Stockton, CA - The wakeboard world descended upon the waters of the Stockton channel for the sixth annual season-ending Boardstock event October 5-7, 2001. The world’s greatest wakeboarders wowed the crowd of more than 5,000 for a night and a day with an exceptional performance in the MasterCraft Best Trick and the Sea Doo Slider events. The event featured Parks Bonifay, Daniel Watkins and Zane Schwenk and the world’s top 12 athletes all riding in an exhibition format. “The exhibition format allows us to go out and stoke the crowd without the pressures of a normal contest,” said Darin Shapiro, current WWA World Champion. “It’s just more fun.” Brian Grubb, the wakeskate phenom from Orlando also put on a technical exhibition with his bindingless wakeboard, pulling a varial off the kicker. Other highlights included Bonifay riding out a double half-cab-roll off the wake of the MasterCraft X-Star. The event will be aired on Fox Sports Net’s Core Culture in early November.
On Friday evening, under the lights the athletes offered a sampling of what was in store for Saturday. “It was the first time in the history of the sport that wakeboarding, freestyle motocross, and skateboarding half-pipe exhibitions were held at night on the same location, said Rob Stimmel, the event’s promoter. We just couldn’t be happier with the turnout.” The crowd’s attention was whisked from the water to the Malibu motocross track and then to the Red Bull skateboarding half-pipe continuously from 5pm until 11pm, all this while four live bands played on the event’s centrally located sound stage creating the festival atmosphere.
On Saturday, the event featured expanded performances of the previous night’s program kicked off by Rob Weltz and his precision skydiving team that dropped into the channel. The watercourse was surrounded by as many as 35 bannerized houseboats and a host of six promotional semis creating an event spectacle the wakeboard world had never seen. Fans were wooed with free samples of everything imaginable led by Boardersparadise.com and their t-shirt cannon, which fired 500 free t-shirts two hundred yards into the crowd from a boat in idling along the shore. Red Bull, Balance Bar, and Spy Optics also took the opportunity for free product sampling. “No one left empty handed, said Jim Emmons co-promoter of the event. We wanted everyone to have a souvenir. That’s why the neck-leashed ticket at the gate doubles as a souvenir embroidered key chain.”
The crowd was silenced Saturday when the Deathriders precision riding team suffered a casualty as 17 year-old Johnny Avenol crashed his dirt bike from 35 feet in the air off the 40 foot gap jump. He stayed down for more than ten minutes while paramedics attended to him. He immediately offered the thumbs up signal indicating that he was okay. Avenol was treated at the hospital for a fractured right arm and released later that afternoon. He was trying a technical maneuver where he stands on one leg on his seat when he lost control and had to bail out on the way down. He was overheard to say, “that it was just a stupid mistake.” The Deathriders came back for a second show later in afternoon.
At the Red Bull half-pipe, skater Brigham Edwards from Reno, NV took the best trick competition from a field of as many as twelve skaters. The loosely organized competition, judged by the crowd’s response netted Edwards a hardback book of skateboarding history. Edwards said, I was really ready for this, I’ve been skating for more than twenty years and I just do it for the love of the sport. I think a jump that I did off the railing did it.”
The event will be aired on Fox Sports Net’s Core Culture in early November. Re-airs will appear on Outdoor Life Network and through syndication in 134 countries worldwide. Please check local listings for exact time and date.
Event sponsors include MasterCraft Boats, Sea Doo, WakeBoarding Magazine, Boardersparadise.com, Red Bull, Malibu Boats, Spy Optics, and the Stockton Sports Commission.
BoardStock plans to return to Stockton next fall. For information call 425-868-3820 or 407-571-4684.