The Mastercraft Throwdown went down Saturday on live TV, which was the first time since the 2005 X-Games. If that wasn’t incentive enough, it was also the biggest purse of the season, so all eight invited riders came in with a ton of motivation. The format was also something the riders weren’t use to: sudden death heats giving riders one try and four tricks. This made the best tricks and riding come out. The weather was not ideal, but the rain held off and made for some good conditions in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

In the first round any of the riders could have made it through, but ultimately all of the top seeds were the ones who did. Local boy Mike Dowdy had the hometown advantage and crowd on his side, but he eventually fell short of making finals. He still found himself on the podium in 3rd being the only rider to land a double flip in the contest all weekend. Shota Tezuka can be summed up in one word, consistent. He always knew what he needed and that showed with him ending up in 2nd place. Harley Clifford proved once again that he is one of the best wakeboarders ever. Harley beat 2005 X-Games winner Danny Harf in the first round and then beat Rusty Malinoski to make it into the finals and ultimately took the top prize.

This was one of the fastest contests we have seen all year, but being on live TV it put wakeboarding on a new platform that showed it off to people who never knew about the sport. Along with wakeboarding we saw Freddy Krueger smash the world record in ski flying and the Godfrey Clan entertained us in between heats with on water antics. Here’s to Throwdown 2016…?