For the 11th year in a row the Southern Plains Festival has made a huge impact on the wakeboarding community in state of Oklahoma. Run by Sammy and April Roberts, SPF attracts riders from all over the “Southern Plains” and their surrounding areas including Texas, Arkansas, Missouri and beyond. This past weekend marked my 3rd year as a competitor / fan of the SPF tournament held on Lake Eufala just an hour outside the city limits of Tulsa, OK. The special thing about SPF is that the entire contest is fueled by families with an extreme passion for the sport volunteering their help in any way it is needed whether it be driving the pick up Jet Ski, helping athletes register or providing their own personal boats to tow riders behind. It’s not uncommon to find 2 -3 competitors from the same family all riding in their respective divisions as their siblings / parents cheer them on from the shores.
New to SPF in 2009 was the “Open Grom” division in which riders 13 and younger threw some impressive spins and inverts taking several spectators by surprise. The level of riding at this event gets progressively better year after year with riders like Kelton Collins, Todd Forest and the Kress brothers (just to name a few) all making waves in each of their divisions. One of the biggest breakout rides came from Open / Pro men’s champion Mitch Bergsma who laid down some huge tricks into the flats including an S – bend and also back to back KGB’s.
Saturday night featured a rail jam on the opposite end of the lake with a Huge A-frame, a kicker and flat rail all towed by winch. Several of the top level wakeboarders and wakeskaters rode in the rail jam which took place under the lights and features several solid hits along with some EXTREMELY priceless crashes!
In all the event was a total success thanks to the hard work and dedication of the Roberts family and all of the other volunteers (you know who you are)! Until next yer I’ll leave you all with this:
“Nascar. Don’t you love it?” (random quote on the billboard of an Oklahoman restaurant near the site).