Wakestock rolls into Collingwood harbour 0
Competition from the 2011 edition of Wakestock in Collingwood's harbour.
One of North America’s biggest wakeboarding competitions is back in Collingwood this weekend.
The professional competition is the second stop in the World Wakeboarding Association’s World Series, with the first stop in Brazil completed in May and the final competition in Wisconsin next weekend.
Wakeboarding fans can look forward to watching professionals such as defending champion Harley Clifford from Australia, and Florida native Phillip Soven, who is currently ranked second in the world.
Canada’s own Aaron Rathy from Nanaimo B.C., who has won several past championships, will also be in Collingwood to compete in the professional division.
Wakestock will also offer wakeskating which is similar to wakeboarding — except the competitor’s feet are not attached to a board.
The big wakeskate names in attendance this weekend are five-time Wakestock champion Brian Grubb from Orlando, and James Balzer from Langley, B.C.
Wakestock is not just a spectator event. Many boarders, mainly from Ontario, participate in the amateur competition.
“It’s open to all skill riders and ages. We have riders as young as six and as old as 60,” said Adam Levitt, technical director for Wakestock. “It’s broken down into different skill levels.”
Levitt is also the editor for SBC Wakeboard Magazine and SBCWakeboard.com.
New this year is the Rip Curl Grom Search, which will look for the top 16-and-under amateur wakeboarders. The winner will receive a one-year Rip Curl sponsorship and a wild card spot in the professional event.
Wakestock has more than wakeboarding competitions. There is music, vendors, and after-parties at GNE Fairgrounds throughout the weekend.
“Wakestock is more than just a wakeboard contest. It’s an event. It’s one of the biggest action sports events in Canada,” said Levitt. “That’s what separates it from different wakeboard contests.”