Some people might say having 4,000 less fans attend an event from the year before would be a failure. But when you still get 8,000 to attend your event and it’s raining, that’s an unbelievable success. To put it simply, Wake the Line went off yesterday afternoon at the Müngersdorfer swimming stadium in Cologne, Germany. Despite the clouds, wind and rain, fans still came to watch some of the best rail park riders on the planet compete for $30,000 in prize money. The riders did not disappoint. In what will likely go down as one of the most progressive parks ever built, the riders put it all on the line, literally and figuratively. The park featured some of Unit’s best rails, including signature models from team riders. Kevin Henshaw A-frame (up-gap-flat-gap-down), Stephen Vollert’s C-rail, Nico Lerchenfeld’s crazy down rail, and Silas Thurman’s brand new pool gap. Plus, there was the always popular quarter pipe at the end of the course. Each round was a head-to-head battle with each rider getting three runs per round. The rider who took two out of the three runs would move on, the other rider would be done.
Round 1 had some great matchups:
Nico Von Lerchenfeld vs. Kaesen Suyderhoud
Shawn Watson vs. Daniel Grant
Keith Lidberg vs. Dylan Miller
Shane Bonifay vs. Nate Perry
Marc Rossiter vs. Mitch Langfield
Kevin Henshaw vs. Stephen Vollert
Felix Georgii vs. Olivier Derome
D. Fetz vs. Collin Harrington
Jan Kissmann vs. Simon Powell
Ben Horan vs. Nick Taylor
Lucas Suess vs. Andy Kolb
Daniel Grant vs. Leo Labadens
There were some names unknown to the rest of the world, but they have made names for themselves on the European scene. Nobody seemed to be intimidated by the likes of heavy hitters and legends like Shane Bonifay, Kevin Henshaw, Shawn Watson and Keith Lidberg. Another surprise was 13-year-old Daniel Grant competing in both the wakeboarding and wakeskating events. The kid can obviously hold his own when it comes to cable park riding. His consistency and confidence in attacking every obstacle blew everybody away. He was knocked out from the wakeboarding contest by eventual 2nd place finisher Shawn Watson in the first round, but it was definitely close. That might have motivated him to push it harder on the wakeskate side of things, where he ended up taking home the top prize. All he could say after winning was, “That’s gonna buy a lot of candy!” The kid has a bright future, that’s for sure. The breakout star of the day was pro snowboarder turned wake shredder Felix Georgii. Felix’s skills in the park blew minds. His control and style were totally on point and he was able to launch out of the quarter pipe high and with more style than anybody else. While Felix was good (and some event bet on him to take the whole event after watching him ride in practice and the first round), jitters eventually got the best of him in the finals and he lost out to fellow German Nico von Lerchenfeld. Nico once again proved he is the king of the cable park with his performance at Wake the Line. From the looks of it he’s not willing to give up his crown anytime soon.
Overall the event was unbelievable. The crowd was great, the setup was insane, and the riding was some of the best ever for a park contest. Props to the guys at Unit for putting together one of the best wake contests ever and congrats to the riders for throwing down, having fun, and putting on a great show. Stay tuned to alliancewake.com for a video from the event and look for a full article in the next issue of Alliance Wakeboard magazine.
Wake the Line Results:
- Nico von Lerchenfeld
- Shawn Watson
- Keith Lidberg
- Daniel Grant
- Jan Kissman
- Andy Kolb