Ft. Worth, TX — Any night of the week, tourists and locals visiting the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards will see the old Tarantula Steam Train rolling through the railroad yard…but last Friday night…they saw a whole different kind of “Rail” riding!
Hundreds of pro and amateur wakeboarders and wakeskaters descended on Fort Worth last weekend to participate in the No Fear WWA World Wakeboard Championships presented by Malibu Boats, but the party started Friday night at the Stockyard Slam Rail Jam – a wakeboard rail jam in the heart of the old west!
The spectators lined up early and the longhorn steers peered through their wooden pens to watch twenty top pro and local riders throw down under the lights in the most unlikely of settings. The competitors where split into two heats with the top two tricks advancing to the finals. The rail jam set-up featured a raised starting pool, eight feet wide and forty feet long that had riders launching from over nine feet high, sliding down one of two forty foot long rail variations and landing in an inflatable 30’ x 50’ landing pool. The contest was pulled by a high high-speed, gas-powered winch attached to the No Fear Nissan Titan at the end of the second pool.
The first heat included Texas based pro’s Gabe Lucas and Tom Fooshee along with California ripper, Eddie Valdez, Canadian Chad Sharpe and Orlando’s Philip Soven among others. Only two would advance to the finals and after each rider had a chance to session the rail – Chad Sharpe’s FS board gap to 270 off and Soven’s back lip gap to back lip were deemed the two best tricks of the heat. Heat #2 featured another Texas pro, Clint Tompkins who made it to the finals on a wakeskate with his back lip down to front board to BS lip out. He was joined by JD Webb who threw a clean FS board to 450 out. Other highlights in the second heat included Tino Santori’s FS Lip to 270 out and wakeskater Steven Campbell’s BS Lip to Shuv out.
In the finals, each rider got four more attempts. They all charged the rail looking to take home the Lucky Devil Design “Best Trick” Trophy and $1000 cash. Sharpe and Tompkins came up empty, Soven landed a board gap to BS Lip on the serpent rail, but the hardest charger of all was JD Webb who thrilled the amped crowd on-hand with an aired out board gap 360 that had him landing well into the back of the second pool.