An Extreme Sports Hero
A few years ago we attended a Red Bull Wakeskating Competition to support my cousin. My Cousin Dave is an extreme sports aficionado. When you go through his photos, you are amazed at the young man’s courageous sports feats. I mean, he has participated in almost all extreme land and water sports.
You will find photos of Dave suspended from a cliff side in bungee jumping and then you will find another photo where he is rotating mid air in wakeboarding. The younger kids are obsessed with our cousin and always crowd around him with questions and even for his tricks especially with a skateboard.
The guy can do any and every trick on a skateboard. Considering that the roughest sport that I have played is hockey and it was not in a formal team, I must confess that when we were younger, I envied and even resented Dave. Anyway, now that we are all grown up, I always want the beast for Dave now that he has gone professional in extreme water sports.
The Wakeskating Competition
Wakeskating competitions are judged by awarding points based on the rider’s show. This means that the points are based on the number and complexity of tricks performed by the contender and also on the competency or smoothness of the performance. The sport is similar to water-boarding, except that the rider is not attached to the board.
The rider can wear shoes or even ride barefoot behind a boat surfing the boat’s wake while directly attached to the boat. The rider can engage in a number of tricks depending on his or her competence or experience.
An Embarrassing Show
Dave started the competition in a very promising way. The tow boat started off at a small pace and then picked up speed giving Dave an adequate wake in which to ride and perform tricks. However, before he could even start the most basic lip tricks, such as the front-side lip-slide, I noticed some swaying that seemed unusual for a professional like Dave. He held on steady and then went for the first lip trick.
However, before he was even half way through the spin, he seemed to twist around in the air and reach for his board and then he let go off the tow rope. He had to be fetched by the rescue team. After being ferried to the medical team, we ran over and tried to console a very desolate Dave. After some few minutes, he declared that he had just made a wrong maneuver move and would like to go at it again. The competition organizers allowed it and he went back. This time after the boat picked speed, Dave decided to do some flat tricks.
In this sport, a ride can do the same flat tricks that are done in skateboarding. Unluckily for Dave, before he could even start his heel-side maneuver, he crashed and let go off the rope. Again, he was rescued and ferried back to shore. Dave accepted defeat at this stage and it was until later that he realized that he had ridden on poorly manufactured skates.
Additionally, his board did not have fins and he had never ridden on a board without fins before. Whatever the problem, it was an embarrassing show for us and a devastating blow to Dave’s career.