Just like hitting a kicker, right Felix?

Photos & Words: Jeff Mathis

Rules (more like guidelines than actual rules…)

  • Rider order chosen at random before practice
  • Each rider gets 2 practice passes
  • Once practice is done, go right into that rider’s “run”
  • 2 passes consisting of 5 tricks per pass or 3 falls, whichever comes first
  • Double up at the end of each rider’s “run”
  • Judging done by riders of “overall impression” (bonus points for raleys!)

Riding Order:

  1. Anna Nikstad
  2. Felix Georgii
  3. Josh Harris
  4. William Klang
  5. Pete “Romeo” Besner
  6. Dom Hernler
  7. Brandon Harris

Cable RatsHow’s this thing work?

The “All Alliance” contests are about taking riders and getting them out of their comfort zones. Whether it be from years ago when we had riders eat 5 cheeseburgers and do a 540, 7 and do a 720, or 9 and do a 900 or the “High Jump Contest” where riders were just slamming into the homemade bar, the “All Alliance” contests are about making the impossible possible. That was no different when this idea got thrown on the table. With so many riders nowadays strictly riding park, we thought it would be a good idea to get some of those riders and put them where wake began: behind the boat. The results did not disappoint. With a lot of those riders being in town for the upcoming Valdosta Yardsale II, the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. On the roster we had Felix Georgii, Anna Nikstad, William Klang, Dom Hernler, Pete Besner, and Josh/Brandon Harris (aka “The Twins”). For a handful of these riders, it was literally the first time they’d ever been behind a boat (let alone, try to hit a double up) and not only did everyone make it out alive but most surprised themselves with the tricks they landed.

Anna Nikstad finless & inverted William Klang with the classic “Oh Shit!” faceJosh Harris punted…not really

First on the water by luck of the draw and because chivalry isn’t dead with this crew, was Anna Nikstad. Anna’s known for her effortless style while she slays rails and drops 9’s off of kickers like it’s no big deal. Anna just joined the LF pro ranks not too long ago so she’s definitely feeling good about her riding right now. Anna was saying she hadn’t been behind a boat since she was a kid but jumped out there finless and started hucking backrolls like it wasn’t a problem…definitely a good start! Next was Felix Georgii. Felix had the same story, he hadn’t been behind a boat in years but sure surprised the hell out of me with switch and regular heel 5’s, styled out back 180’s, and even some tantrums that we were hoping he was going to take to blind….no luck though. But we had Josh Harris to change all that. Josh is a local shredder at OWC making a name for himself (and his brother Brandon) on the cable scene and had never been behind a boat before. Crazy right?! Wakeboarders from Orlando, FL who have never been behind a boat…blasphemy! But I guess that’s the way of the world these days! Anyway, Josh jumped out there with no worries and started carving around. After dialing in some jumps and 180’s for practice, he started busting out heel 5’s, back 180’s, and tantrums like it was nothing. At the end of his second pass, he even went indy tantrum to blind and somehow didn’t catch his back edge. It was unbelievable, definitely one of the highlights of the day.

Cable killer, William Klang, was next to try out the liquid ramps being pushed out by Oli Derome’s Malibu M235. Starting off with some Murray-esque butter slides on in the flats, Willy definitely looked comfortable behind the boat. After a few hits to get his confidence up, it was quickly dashed with one of the gnarliest back edges of the day. Ah yes, the boat can be a cruel mistress. Shaken but not defeated, he jumped back up and still managed to put some solid stuff together. Way to take it like a champ Willy! Pete Besner was the next to give it a go. Pete’s a good ol’ Canadian boy that grew up riding with the Derome brothers so we were sure that he’d have a trick or two up his sleeve and he did not disappoint. Pete wasted no time with some stylish pokes and grabs before dropping a textbook crow mobe and almost sticking a toe 7 with his coach Raph Derome looking on. Maybe if they had their BbTalking headsets on then they could have been more on the same page…

If Dom’s on a board, he’s having fun Pete Besner pokingBrandon Harris getting his core work out in

Our second to last rider, Dom Hernler, was our ringer for this contest. Definitely known as a cable rider, Dom used to ride the boat a good bit in years past and even had a Tige sponsorship some years ago. So we brought him into this contest knowing he’d pull some of his old tricks out of his hat. Things didn’t look good from the start however when he fell on a tootsie roll first trick into his run but he shook that off and managed to stomp some hammers before his time was up. To round out the group, we had the second twin Brandon Harris. Josh and Brandon are identical twins so it didn’t surprise anyone when they had the exact same riding style except for one difference, Brandon’s perfectly laid out raley. Truly a thing of beauty…if that didn’t give him an edge in the eyes of the judges then I don’t know what could! But when it was all said and done, we learned a few things.

  1. Trying a different side of your sport is rad and can result in some good times and tons of laughs.
  2. Wakeboarding is awesome no matter what’s pulling you.
  3. Cable riders can’t hit a double up for shit….


  1. Dom Hernler
  2. Pete Besner
  3. Brandon Harris

Not your typical podium