To many people’s surprise, wakeskating does exist and indeed flourish in countries other than the United States (I know, it’s hard to believe it is even anywhere outside of Florida). It’s true! They have lots of cable parks, winch companies, videos, magazines, and everything else that makes wakeskating so great in other places too! Luckily for us, the foreign wakeskaters always seem to be the coolest and the most stoked on riding! It is always a pleasure for them to grace us with their presence, and such was the case out on Lake Howell in Orlando, Florida recently. Luis Becqueriaux (from Spain), has been staying in town and riding a lot lately with the crew out there, and so has the Frenchman Kevin Calvez and another Spaniard, Enric Dosta Vidal. Well apparently all these riding buddies started amping up their home towns (such an American thing to do in the first place), so we were left with no choice but to settle it the old fashioned way: a battle on the water! The event would be three heats each consisting of one American versus one foreigner, and was thus dubbed the “U.S. vs. Them Contest.”
The rules were very simple, each rider had eight glorious minutes to bring honor to their land best as possible (as in, shredding their hearts out), all to be pulled behind Luis’s Nautique. Up in the first heat was the Frye, representing America, versus the “Spanish Stallion,” Luis. I think Luis’s trash talking got to Frye’s head, and the door was left cracked just enough for Luis to take a victory for the “Them” team. He even got in a little glory run of a three shove to kickflip after the buzzer.
The foreigners were pretty stoked on their first round win, but the contest was not over and America had some heavy hitters still yet to bat. TJ Giesey rode next against Enric, who held his own pretty well, but TJ is a solid up-and-comer and took it home with kickflips and reentry bigspins, capping it off with a perfect wake to wake 360. America had tied it up.
The final round was pretty exciting: the score was tied and the best of the best were up to bat. Kevin Calvez is becoming a pretty known name these days, and if there is some crazy wakeskating happening in France, he is probably involved in some way or another (such as winching the pond in front of the Eiffel Tower). We all knew he could throw down, but Chase Gregory is no chump either, and after all, it is his stomping grounds. It came down to this! Kevin boosted wake to wake again and again and got down a solid reentry three shove, but Chase made sure to make the decision easy on the judges when he started killing it down the line, making back 180s and wake to wake shuvs look like a walk in the park. He was even feeling sassy enough to get close to several front bigs wake to wake. The victory went to Chase and the gold cup of national wakeskate pride went to the ever self-glorifying United States of America. Way to go, US!