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Check Out: Shota Tezuka

October 18, 2011

Even in wakeboarding’s early days, Japan was known for a large and passionate scene. We always wondered when the first big-time Japanese rider would emerge. In 2011, the land of the rising sun has delivered in the form of 125-pound firecracker Shota Tezuka. Light and strong, “Showtime” is built for boosting. Just consider the heelside 900 he sailed to the moon to win the pro double-up contest at the first stop of the 2011 MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour. With a pair of Junior Pro wins under his belt, the sport’s future is in Shota’s hands and he’s handling the responsibility like any wakeboarder should — by having as much fun as possible.

Polite, approachable and marketable, this new blood is breathing life into the international scene while laying down some serious groundwork in Orlando, thanks to a well-timed move to Harley Clifford’s lakeside abode. That’s where Shota landed his first heelside 1080 in June, which he also rocketed to the moon and back. But Shota isn’t stopping there. In fact, he’s trying heelside 1260s, which he would be the first rider to land.

For now, Shota is enjoying his reign at the top of the Junior Pro Men Pro Tour standings, but he’s set a goal to someday win the King of Wake. In the fall, Shota will no doubt have plenty of stories to bring home when he’s reunited with his family and friends on Japan’s Lake Yamanaka. Then it’s back on the road to compete and promote the global message of wakeboarding. Words: Kevco Photos: Aaron Katen

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