Red Bull does it again with Wake Open 2013

by Ty Udell

Winners - Portrait

Winner, winner, champagne in your face!    Photo: Chris Garrison / Red Bull Content Pool

Once again, Red Bull proved its ability to bring wakeboarding to the masses without diminishing the value of style, in the form of the 2013 Wake Open.  Not only did they up the ante from last year’s contest with a larger kicker and new park features, they added the element of social media with #wakeopen for Instagram. People could go to a booth and print photos tagged #wakeopen, allowing fans to have a more interactive experience in all three events.

Mother Nature tried to battle with the schedule, but she couldn’t keep the hammers from dropping off the wake, kicker, and park setup.  While 9’s were on lock from defending champ Raph, it was the wrapped style brought to the wake portion from Rathy and the uber-tweaked out mute roll-to-reverts off the Super-Kicker from Jeff Langley that stood out. The Big Air Kicker design changed from last year making for a more snowboard influenced landing ramp, and allowing more progression to take place… Don’t mistake that for a mellower big air contest, as these riders brought the heat from practice all the way until the last pull. In the end, it was Rathy’s indy tantrum-to-blind and neon board up against Bob Soven’s fiery hair and indy poked backside 7. After some debate by the judges, it was Bob by a ginger hair.


Not a bad setup… Thanks, Tampa and Red Bull    Photo: Robert Snow / Red Bull Content Pool

Saturday heated up with a dual cable setup over the park, with each rider scored on his top run from each cable. We saw your typical big heel 9’s from LaRiche, pressed out slides from Webb, and the massive rewinds of Daniel Grant paired with his voluminous hair. Paddle boarders and boaters lined the course while the shoreline, bridge, and area in front of Jackson’s Restaurant remained packed all day. Despite the 95-degree heat, fans cheered on the riders to the very last pull, a true testament to the show Red Bull can produce, and the dedication these fans have for their favorite riders. What stood out about this year’s Red Bull Wake Open was each rider brought his own distinct flavor to the line.  You saw technical creativity on the handrail, killer presses on the tubes, and each rider carefully choosing their lines… leaving the most progressive impression on the judges’ minds. The park contest was another tight battle, especially between Canadians Raph Derome and Aaron Rathy. Rathy headed into the final event with a lead, but Raph wasn’t going to let it slip away. He did everything in his power to hold on to the overall title by winning the park event, but with Rathy right behind him in second, it wasn’t enough. Props to Rathy for placing second in all three aspects of the contest and to Raph taking first in two of them – both are definitely on top of the wakeboarding world right now as all-around riders.


JD Webb on his way to third place in the park event and third place overall.    Photo: Ty Udell


Langley hitting new heights.    Photo: Ty Udell


Raph Derome tried to hold onto his Wake Open crown by wining the park event, but he couldn’t hold off Aaron Rathy    Photo: Ty Udell

Aaron Rathy - Lifestyle

Aaron Rathy, on top    Photo: Robert Snow / Red Bull Content Pool



  1. Raph Derome
  2. Aaron Rathy
  3. Rusty Malinoski

Big Air

  1. Bob Soven
  2. Aaron Rathy
  3. Daniel Grant


  1. Raph Derome
  2. Aaron Rathy
  3. JD Webb


  1. Aaron Rathy
  2. Raph Derome
  3. JD Webb