I recently had the distinct pleasure of judging my first amateur wakeskate event. It made me realize how good the pros really are at wakeskating. Not that the riders involved didn’t have some skills, but the level was definitely different than I’ve become accustomed to at events like the Toe Jam. While I am a big supporter of giving everyone a chance, this contest made me realize that maybe someone needs to put it out there that there is a level you should get to before entering a contest. Here’s a check list:

– Be able to go wake to wake. You don’t have to spin, or even grab, but making it from one side of the wake to the other at least once in your run is key.
– Land shuvs, every time. Shuvs are the first trick people learn, so you shouldn’t fall on them, even if you are an amateur.
– Be able to link tricks together. One trick isn’t going to win the contest for you, unless of course it’s a wake-to-wake hardflip, but if you can do those, you probably shouldn’t be entering amateur contests.
– Variety helps. Use your heelside and toe side wake. Do tricks in the flats and inside out. Before you enter your first event, you should try and learn a trick in every possible spot on the wake.
– Stay on your feet. Obviously getting up is a key to your run, so if you still struggle with that, maybe hold off for next season. But I’m going to assume you can get up, so keeping your balance is important. And presuming you’ve at least done a few tricks in there, the judges will reward a solid, stand-up run. It’s better to be able to run out the clock rather than have your run end due to falls.


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