WakeBoarding, the world's number one wake sports magazine, hosted the 5th Annual Wake Awards presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, on September 12 in Orlando, Florida during Surf Expo.
The Wake Awards recognized "The Best In Wake" in 15 different categories including video, photography and top riding including the "Move of the Year" awards in both wakeboarding and wakeskating. Presented by Oakley, the "Move of the Year" is a top honor in the sport, so the winner in each category won some pocket cash as well as a custom-engraved Oakley Diamond Minute Machine watch. Danny Harf took home this year's wakeboard "Move of the Year" with the first ever switch toeside 1260, and Stu Shinn held down the wakeskate side with a wake-to-wake backside bigger spin.
Harf held his 1260 under wraps all week to help add suspense to this year's blockbuster event. "It was cool to surprise everyone with the footage," says Harf. "Normally every year, people know what went down, so it was cool to have a little last-minute video footage to show everyone, it threw a little twist into the night."
New for 2008 was the crowning of the "King of Wake" and "Queen of Wake." These awards are the highest accolade in competitive wakeboarding. The 2008 "King of Wake" crown was won by Phillip Soven, his second consecutive year winning the title. The first annual "Queen of Wake" title was won by Nicola Butler on her rookie year.
The Wake Awards, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, are determined by an industry-wide voting panel of over 50 members. The King and Queen of Wake are determined by a season-long race for the crown where riders accumulate points at designated WWA events.
This year's Legend award was presented by the four current Legends including Scott Byerly, Shaun Murray, Darin Shapiro and Parks Bonifay. Zane Schwenk was honored with this year's induction, joining this exclusive club in front of friends, family and the entire industry.
Rusty Malinoski repeated as Best Wakeboarder and was ecstatic as his name was called and limited edition WakeBoarding Magazine cover was unveiled. "To be recognized for the second year in a row is a dream come true," Malinoski said. "To do it once is totally amazing and to back it up the following year is even more special to me."
The 5th annual Wake Awards presented by Rockstar Energy Drink was captured by Fuel TV and will air on national television in November for those who weren't able to make the event. Look for more information on air dates coming soon.
Here are the official award winners for the 5th Annual Wake Awards presented by Rockstar Energy Drink:
Best Wake Rider
"On Point" Award
Best Womens Wakeboarder
Photographer of the Year
Best Video Performance