Words By: Drew Danielo

It was another level setting weekend at Callaway Gardens for the USA National Wakesurf Championships. Riders trickled in all day on Wednesday with a lot of excitement for the event to get going. The pavilion and the beach were all set up. Banners strung, Flags flying and the new monster Phase 5 tent was looking great on the beach. It was go time.

The event kicked off first thing Thursday morning with the Juniors taking to the water. 11 Junior riders to make it one of the biggest divisions in the event. Let me tell you the future is looking good for wake surfing. Carving, Spraying, Fire hydrants and 360′s were going down! From there every divisions stepped it up. This would be the itinerary for days 1 and 2. 110 riders rode both days. The Nautique G23 was pumping a perfect monster wave both days. Team Phase 5 was charging. Jodi Grassman was holding it down in the women’s Pro Skim division along with Julie Vasselin. In mens pro skim we had John Akerman, Drew Danielo and Max Smetts throwing down. With solid riding for the first 2 rounds, Saturday was a break for some of the surfers. For others it was action packed.

Saturday went a little different this year with the first ever Rock The Wake event. There was a lot of buzz and a lot of questions about this one. 7 Teams. Each team consisted of a pro male and female wakeboarder and a pro male and female wake surfer. All members of each team have to wakesurf and wakeboard. The totals are added up and the highest total wins! Things got started with women. The female wakeboarder went out and had a blast surfing. The female wake surfers went out and most had fun wake boarding. There was definitely a few crashes that left everyone quite for a second or 2. Phase 5′s Jodi Grassman had some skills on the wakeboard and killed it surfing. John Akerman also helped his team with some solid wake boarding and absolutely killing it surfing. When it was all said and done it was Team Spartans that took the win. Phase 5 Rider Julie Vasselin helped them with keeping it consistent with some wake boarding and pulling a good score with her surf run. I surfed pretty solid, but gave a big boost in the wake boarding area with a couple back rolls and some wake to wake 360′s. After the event the crowd was treated to some special riding with myself and Danny Harf taking a set with some of the guys from Wake for Warriors. Danny and Tony started off riding doubles with Danny throwing a big invert over Tony. Tim and I followed it up with doubles surfing. Tim was crushing the wake and the fans were going crazy. The night finished off with live music, Rock The Wake awards and a great fireworks show.

Sunday morning it was back to business. The Wakesurf Nationals finals. The riding was through the roof. We saw big airs, Grabs, Air Reverses, shuv its, 360 shuv its and big spins. That was all before the pros even took the water!! When the pros took off it was electric. John Akerman secured himself a 3rd place finish with 3 solid days of riding and some of the best 540 big spins I have ever seen. Jodi Grassman came out swinging on her new Phase 5 pro model, The LEEO, with some big airs, alley oops, 3 shuvs, body variels and a lot more. Even with falling on her 540 big spin she did more than enough to get her the top spot on the podium. Julie Vasselin surfed solid all weekend on her Phase 5 Diamond Luv with some big airs, shuvs and a switch frontside big spin to lock her a 3rd place finish and share he podium with Jodi. Outlaw surf team rider Jason Sternberg took the big W in his division riding his Phase 5 Race. Mens Masters was locked down be all Phase 5 boards. Mark Walser taking 3rd, Danny B bringing home the silver and Scott Culp defending his title with the win. Outlaw Mens Skim had Phase 5 Team riders Leland Watkins and Anthony Edwards bringing home 2nd and 3rd. Women Outlaw had Phase 5 Team Rider Lara Latham landing in 3rd place. Amateur Mens skim had Team Rider Nick Parros on the top and Jake Borton taking home a solid 3rd place. We saw Phase 5 boards all over the podium.

We could go on and on with fun stories from this event. Instead we will share a bunch of pictures for you to see all the fun happening!
Big Thank You to Scott Culp and his team for organizing this event, Nautique Boats for giving us 2 G23′s with perfect waves all weekend. All the riders for making the trio and making this event so successful.

Juniors: 1st Whitley Stewart – 2nd Evan Hudson – 3rd Holden Whitecliffe

Am. Women: 1st Sara Tallon – 2nd Camille Goodwin – 3rd Ashley Harel

Am. Men Skim: 1st Nick Parros – 2nd Estaban Alarcon – 3rd Jake Borton

Am. Men Surf: 1st Dyaln Ayala – 2nd Perry Morrison – 3rd Dino Wilson

Masters Women: 1st Donna Simpson – 2nd Adriene Ohrum – 3rd Bridgette O’Shea

Masters Men Skim: 1st Scott Culp – 2nd Danny B – 3rd Mark Walser

Masters Men Surf: 1st Mike Viland – 2nd Rob Harrington – 3rd Nico Prochaska

Outlaw Women: 1st Jennifer Edwards – 2nd Lily Anderson – 3rd Lara Latham

Outlaw Men Skim: 1st Drew Drennan – 2nd Leland Watkins – 3rd Anthony Edwards

Outlaw Men Surf: 1st Ryan Sternberg – 2nd Evan Feierabend – 3rd Bryce Wagner

Pro Women Skim: 1st Jodi Grassman – 2nd Caro Villeneuve – 3rd Julie Vasselin

Pro Women Surf: 1st Ashley Kidd – 2nd Cassiday Gale – 3rd Jordan Wolfe

Pro Men Skim: 1st Noah Flegel – 2nd Keenan Flegel – 3rd John Akerman

Rock The wake Champs: Team Spartans – Drew Danielo – Julie Vasselin – Nicola Butler – Noah Flegel