Last weekend the Malibu Rider Experience and WWA Regional Championships culminated with the fifth and final stop of the 2021 event schedule. And in classic “Go Out With A Bang” fashion, the last stop of the series was hosted in conjunction with TNT Watersports at the 2021 TN Wakefest. With two full days of water-access-only action, the stage was set for all wake and lake enthusiasts to end the Malibu event series with the best event of the year on Center Hill Lake.
Saturday morning kicked off the event with several of the amateur divisions taking to the water and riding behind the brand new 2022 Malibu LX, a 21ft new addition to the Malibu Boats line up. With well over one hundred boats tied up in the boat line, competitors were surrounded by spectators throughout their contest runs. Groms 9 and Under started the day and set the pace for all the action on the water. Following closely behind were the Junior division, the Beginner division, and the Intermediate divisions.
The excitement of the day crescendoed with the pro division battling it out on the water behind the newly unveiled Malibu 25’ LSV. Pro Women and Pro Men riders fought hard through the semifinals until only 6 riders remained in each division. For the women, Dallas Friday threw some of her signature maneuvers like the batwing off-axis 360. Landing in second place, team Axis athlete Bec Gange masterfully executed a Moby Dick and a tootsie roll to secure her spot on the podium. Meagan Ethell once again took the top spot at Wakefest with a whirlybird and back-to-back frontside 540s. For the Pro Men, Guenther Oka earned a spot on the podium with switch and regular Pete Rose 540s. Falling just short of first place, Massi Pifferetti was the runner up with a half-cab double backroll and nose grab skeezer 540. And Nic Rapa ended up in first place with multiple double flip variations, a crow mobe 540 and an off-axis backside 720. With this victory Rapa became the first Pro Men’s rider to win back to back victories at WakeFest. And after Saturday’s award ceremony, all the athletes and fans kept the party going at Fishlips Resort and Grill until late at night.
Day number two began with more amateur divisions as the Open Women took to the water, followed by the Advanced division. And the real excitement started with Jr. Pro divisions as the top Jr riders fought hard at the final stop of the Malibu Jr. Pro Series.In the Jr. Pro Women’s division, Avery Reugsegger won her first event of the season and dethroned the dominant Kira Lewis who hard won all four of the previous events. Avery won the event with a super stylish indy toeside backroll and a textbook heelside roll to revert. But even with her second place finish at Wakefest, Kira Lewis was able to win the overall title for the Jr. Pro Women’s series.
For the Jr. Pro. Men Jaime Huser won both the Wakefest event and the overall title, making history as the only rider ever to win every single event in the Malibu Jr. Pro Series. But the main event of the weekend was the $25,000 Shoot Out presented by Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge. This unique event takes quality over quantity with only 4 tricks and a winner-take-all format that forces all the riders to give it their all and hold nothing back. And after all 17 Pro riders finished their Shoot Out runs, there was one rider whose run rose above the rest. Landing a cab 900, a backside 900, a stalefish late tootsie roll, and a double heelside backroll, 21 year old Kai Ditsch from Buenos Aires, Argentina took home the victory and won his very first Pro contest! “This means everything to me!” exclaimed Kai during his podium ceremony, as his friends, family, and fans cheered him on. As the 5-part series concludes, Malibu and the WWA would like to thank each and every rider who came out to this year’s events to have fun behind the Malibu boats. We always love meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends at the Malibu Rider Experiences and we look forward to seeing everyone next year during the 2022 season!