JULY 2019 | Wakescootering Championships
words & photos: Mathis
Riders (in order):
- Mike Dowdy
- Tony Carroll
- Tyler Higham
- Max van Helvoort
- Cody Hesse
- Each rider gets 20 minute session
- Best trick wins
- If rider lands a trick they’re happy with, they can cut their time short
- Riders vote on best trick
Have you ever been pushing around your local skate park and just as you were rolling up to a ledge, a little scooter rips right in front of you and the next thing you know, you’re flat on your face? It’s happened to me more times than I can remember … which brings us to the idea for our latest ALL ALLIANCE “contest”: the Wakescootering Championships! This idea has been tooled around in the past with the “Conway Kids” (Steel Lafferty, Max van Helvoort, and Gunner Daft), and it definitely had some potential, but we figured we’d kick it up a notch with some new riders. For the event, we had some of the best and most unpredictable boat riders that Orlando had to offer. Harley Clifford was supposed to join us as well, but due to his poor time management skills he had to hop on a plane the morning of the contest. Oh well, your loss Harley! You better be game for the next round!
Max van Helvoort huckin’ and tuckin’
So you might be asking yourself, “What is wakescootering?” The answer is simple: It’s a mix between wakeboarding and wakesurfing. Think wakesurf speed and rope length but strapped into your wakeboard. Sounds pretty easy right? Well, that’s still up for debate. Yes, the idea is simple but, as the saying goes, things are usually easier said than done. But that didn’t deter our group of riders – they were hellbent on laying down the most progressive moves that wakescootering has ever seen! And to top things off, we had Bob Soven out to MC all day for us which not only kept everyone cracking up, but on point at the same time.
Tensions were high as we started to cruise out onto Lake Jessamine to get this thing done. The riders, who were obviously planning their runs out very carefully, were interrupted by none other than Parks Bonifay. As we sat out on the water filling ballast and getting ready for our first rider, Parks, being the wild card he is, came out of nowhere on one of Brian Grubb’s new Lift E-foils and started doing laps around us. If you know Parks at all, you know this is completely normal behavior for him. He’s one of those dudes who could literally be anywhere at any given time, so the fact that he just appeared to cut some laps before disappearing into the back corner of Lake Jessamine isn’t all that surprising. Bob reached out to Parks to get his thoughts on the “Wakescootering Championships” but, sadly, couldn’t get him to sit still long enough to get any comments from him. Thank you for blessing us with your presence, Parks.
Cody “The Cat” Hesse always lands on his feet
With the foil master gone, Dowdy was the first rider to hit the water. Feeling right at home behind his G23, Mike came out of the gate swinging. He warmed up with some easy, yet stylish, spins to get his blood flowing before eyeing up some more Dowdy-esque tricks. Everybody knows he can land an indy tantrum to blind with his eyes closed under normal circumstances but today, they were giving Mike a little trouble. After getting swallowed up by the wave a few times, he was able to swing one around and stick it effortlessly. In true Dowdy fashion, he wasn’t going to be satisfied with one trick but had to go back for another. The next trick he had in mind was a handle pass roll to blind. That proved to be too easy for Mike and he decided to call it after that. Pretty solid start if you ask me.
Next up, we had Tony Carroll. Tony has been in the contest scene longer than most so we knew he’d have a solid strategy coming into this contest. He did not disappoint. After a few misfires on the wave, Tony started linking up some hits. He stuck a couple of his signature truck driver back 180’s and started going for a tantrum to blind. He started getting the feel for it but then managed to come up short on one which pulled a muscle in his leg and put him out of the running for the rest of the contest. Next to give it a go was Tyler Higham. Tyler has been making a lot of noise over the past few seasons with his insane tech hits. You saw his Real Wake section from last year, right? Yeah, Tyler has been on fire for a while now and he definitely brought that smooth style of his to this event. Even with these conditions, all of his grabs were proper and poked harder than most do at a normal rope length. However, the Mistress of Wakescootering wasn’t very kind to Ty as he was swallowed up by the wave over and over as he tried his signature switch mobe. Abandoning that trick, he started hucking switch 720’s out of nowhere. As his time wound down, he just barely popped the handle on two of them before the buzzer hit. Even though he didn’t land it, everybody agreed that was the most impressive thing they saw that day.
Just a little spray on that one…
Two handed crows for the boys!
After a short rain delay, we were back on the water for our last two riders of the day. An OG to wakescootering, Max van Helvoort assured us he’d been training day in and day out just in case this contest ever made a comeback. It seems like all that “training” had paid off because Max was stomping everything he tried. He was obviously on a mission to take home the gold and it showed. After stomping pleny of tricks, he landed a spot on crow mobe. After he cleaned it up a bit and got a solid nose grab on it, he was content with what he had done and called his run. That left one more rider for us to get through: Cody Hesse. Cody is most well known for being the only rider to land a triple flip. We didn’t think we’d be seeing anything like that during our contest but hey, we can dream right? Cody moonlights as a stuntman in his spare time which definitely bleeds into his riding. Seriously, the kid is like a cat. Somehow he always manages to land on his feet. He proved this time and time again during his run by getting away with landings that would completely demolish the average rider. Crow mobes, tantrums to blind, roll to blinds, Cody left it all on the water. We knew Cody would be entertaining to watch and he definitely didn’t disappoint.
Dirty Mike’s gameface
Dowdy boosting a little smaller than usual….
Once Cody climbed in the boat, we headed back to our home base at Dowdy’s house to decide a winner. It was a pretty close toss up between Max’s proper nose grab crow mobe and Cody’s switch wrapped roll to blind but, after a bit of deliberation, the riders had to go with Max because of the solid grab and clean landing. All hail the Wakescooter Champion! We’ve only begun to scratch the surface of what’s possible with this “sport” and we’ve already started tossing around some ideas for Round 2, so be on the lookout for more in the future … wakescoot or die!
Best Trick Submissions:
- Mike Dowdy – indy tantrum to blind
- Tony Carroll – truck driver backside 180
- Tyler Higham – switch melan 360
- Max van Helvoort – nose grab crow mobe
- Cody Hesse – switch wrapped roll to blind
- Max van Helvoort – nose grab crow mobe
Max holding onto the Wakescootering crown