• Let's face it, in order for a sport to truly be a sport, there needs to be competition. There needs to be a way to measure progression and ability, benchmarks for both fans and fellow competitors to acknowledge and aim for. But with competition can come high stakes, pressure-packed scenarios, and oftentimes serious business. Not that that is a bad thing, it's just the nature of the beast.

  • The beast that is watersports, though, whether it's wakeboarding, wakesurfing, water skiing or something else, isn't rooted in contests. It's safe to say that 99 percent of the participants in our activities started because they were fun, not because there was something to win. And fortunately for all of us, there are people out there working hard to keep a lot of us from working too hard. They're keeping the fun in watersports, and we're all better off for it.

  • Travis Moye and his daughter at a recent BBB event. It was cold in Orlando, but everybody was all smiles that day.Cortese
  • Travis Moye
    Owner/operator at The Boarding School // Creator of Buoys, BBQ and Beer water-ski events

  • Travis Moye has long been known as one of the most fun members of the watersports industry. His Boarding School business is a fan favorite because of his attitude and approach, but for the past couple of years he's put on unique events of his own. Buoys, BBQ and Beer is what Moye calls an "anti-contest." It was created specifically out of Moye's dislike for the seriousness that accompanies many pro water-ski events, and to just let people have fun together while skiing. We say any time you have categories like Best Crash, Grittiest Pass and Most Unique Pass as awards, you're doing something right. Throw in some barbecue and beer, and you've hit the nail on the head.

  • Check out what Travis is up to at theboardingschool.com.

  • David O'Caoimh is a really good wakeboarder, but he's become popular for his unbridled enthusiasm for the sport.O'Brien
  • David O'Caoimh
    Pro wakeboarder // YouTube ace

  • David O'Caoimh loves wakeboarding; there really isn't any other way to put it. Over the last few years he's taken that love and shared it with the world via his YouTube channel. What sets him apart is that his videos are almost never serious. In a world where professional-level riders feel compelled to share clips of their hardest tricks or most technical lines, O'Caoimh does just the opposite. His videos feature him trying odd things, like seeing how many tricks he can do behind a PWC, or if he can ride a snowboard in a wake park. But no matter what he's doing, his enthusiasm and fun-loving attitude shine through. In that, he has made himself more relatable to the masses, which is what propelled him to win Wakeboarding's annual Readers Poll this year.

  • You can keep up with David via his site at davidocaoimh.com or look him up on YouTube.

  • Dan-O on the mic at the last Feet on Fire contest held in Orlando. Some of his signature calls have become legendary.Cortese
  • Danny Amir (Dan-O the Man-O)
    Voice of towed watersports // Host of the Golden Mic podcast // Creator of Feet on Fire and Corn Fest

  • First off, nobody knows Danny Amir by his actual name. For as long as he's been involved in the professional world of towed watersports, he's been known as Dan-O. It's a nickname he got as a kid performing as a member of the Aqua Nuts show-ski team in Wisconsin, and it's stuck ever since. To say Dan-O is passionate about towed watersports would be an understatement. He's made a career out of entertaining crowds at wakeboarding and water-ski events around the world as the MC. For the past few years he's taken that enthusiasm and created the Golden Mic podcast, where he interviews professional watersports athletes and industry insiders as a way to tell their stories to others. On top of that, he's also worked to create one-off events that are focused on nothing but fun (with some seriously good-hearted competition in the mix). Feet on Fire and Corn Fest are both grassroots by nature but immensely popular for the industry as a whole.

  • You can keep up with Dan-O at noiseofthenorth.com.

  • Robby Maschhaupt with his Wake Awards trophy in 2017.Doster
  • Robby Maschhaupt
    De facto leader of #PassTheHandle

  • Nearly 15 years ago, Robby Maschhaupt was a member of a pit crew for a NASCAR team. Known as "the Gasman," he was literally the guy who would jump over the wall and refuel stock cars during pit stops, and he was also in charge of driving the transport rig with the cars from race to race. Aside from that, he was an avid wakeboarding fan who'd been able to get in touch with Cobe Mikacich and a few other pros who were also into car racing. Since then, his passion for wakeboarding and wakesurfing has only grown, and just a few years ago he decided to hang up his racing career to spread the love of being on the water to others. In that time, Maschhaupt has become the face of #PassTheHandle, a movement created by industry legends Shaun Murray and Zane Schwenk to spur the growth of towed watersports. Maschhaupt has pulled thousands of riders, many for the first time, and always free of charge. For his efforts, he was awarded with the first-ever Pass the Handle award at the industry's Wake Awards in 2017

  • Learn more about #PassTheHandle at facebook.com/passthehandle and wsia.net.

  • Members of the Ronix team get to know a few local riders at Quest ATX park in Austin, Texas.Ronix
  • Ronix - Social Shred Tour
    Casual wake park fun

  • The slogan "Shred, hang, post" says it all, because that's really what Ronix's Social Shred Tour is all about. The tour was created so members of the Ronix pro team could travel to different cable parks, regardless if they had an affiliation with the brand or not, and ride and hang out with local riders. As cable parks have popped up around the country, unique environments have popped up around them, centered on riding on the water and hanging out off of it. Ronix wanted to be part of that and help the sport. The Social Shred Tour is casual, carefree, and most of all fun. Local riders get to ride with legends and often will be featured in the videos Ronix creates at each stop. Last year there were 10 total stops, seven in Texas and three in the Midwest. Look for that to grow this year, and for there to be even more shredding, hanging out and posting.

  • Stay tuned for 2019 dates at ronixwake.com.

  • The Malibu Just Ride Tour hit Vancouver, Canada, this summer and provided tons of fun for everybody.Rutledge
  • Malibu - Just Ride Tour
    Just like it sounds: Get out and ride

  • First created in 2001 as an exhibition series, the Just Ride Tour has grown to become not only one of the longest-running franchises in wakeboarding, but also one of the most important. Working in conjunction with Malibu's vast dealer network, dates are set up from May through September across the country, and people are invited to come out and wakeboard or wakesurf. All are welcome, from first-timers to advanced riders. Throughout the summer, pro riders from both Malibu and Axis join the tour when they have time and help teach people to ride while also doing demos and spreading the fun vibes of being on the water with friends. There is no pressure to perform for the attendees or the riders, just a relaxed environment where everybody can have a good time together. This past summer, the JRT rig traveled over 26,000 miles and pulled riders at nearly 40 locations across North America. And the southern hemisphere version in Australia, which has also been going for years, is about to kick off. It's impossible to count how many people have been pulled by the Just Ride Tour over the years, but it's safe to say the majority of them have a memorable watersports experience for life.

  • Look for 2019 dates to be announced this winter at malibuboats.com.