I heard someone say recently that wakeboarding events aren’t as fun as they used to be. That made me think a bit. After careful consideration I think you could make a legitimate statement that there are fewer fun events than there used to be, but this was a pretty good year for fun events. PWT Team Challenge was a classic this year, from what I hear the Wake Fest is the modern day equivalent to BROstock, and, of course, there is Less Than 5. Where riders get to go out and focus on the basics and style.
So when you think about trying to have a fun event, it is pretty logical to partner with the boat brand that spends 50% of its boat design on how to have a good time. How about a boat that is both a wakeboard/wakesurf boat and a party deck? It’s like the mullet hairdo version of a wakeboard boat, except a lot cooler. It’s business under the water but all party above.
Less than 5, an event focused on style and the basics (no tricks over 360 and no inverts) was created to see how the best riders in the world could do the basics stylishly. But in order to know who wins you would need to have judges that know the subtleties of every move and what is stylish. Who Judged the event you ask? A couple of guys who have been around the block a few times – Scott Byerly, Parks Bonifay & Gregg Necrason. Think about that for a moment. You go to toss your rope to the boat and Scott, Parks and Gregg are staring at you. Better bring your A game.
Even with the most tenured professional wakeboarders in the boat, there were still challenging moments. Including a judges discussion about how you even judge John Dreiling’s run as the approach is so different. Parks called it out as needing to be considered very carefully as it is a lot harder to go out and do something completely different than everyone else. Similar comments for the West Side boys, Trever Maur and Josh Twelker as they bring their non-homogenized style to the event. This is why we do Less Than 5, style does not mean you do it the same way as everyone else.
Ultimately, Tyler Higham, Luca Kidd and Ulf Ditsch held it down for team La Familia and swept the podium … again. With a $15,000 purse this was a pretty productive day for that household, I’m quite sure it all went into their 401Ks.
Go check out all of the runs right HERE. You can see all of the lines and vote for your favorite one.