2009 Alliance Wakeskate Superlatives
Co-Wakeskater of the Year
2009 was a rough year for America and the rest of the world. There was a mortgage crisis, widespread job loss, Swine Flu… the list goes on and on. And the watersports industry was by no means immune. The contests were smaller and less frequent, and companies had to work harder to stay afloat. But through it all, the level of wakeskating just kept heading straight through the roof. And with that level of progression, we have our first co-wakeskaters of the year, Andrew Pastura and Reed Hansen.
Reed Hansen. Photo: Soderlind
Both guys pushed the sport so hard, but in completely different directions. Reed Hansen proved he could ride behind absolutely anything, better than just about everyone else. And if you we’re wondering how we know, it’s because Reed isn’t afraid to compete. He became a three-time world champion a.k.a. the King of Wakeskate, in addition to standing out at almost every Toe Jam event. Behind the boat, behind a cable, behind a ski, even winching, Reed can do it all.
And while he’s obviously focused on the contest side of things, Reed is still out there learning new tricks like it’s his job (backside 540 anyone?) Our plan was to get Andrew Pastura’s take on Reed, since they are sharing a singular title, but he’s disappeared to Asia, where he’s probably trying a ridiculously tech trick he just learned for the 500th time making sure it looks perfect. We’re not mad at him, in fact, that’s why he’s also winning this award. He would never tell you how good he is, and he doesn’t need to. He shows you every time he sets foot on a wakeskate.
Andrew Pastura. Photo: Soderlind
Though Andrew did win a contest or two himself this year, he’s not really thought of as a competitor. That’s probably because he was busy turning heads with two of the best video parts in wakeskating (3 if you wanna count his double-ender-part in Fun Boots!) Though he’s super modest, Andrew also made a splash on the Internet with Water Monsters and a few web videos that also blew minds. He’s just doing it, not talking about it.
Luckily for our plan, and again unlike Andrew, Reed is a big personality who had plenty to say about his co-rider, so we’ll let him sum it up. “Innovation is not a challenge for Andrew, that’s just how he rides,” Reed says. “In whatever he does, it is something new and groundbreaking that makes you say, ‘I didn’t even think that was possible!!’”
Reed and Andrew’s approaches to wakeskating are so different, it’s almost like they aren’t doing the same sport. But since they are, we really didn’t see any way to pick between them. It’s not the first time we’ve had co-ROTYs at Alliance. But it is a first for wakeskating, and for the first time in history, it’s because the sport demanded it.
Pulls of choice. Photos: Soderlind
The 2009 Alliance Superlatives recognize the outstanding athletes and more for the past year. They are chosen by the Alliance staff in collaboration with former Rider of the Year winners. Be sure to check out the new issue of Alliance Wakeboard Magazine for more.