Lake Alfred, FL – There are two things that are certain in wakeboarding: evolution and that the World Wakeboard Association will be driving it. Raising the bar it set over 20 years ago with the sport’s first competitive rules, the WWA announces the Malibu Boats WWA Pro Card. Designed to clearly define the sport’s professional riders from their amateur counterparts, the innovative program includes qualifying and ranking criteria to establish a higher level of competition.
Before the development of the WWA Pro Card concept, professional qualifying guidelines were vague, at best; it was up to the individual rider to choose “pro” or “amateur” status in any competition. While this was clearly a benefit to the Amateur to compete in a Pro event, it also allowed riders with less advanced skills to compete against the world elite in the same contest, diluting the talent pool; there simply was no clear distinction. The all-new WWA Pro Card, renewed annually based on WWA World Rankings, legitimizes elite-level riders that are truly professional and encourages them — regardless of wakeboard (boat) or wake park (Cable) – to set a higher standard of riding at professional contests.
The WWA Pro Card works based two major criteria: qualifying and rankings. At the beginning of each season, the WWA will hold Pro Card qualifier events (both boat and cable), open to all riders and not based on age. (Many WWA member riders, such as Phil Soven, Daniel Grant, Tom Fooshee, and Rusty Malinoski have all turned pro at ages that are either younger or older than the norm.)
Once a rider has qualified to acquire their WWA Pro Card, they will be ranked on the WWA World Rankings list, a multi-year, cumulative ranking from all major WWA Pro events around the world. The WWA Wakeboard (Boat) World Rankings and the WWA Wake Park (Cable) World Rankings work hand-in-hand with the WWA Pro Card. The top 25 riders on the Wakeboard World Rankings and the top 15 on the Wake Park World Rankings lists automatically retain their Malibu Boats WWA Pro Card for the following season.
Riders who do not meet the Malibu Boats WWA Pro Card qualifying criteria will be able to earn it again at several events throughout the year, such as a Malibu Boats WWA Pro Card qualifier events and select WWA sanctioned events.
WWA Wakeboard World #1 – Phil Soven
“I’m pumped to get the #1 spot in the WWA Wakeboard World Rankings!” says Phil Soven, “it’s a great feeling to have accomplished this with so many great riders on my tail. I’m going to do all I can to maintain my rank for years to come.”
WWA Wake Park World #1 – Tom Fooshee
“To be the #1 ranked rider in the World is such a unique feeling to have” states Tom Fooshee, “to lead the pack when there are so many different riders that could have this top spot is something truly special.”
The schedule of the Malibu Boats WWA Pro Card qualifiers is coming soon, stay tuned to www.thewwa.com to check out when you’ll be able to come earn your 1st Malibu Boats WWA Pro Card.
About the WWA
The World Wakeboard Association is the global leader in wake sport sanctioning. The WWA owns and operates the WWA Wakeboard World Series, WWA Wakeboard National Championships, WWA Wakeboard World Championships, WWA Wake Park National Championships, WWA Wake Park Triple Crown, WWA Wake Park World Series, and WWA Wake Park World Championships. With 27 affiliate countries worldwide, the WWA is the global leader in the sport of wake. The WWA is a rider-formed organization dedicated to promoting and growing wake sports worldwide. It is the leading source for riders, event organizers and competitive standards. For more information on the WWA and its events, check out www.thewwa.com