Wakeboarding has come a long way in a relatively short amount of time.
It is now the fastest growing water sport in the US, and it’s starting to gain even more attention in the main-stream media.
In honor of Bob Soven, the “on point” rider of the year in '09, getting into Sports Illustrated, (the Sept. 14th issue) http://www.alliancewake.com/wake/liquid-forces-bob-soven-featured-in-sports-illustrated-magazine/, I figured I would compile a list of the awe-inspiring moves that helped the sport progress and land one of the most exciting young riders into the major sports publication.
This list is meant to pay homage to the gnarliest moves in wakeboarding, tricks that helped put the sport on the map and gain some real estate.
All of these tricks were ground breaking as well as a big part of wake’s history. Moves that created legends, and inspired others to become legendary, here they are, the Top 10 Gnarliest Moves in Wakeboarding history.
The one move that makes everyone want to wakeboard—flying through the air like Superman while grabbing your board—what a classic wakeboard image.
A heelside raley with a method grab, so simple but so sweet.
Gator Lutgert has done more for wakeboarding than probably he even knows. However the iconic image that he created with this trick is almost as symbolic as Jordan’s Jumpman…well, almost.
In the wakeboarding world Gator has been an industry standard for a long time, and actually won the Legand award at this year’s Wake Awards in Orlando.
Big congrats to Gator, and on with the countdown.
How could a top 10 wake list not include Scott Byerly? Short answer—It can’t.
The Pete Rose was one of the first major more technical tricks. It consists of a toe side back roll with a front side 360 and a grab—sounds technical huh?
Scott Byerly is the true godfather of modern wakeboarding. This is probably the most influential trick he invented. Scott took wakeboarding in a new direction and that direction was up.
The three tricks listed above may not mean anything to the average person, however to a wakeboarder or any fan of the sport, they are all significant.
Shaun Murray has had a smile on his face ever since he was born and really brings a lot to the table in terms of wake’s history.
These air tricks are significant because they are all completed out in the flats without the use of a wake for lift. Shaun figured out how to just use line tension to launch your self skyward for a flip, spin, or both. Tons of creativity was needed to come up with these and Shaun has plenty of both.
Shaun also gave hope to all the riders out there who may not have the best wake to work with. This is just one of the plethora of reasons why Shaun is a legend.
Parks Bonifay has been as much a part of wakeboarding’s history as water. He has won countless events and awards as well as invented some of the gnarliest moves in the sport, moves no one thought were possible.
Parks’ Double Backroll Mobe, which is a switch double flip with a 360, is one of the most awe-inspiring things to watch.
Parks is known for not only being able to do every trick in the book, but he is also known for taking tricks bigger and farther than anyone could imagine.
Parks just recently had his documentary released and I hope they made sure to put a clip of this trick in it.
There is a saying floating around the wakeboard contest world—“spin to win.”
Well the person who is probably most responsible for that saying would be none other than “Swat Spin” himself, Mr. Shawn Watson.
Watson is known in the wakeboarding world as one of the most stylish riders out there, however Shawn is not just a floaty smooth free rider, he can throw down in a contest.
Shawn’s historic 900 in a contest raised the bar for all contest riders, and they have been spinning higher, faster, and farther because of Shawn’s stamp on the wake world.
This is huge, historical, and ground breaking. Rusty Malinoski’s recently landed the first 1080 in a contest. This move further cements the fact that Rusty will go down in history as one of the greats.
It’s one thing to free ride and keep trying and trying until you land it—but when you have to do it in a contest? One shot, money on the line, AND pull it off. That is coming through under pressure.
Ballsy move for the Bone Crusher, but that is how Rusty rides, ballsy.
Parks was the first rider to land a documented 1080. That is 3 full rotations in the air, all while passing the handle.
Although Parks is recognized as the first rider to land a 1080, there are still rumors that the late Mark Kenny landed several 10s but they were never documented.
Parks’ 1080 went down in August of 1999 and then wakeboarding went seven full years until the trick was landed again. Gnarly.
This is another one of the multiple flip variety. Darin is a wakeboarding legend and won the legend award at the Wake Awards in 2006.
Shaprio was one of the most dominant contest riders in the '90s. He was the guy that most riders tried to emulate whether it be with his consistency or his style, but who are we kidding, we all just wanted to do this:
Parks Bonifay, I mean what can you say about the guy that hasn’t already been said?
Park’s Half Cab double backroll, (seen below) is a move that makes even people who don’t know what wakeboarding is stop and say “wow.”
Coming in regular flipping twice and in the process doing a 180 and landing switch? Did I mention he flipped TWICE!?! This move was invented by Parks and owned by Parks, he has stomped this trick in countless video sections and magazine layouts.
This is the trick that got most of my friends and I into wakeboarding, I’m sure we weren’t the only ones.
Are you kidding me? Just in case anyone is mathematically challenged like me, allow me to break it down for you.
Three AND a half rotations in the air, and an ungodly amount of handle passes, and you have the farthest spin in wake history. Danny Harf has been killing it for years and has already made history with other moves, but this is a groundbreaking move for the sport.
This is just a feat of pure athleticism and skill. The best part about it, it looks incredibly fun. It just goes to show why Danny is still Danny because he experiences the same joy when he lands a 1260 as a newbie would landing their first 180.
This move was not only groundbreaking, but one of the gnarliest moves to go down in ANY sport.
(The best part of this video is to know that the top pros in the world get just as stoked as you do when a new trick goes down)