MasterCraft Boats Signs Steel Lafferty, Josh Palma

MasterCraft Boats recently added Steel Lafferty and Josh Palma to a pro wakeboarding team that's already a who's who of wakeboarding. Palma, 26 years old, is currently ranked eigth in the world and is looking to have a breakout year. Lafferty, an 18-year-old rising star, is coming off a Move of the Year award at TransWorld WAKEBOARDING's 2010 Wake Awards and is looking to carry that momentum to the podium in the 2011 season.

While still younger than most of his competitors, Steel Lafferty has been known in the wake industry for some time, having joined the Jr. Pro men division at age 14. With his quick ascension to success in the Jr. Pro Men’s division, Lafferty decided it was time to move up to the big leagues this season. It's a move he credits, in large part, to the MasterCraft X-Star.

“I feel like riding behind the X-Star has helped me get my riding to this level,” Lafferty says. “Not everyone gets the privilege to train behind the best boat with the best wake.”

Josh Palma got a later start then most riders in this industry because of his commitment to another sport.

"Initially I was playing baseball in college but due to shoulder surgery, I decided to shift my focus to wakeboarding,” Palma says. “Fortunately, I had a strong foundation as a result of growing up in Orlando and riding with the pros.”

Wasting no time, Palma recently had the best season of his young career and finished in the top 10 in world rankings in 2010. And now with the help of the industry-standard MasterCraft X-Star, Palma is ready to take it even further.

"MasterCraft is recognized worldwide for having the most consistent wakes in the industry and the most progressive boats on the market," Palma says. "It's a privilege to have a boat that can truly assist me in pushing my riding to another level. Not to mention, it's an honor to be a part of such a legendary team."

“We are thrilled to sign both Steel and Josh,” says MasterCraft Boats Team Manager Aarne Clow. “Steel is a great fit for us because, like MasterCraft, he brings so much to wakeboarding including his incredible ability to push the sport.

“I love to watch Josh wakeboard because he rides with so much style. He just makes it look easy. But more importantly, he has great style off the water, which means Palma will be absolutely a fantastic force for the sport and the MasterCraft customer.”

Vital Stats on Steel Lafferty

Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Date of Birth: May 27, 1992

Training Center: Clermont, Florida

Years Pro: 1st

Vital Stats on Josh Palma

Hometown: Orlando, Florida

Date of Birth: September 10, 1984

Training Center: Orlando, Florida

Years Pro: 6