Competitive wakeboarding is a sport that is still in relative infancy. Sure, we’ve all seen decked-out wakeboarding boats being trailered around on the freeway (you may even be an active participant in the sport), yet this year’s Red Bull Wake Open is sure to blow the doors off any preconceptions regarding wakeboard competition in the United States. That being said, make your July 4th week truly epic and complement it with a live viewing of the competition as it airs on July 6th, 4:00 PM ET on NBC.
Wait, so what’s up with the Red Bull Wake Open?
For starters, take a jam-packed Tampa Convention Center, throw in Red Bull’s presenting prowess, then try to imagine a giant floating skatepark with 36 of the world’s greatest wakeboarders battling it out for overall victory – a win that can only be accomplished after remaining on top for all three of the stages: Boat, Big Air and Park.
Red Bull not only raised the bar for wake contests during last year’s inception, but shattered it, dishing out some of the most exciting competitive wake footage ever televised. This year, as goes Red Bull tradition, the event looks to reinforce its dynamic approach to the sport and provide yet another launching pad for the best wake athletes to showcase their skills.
Competitors aren’t limited by a particular discipline, so unilateral domination will be a distant prospect. Who wants to see one guy crush the field in a focus he dominates anyway? Yeah, me neither – doesn’t make for the most exciting TV. Instead, riders will have to exhibit their skills in each of the three stages, allowing for major comebacks and other unpredictable elements to take place. The eventual victor will truly be the most well-rounded wakeboarder in the world.
Chatting with #1 Ranked Phil Soven
Before getting into any competition or sport, it’s always good to hear from the guy/girl at the very top, and we had the chance to touch base with Phil Soven. At just 24, his wakeboarding resume is more decorated than that one neighbor who takes Christmas more seriously than you ever thought possible: 4-time Pro Tour Champion, 3-time King of Wake, 3-time World Champion and 4-time World Series Champ.
As if his ruthless winning wasn’t already sending enough shockwaves through the wakeboard world, his life off the water definitely has. In 2012, Phil took his ambitions into the homes of millions as his reality show, “Wake Brothers,” blew up in popularity through MTV. Adding to his notoriety, Soven then made the decision to break ties with his longtime sponsor Liquid Force and ride for the smaller, rider-owned company CTRL.