Toronto gives off the impression that it’s longing to be something greater then it is. It also gives off the vibe that it thinks it’s greater and more important then it really turns out to be. Much like the wonderful world of wake that we all cherish so dearly. This makes Toronto a beautifully ironic and magical place to hold one of the best events of the year — Wakestock.

I arrived in Toronto last Tuesday, along with the rest of the Oakley squad, to take care of some business and make sure everything was looking fresh with the Oakley Launch Pool that was being built on site. The pool turned out to be more then exceptional due to the always-fantastic carpentry of Pat Panakos and the Projects crew. These guys work their asses off, and I’d have to say that Pat is like the Michelangelo of wake. I think we should all take our fitted, backwards, slightly off to the side wake hats off to Oakley for the energy and funds they have been putting into these pool stunts, which I think progress both sports. 

Over the course of the next few days Team Oakley morphed — in an incredible display of friendly bonding — into what I now lovingly refer to as the Oakley Family. I learned the ways of business under the apprenticeship of the great Matty Swanson, and the people on the team who are not washed up did lovely, athletic things for the cameras. We also got to check out some of Toronto’s highlights like the Sears Tower, Wayne Gretzgy’s restaurant, and even got to witness the Orioles make America proud against the Blue Jays in the Sky Dome.

The event started on Friday and as always was popping off with huge attendance and massive stoke. Massive stoke. The highlights of the event for me were watching Reed Hansen kickflip boardslide the down rail at the pool practice, and watching Keith Lyman get air-ageous in the Expression Session. The only person I watched win an event was Aaron Rathy in the best trick wakeskate contest at the pool. Rathy is an animal who is incredibly good and intense at everything he does.

I did not see any other people become champions but because I am a professional I’m going to include a list. Big thanks to everyone for putting the event on and to Oakley. It was a wonderful time and I met some good people and bonded with old friends. Keep your chin up and I will see you in the gym – Daniel.

1. Phillip Soven – Longwood, FL, USA (Malibu Boats, Liquid Force, Body Glove, No Fear)
2. Rusty Malinoski – Humboldt, SK, CAN (JStar, Xcel, Dragon, Etnies, Fox, Tige)
3. Jeff Weatherall – Auckland, NZ (Malibu Boats, JStar, Ogio, Alpinestar, Straightline)
4. Daniel Watkins – Melbourne, AUS (O’Brien, Reef, Rip Curl, Arnette, Tige)
Tie 5. Danny Harf – Orlando, FL, USA (Billabong, Hyperlite, Spy, Nautiques)
Tie 5. Brett Eisenhauer – AUS (JStar, No Fear, Smith, Centurian)
Tie 5. Keith Lyman – Orlando, FL, USA (Oakley, Liquid Force, Xcel)
Tie 5. Jack Blodgett – FL, USA

1. Melissa Marquardt – Canyon Lake, CA, USA
2. Sunni-Ann Ball – King City, ON, CAN
3. Andrea Fountain – Auckland, NZ
4. Barrett Pearlman – Orlando, FL, USA

1. Keith Lidberg – Twin Lakes, MN, USA (Projects, Gator, Sessions, Nautique, Erlik)
2. Kevin Henshaw – Sydney, BC, CAN (Malibu Boats, Billabong, Liquid Force, Spy)
3. Keith Lyman – Orlando, FL, USA (Oakley, Liquid Force, Xcel)
4. Aaron Rathy – Nanaimo, BC, CAN (Oakley, Hyperlite, Xcel, Nautiques)
Tie 5. Shawn Watson – Orlando, FL, USA (Liquid Force)
Tie 5. Eric Ruck – Orlando, FL, USA (Billabong, Reef, Hyperlite, Dragon, Nautiques)
Tie 5. Jeff Weatherall – NZ (Malibu Boats, JStar, Ogio, Alpinestar, Straightline)
Tie 5. Derek Grassman – Winter Haven, FL, USA (CWB, Mastercraft)

Wakeskate Best Trick: Aaron Rathy, Nanaimo, BC, CAN
Pop shuvit to frontside lipslide on the hubba ledge.

Wakeboard Best Trick: Danny Harf, USA
Cab 270, continuous 180 – 90 out on the wall transfer down rail.

1. Reed Hansen – Groveland, FL, USA (Cassette, DVS, Fox, Supra)
2. Aaron Rathy – Nanaimo, BC, CAN (Oakley, Hyperlite, Xcel, Nautiques)
3. Kyle Walton – OR, USA
4. James Balzer – Cloverdale, BC, CAN (Etnies, Hyperlite, Dragon)
Tie 5. George Daniels – Orlando, FL, USA (Hyperlite, Reef, O’Neill, Arnette, Nautiques)
Tie 5. Nick Harlos – Wasaga Beach, ON, CAN (Sattelyte, IS Design)
Tie 5. Clint Tomkins – Casselberry, FL, USA (Kampus, Xcel, Smith, No Fear)
Tie 5. Jeff Engen – Havasu City, AZ, USA (Sattelyte, DSO, Xcel, Starightline)

1. Brett Eisenhauer – AUS
2. Rusty Malinoski – Humboldt, SK, CAN