By Adam Aslanian
On June 5th downtown Orlando was host to the first installment of Wake Wars, a rail jam put on by the guys at Step Up Productions. With 3000 dollars up for grabs, the best and brightest rail shredders in Orlando (and even a few from Clermont) were in attendance, throwing everything they could to get the cash. A lot of light rain threatened to ruin the evening at first, but with Dan-o and Spencer on stage hyping everyone up, the huge downtown crowd was amped and the riders didn’t miss a beat.
Behind the judges booth were none other than Jd Webb and the brothers Bonifay. A couple of wakers that know a thing or two about rail riding to say the least, but with a job of judging I certainly was not envious of. With some of the biggest names in our sport being separated into just 2 heats, and only the top 3 advancing, deciding the victor would not be an easy task.
The finals was a who’s who of rail shredders consisting of Nate Perry, Marc Rossiter, Shawn Watson, Adam Errington, Philip Soven, and Kevin Henshaw. A stacked heat indeed, but someone had to come out on top. With toeside transfers onto the A-frame and a backlip nose on the handrail, Nate Perry took the gold, or the giant check in this case.
Later in the night, the wakeskaters got their shot at hitting the rails. BT, GD, Grubb, Diets, and Southside all took a crack at the flat box, throwing down best they could for the cash. There were steezy front boards, and big spins out, but in the end Steve Campbell came out victorious with his uncanny ability to shuv onto anything that doesn’t move.
Overall, the night was a huge success. No one got hurt, everyone had a great time, and downtown was packed. The best part of all though, was the amount of people that were exposed to wakeboarding/wakeskating, possibly for the first time. This wasn’t just some crowd of Wakeboard fanatics heading to Odub with hopes of meeting their favorite rider. It was groups of people that wouldn’t know the difference between a Bonifay or a Grubb, a wakeboard or a wakeskate, seeing something that I’d like to think they thought was pretty amazing. So thanks again to Step Up Prodcutions and The Other Bar for getting our sport out to new audiences, and make sure to look out for the next installment of Wake Wars coming to a city near you.