August 21, 2006– Surf Expo is pleased to announce the inaugural presentation of their annual wakeboarding event, the Monster Energy Wake n’ Bake Rail Jam, presented by Liquid Force, to be held during the show, September 15-17, and during every September show thereafter. Additional sponsors include Epic Boats, Distortion Boarding, The Projects Wakeboard & Wakeskate Camp, Spy Optic and Wet Sounds.
The event will showcase the top pro wake riders in the world and will be held outside the wake section of the show, under the Florida sun, (hence the “bake” part of the name). Wakeskaters on board include Scott Byerly, Brandon Thomas, Melissa Marquedt, Ryan Doyle, George Daniels, Kyle Walton, Aaron Rathy, Reed Hansen and Aaron Reed. Wakesboarders Shawn Watson, Kevin Henshaw, JD Webb, Keith Lidberg and Eric Ruck are also all set to slide. It will be set up in a jam format, with heats gradually paring down the number of riders until only two remain. Prizes will be awarded in both male and female categories for best trick and best rider, but the main goal is for all involved in the sport to celebrate all things wake, with the entire industry under one roof at Surf Expo. And, for the first time at the trade show, the public will have access to the demo from the stairs and rails above the pool at the Orange County Convention Center.
The Liquid Force team is looking forward to ending their Slide Show tour across America with this encore event at Surf Expo, arguably the Mecca for wakeboarding these days. Liquid Force Marketing Coordinator and Team Manager Aaron Grace said, “Liquid Force is extremely happy to team up with Surf Expo as the presenting sponsor for the Monster Energy Wake N Bake Rail Jam. There is not a better spot to wrap up our Slide Show season then in the epicenter of wakeboarding, Orlando. It is going to be great to have the entire action sport industry witness this event.”
Liquid Force’s Orlando team-rider and rail building expert, Gregg Necrason, will join Patrick Panakos and the team from The Projects’ on-site, who are running the event from build-up to breakdown.
Partnering with Pat Panakos, pro rider and wakeboarding’s go-to guy for building rails and launch pools, was a natural choice for Surf Expo. An Orlando native and Surf Expo attendee for years, Pat has been talking about an event with Surf Expo Show Director Lori Kisner for several years. For the Wake N’ Bake Rail Jam, he designed his “wicked” 220 foot-long setup, the longest two-pool setup ever to be built. Panakos decided to go with two winches, to be supplied by Distortion (of “Grinch” winch fame), which will pull riders across one of two rails; one catered to wakeboarding and one to wakeskating. The ample room on the side of the rails ensures rider safety while sliding across to the landing pool, and the longer landing pool (100 feet) insures the riders can go big and hard on the rails with plenty of water to coast off a landing.
Pat is just as eager as Surf Expo to get underway. “Out of all the events I’ve built rails for, I’m most excited about Surf Expo,” he said. “It’s the only event where the whole industry comes together and you couldn’t have it in a better place than Orlando, the hub of wakeboarding and wakeskating.”
Exhibitor Marketing Manager Vicki Vasil explains Surf Expo’s excitement at getting this event on the September schedule: “Being part of wakeboarding is very important to us at Surf Expo… of course our goal is to aid in the growth and progression of each industry we serve, but we feel a special connection to wake’s stronghold on the east coast and in Orlando specifically, which hosts our show twice a year.”
With Panakos and The Projects building a rail setup so close to their home and their hearts, and Liquid Force and Monster Energy on board among tons of other sponsors, it is going to be a successful annual event and another Surf Expo “first” to remember.