Photos By Bruce Clem and Zach Stovall
Video Courtesy of;
Over 800 industry guests attended Wake Boarding Magazine’s first annual Wake Awards in Orlando during Surf Expo weekend. Everyone received VIP treatment with Hawaiian entertainment and free food. Coconut battered chicken, anyone? But the crowd favorite was definitely the free drinks including Red Bull and Vodka.
Look for full coverage of this event in the Jan/Feb issue of WBM. Here is a list of the results, with more extensive coverage of these amazing people in the current Nov/Dec issue on newsstands now.
The winner is listed, followed by the other nominees for each category. Voting was conducted by a panel of 32 industry experts from all over the field except for the Move of the Year, which was decided by the WBM staff.
Best New Rider: JD Webb
Best Wake Rider: Danny Harf
Rail Master: Parks Bonifay
Photographer of the Year: Josh Letchworth
Best Video: Sfumato
Running On Empty
Legend: Scott Byerly
Best Wakeskater: Danny Hampson
Best Wakeboarder: Parks Bonifay
Move of the Year – Wakeboard
Shaun Murray: Switch 270 to Front Board Transfer @ Radar Lake
Click here to watch the video!
Move of the Year – Wakeskate
Aaron Reed: Back Lip to 90 Shuv out off “The Ledge” @ The Projects / Byerly Toe Jam
Click here to watch the video!
Readers Poll 2004
Mens Wakeboard: Parks Bonifay
Womens Wakeboard: Dallas Friday
Wakeskate: Danny Hampson
Danny Hampson, voted as the best wakeskater and Readers Poll winner recalled, “At first, I didn’t even realize I won. I didn’t expect it at all. I didn’t know what to think, but it’s probably one of the best things that’s ever happened to me.”
Jeff Barton, the nights’ MC, kept things flowing with his mad style on the mic and two 9×12 foot screens ran photos and played highlight clips of the winners all night. Designed to recognize the best in wakeboarding and wakeskating, hand-carved tiki statues were presented as awards.
Parks Bonifay, who received three awards, gave credit where it was due. During his speech for Rail Master, he did everything but give his award to Chad Sharpe who he recognized for hitting rails before anyone else. To Parks, that’s what a true Rail Master is all about; having the guts to hit something when no one else wants to go first. After receiving his third award of the night for Best Wakeboarder, Parks said, “This award was the most important to me just because it came down to all aspects of wakeboarding… sliders, contest riding, free riding and wake riding.”
Possibly the hardest category to judge, Move of the Year was split into two categories live on the microphone as the crowd anticipated the results. To surprise the riders even more, $1,000 cash was awarded for each category. Murray said, “I expected the awards night to be good, but it was much better than I expected. Winning Move of the Year was really cool, because that transfer was the most fun I’ve ever had on a wakeboard.”
For more information, check out the Jan/Feb issue of WBM, set to hit newsstands on 12/28. Subscribers get it much earlier, so click here to subscribe now.