By Tracy Baynham
On November 6th, 2010, twelve of the best professional boat riders in the wake industry came together with thirty six of Florida’s local amateur riders of all ages and skill levels to compete in the fourth annual Pros and Joes Wake Event held at Okeeheelee Park Lake in West Palm Beach, Florida. Hosted by the South Florida Wakeboarding Association, this competition has proven to be one of the most unique and fastest growing pro/am competitions in the South East. Throughout the day, over 1,000 spectators were able to witness some of the best pro riders in the world team up with locals and compete in a both friendly and fun environment.
While in the past three events, the lineup of pro riders has been awesome this year was by far the deepest field seen yet. The twelve professional riders included Rusty Malinoski, Josh Palma, JD Webb, Nick Taylor, Andrew Adkison, Andrew Fortenberry, Scott Stewart, Steel Lafferty, Adam Errington, Jimmy LaRiche, Shawn Watson and Zane Schwenk. Each pro was assigned three amateur riders that composed their team for the day. This event not only allowed the amateur riders the chance to be on the boat spectating while their pro rode, but also allowed them the opportunity to get to know the pros on a more personal level. The pros helped amateurs plan out their run, gave advice and encouragement, and spent the day just relaxing with their team and getting to know many of the local riders and their families.
On the day of the event, the first team, Team Fortenberry, was off the dock by eight am in less than ideal conditions. A cold front had moved in a few days before the event so the first riders were met with chilly temperatures in the upper 50’s and winds gusting up to twenty to twenty five miles per hour. Luckily as the day went on the temperatures warmed up and the wind would occasionally die down allowing it to be an overall beautiful day. Each team would load up on the boat and the pro would ride first, followed by their three amateurs, or “Joe”, riders. Although the pros were not scored in the team scoring along with their amateur riders, they did have the opportunity to compete for a $1,000 prize among each other for the best trick. At the end of the day, JD Webb received this award for his Pete Rose 540. On the amateur side, nine-year-old Drew Beno won best amateur trick for his backside shuv-it which impressed the judges due to the riders age and the difficult windy riding conditions.
By two that afternoon, each of the twelve teams had the opportunity to ride and the judges tallied scores with the top five teams advancing to the finals. Among the teams to advance were Team Palma, Malinoski, Webb, Stewart and Adkison. For the remainder of the event, these five teams each rode again with the level of riding greatly improved as the amateurs began to adjust to and become more comfortable behind the massive wake of Andrew Adkison’s fully loaded 2011 Mastercraft X-Star. The unfamiliarity with such a large wake was displayed throughout the day as many riders over rotated inverts and continually spoke of it as “the biggest wake they had ever rode”. At the end of the day, Paul Hoffman was awarded best crash for his over rotated front roll to massive faceplant. When it was all said and done the winners were announced with the top three teams being Malinoski, Webb and Palma, respectively.
There was an equally as successful turnout for sponsors once again at this year’s event. Sponsors included South Florida Mastercraft, Arrigo Dodge, Motion Watersports, Jamba Juice, Play-n-Trade, Just-In-Time Window Tint, Gatorbait Wakeboard School, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Redbull, Muscle Milk, Universal Detail, and Exceed Wetsuits.
For more photos, videos, event recaps and information, please visit www.sfwa.com. If you have any questions and or would like to be involved in next years Pros and Joes Event, please contact President of South Florida Wakeboarding Association, Jimmy Beno at (561) 312-0701 or email@example.com.
Team Rusty Malinoski
Team JD Webb
Team Josh Palma
Best Trick Amateur
Best Trick Pro $1,000 prize