The weather was perfect and the vibe was even better Friday night in Austin, Texas as some of the top wakeboarders and wakeskaters from across the country were on-hand for the Longhorn Rail Jam, presented by Malibu Boats. It was Stop #2 of the 2006 Texas Wakeboard Tour, a Fox Riders My Spot event, featuring a pro/am rail jam in the heart of 6th Street, Austin’s notorious party strip.
The course set-up stretched across an entire city block and featured a 12’ by 50’ starting pool; a 40 foot kinked rail and wall ride and a huge landing pool that measured 30’ wide by 50’ long. The event was scheduled to start at 6pm, but some set-backs while assembling the huge rail and wall ride pushed the start back to about 6:45pm. By the time the contest got underway, the street was packed and the eclectic group of spectators where lined up five or six deep along the entire 200’ set-up.
The list of competitors was equally diverse. The contest mixed wakeskaters with wakeboarders and the ages ranged from 14 year old up and coming shredder Gunner Shuler… to his Fox teammate and the oldest competitor on the pro circuit – 36 year old Gerry Nunn. Parks Bonifay and Dallas Friday were also on-hand to cheer on their Fox Teammates, but neither rode. They both hung out by the Fox bus, Parks on crutches and nursing his recently operated on knee and Dallas just kicking it with the fans. All told, there were fourteen pro and fourteen local riders who drew numbers to establish the teams and riding order for the pro/am contest.
After a few elimination heats, the first rider off the platform in the final round provided the evenings only sketchy moment. Keith Lyman, who had been riding well all night, got ahead of his board on a frontside board slide and went down hard, half on the slider platform and half in the pool, and ended up with a pretty gnarly bruise on his lower back and a couple of stitches in his elbow. His teammate Joey Bradley picked up the slack and rode for Keith as the teams got two more hits on the rail each, in the battle for the podium spots. They took third place which included $500 cash and some sick custom made chrome LHRJ trophies, courtesy of Houston based Lucky Devil Designs. Tino Santori and Brian Sasser slid there way into a second place finish and received $1000 plus trophies and it was Andrew Adlkison and Ryan Anderson who would take home the biggest check of the evening by winning first place. They also received trophies and each got a set of KB 600 speaker enclosures as last minute bonus from Kicker Audio and Anderson secured a spot to compete in the finals of the Liquid Force Slide Show, September 29th in Houston, TX.
Next up – the Texas Wakeboard Tour hits the road for our first event outside of the state. Don’t miss the US Air Force Big Air Double-Up Contest scheduled for Friday night, July 14th in Portland, Oregon, prior to the Pro-Tour’s third event of the season.