Malibu rider Chad Sharpe has long been respected as one of the most accomplished sliders in the professional ranks. Sharpe and other Pointless Posse members have taken their sliding hobby to the next level, and that was evident as Sharpe earned the title of Best Jib for his work on the Malibu Just Ride Series' Slaughter Box.
Probably the most dubious of all the hardware handed out at the Malibu Just Ride Series is the Best Crash competition. Many riders put in long hours to perfect their crashing technique, but Leslie Kent seems to have them all beat. Every time Leslie eyes up the slider, kicker or slaughter box, fellow competitors and fans hold their breath. On Saturday afternoon, Leslie chose the slaughter box, back-sliding the rail to a Best Crash victory.
The Malibu Just Ride Series concludes on Sunday at Festival Park with the world's top wakeboarders hitting the water at noon.