Jimmy LaRiche closed out 2010 with loads of momentum, scoring a top-five finish in the King of Wake season standings and landing the first-ever cover of TransWorld WAKEBOARDING. He had a hiccup early in 2011, breaking his wrist while rail riding this winter, which kept him out of the Nautique Wake Games. While Jimmy hopes to ride at the second stop of the 2011 King of Wake World Cup, he’s making it a point to be back on his board by the time the 2011 Nautique WWA Wakeboard National Championships presented by Rockstar roll into Minneapolis on July 27-31. In fact, he guarantees it. Here are the top five reasons Jimmy refuses to miss Wakeboard Nationals. — Chelsy Tracz
Nationals is a banger.
By that time of year, riders want to win because it’s coming down to the wire. Plus, it’s always stressful knowing you have to qualify for Worlds. Everyone is there, and everyone wants a good ride. It’s almost like the first Tour stop, where you have to qualify to make it for the rest of the year. You have to be on your game, for sure.
It’s in downtown Minneapolis.
There have been contests in Minneapolis before but nothing like this. When we walk out of our hotel, we’re going to be right in the middle of downtown. It will make for a pretty cool backdrop, that’s for sure. Plus, the crowd is going to be amped because they have such a short summer.
The younger guys are killing it.
There are a lot of riders we don’t get to see all year. Nationals is a chance to reunite with those guys and see what the younger kids are up to. Sometimes I’ll get calls from younger guys who want to ride behind my Nautique before Nationals. It’s cool to get to pull guys who aren’t even as tall as the wake behind my boat.
The Super Air Nautique 230 pulls it.
It’s my home boat, and I love it. In a contest, the 230 makes it a lot easier to do bigger, harder tricks because the wake is steeper. As a result, no matter how big or small the wake, we can get just as booted.
Fox goes above and beyond.
They always plan something fun for everyone to do, whether it’s a dodge ball tournament or a basketball tournament where amateurs team up with pros. It’s a really cool way to interact with kids. We get to mesh with the younger crew and meet a lot of them. Fox does a really good job of making everyone feel welcome at an event.