The Wakeskate Tour – Suwannee Pro
The second stop of The Wakeskate Tour went down this weekend at Nick Taylor’s Neverland-esque private shred compound in Live Oak, FL and as is always the case out in the sweet, swampy waters it was one for the ages. Over the years Suwannee Pro has become one of the most popular and talked about events in all of wake because the riding is always insane, but to top it off the vibe is 100% good times. No electricity and no running water? No problem. Camping out at Nick’s to watch the action only adds to the awesomeness of the weekend and makes the contest much more of an experience for everybody involved.
Throughout the weekend the laid back vibe off the water was reflected on the water as well, despite every rider throwing down the heaviest of tricks. Lines that could have gotten riders into the finals several years ago couldn’t even get them out of qualifying this year. That, in an of itself, speaks to the progression and consistency of wakeskating as a sport. From this photographer/editor’s viewpoint, that is what makes it one of the most fun and exciting things to watch on the water.
The signature six-man super final came down to staples Andrew Pastura, Austin Pastura, Nick Taylor, and Reed Hansen, along with newcomers Coco Mendez (competing in his second TWT final) and Marcus Knox. Of note, Andrew Pastura has made every final in the history of The Wakeskate Tour. To date that is 14 and counting. For 90 minutes the guys put down their best lines hoping to come away with the top spot and nobody disappointed. Reed Hansen, looking for redemption after not making the finals at Money for Nothin’, came out swinging, and nearly landed his new bigger flip, but couldn’t quite ride away from it. Austin’s technical lines, skate style, and pure bolts landings netted him a solid third place finish. Nick Taylor’s consistency had the crowd, as well as himself, freaking out with every run, which ultimately got him second place at his home event. Not surprisingly, Andrew Pastura continued his reign as The King, with both a “Best Trick” victory – earning him $500 courtesy of Church Griptape for his insane kickflip frontboard shuv out on the hubba – and the overall top spot. He has now taken first place in both stops this year, giving him a firm grip on another overall title.
Needless to say, it is awesome to have The Wakeskate Tour back and better than ever. The vibe epitomizes grassroots camaraderie, but the action is mind-blowingly intense. Do yourself a favor and try to make it out to Battle Falls in Groveland in September. In the meantime, stay tuned for a full video from Suwannee Pro to see what you’ve been missing.