Winning Back-To-Back: The Spirit of Wakeboarding Champions

History is made as all four wakeboard divisions repeat at the 64th Nautique Masters by GM Marine.

Claiming back to back victories in any event is impressive. When all four wakeboard divisions replicate the success from the year before, it is even more of a rarity. Drop that feat in the majestic waters of Robin Lake,  at the 64th Nautique Masters Presented by GM Marine,  in an event that attracts the most elite boat riders in the game, you can only be more in awe. Finally, sprinkle in the fact that the Men’s Pro winner has only been invited a few times, is more than a boat only rider, and isn’t always one of the favorites to win, you get a result that will likely never happen again.

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One year ago, on Memorial Day weekend, Meagan Ethell claimed her 7th Masters title after a tough battle back from an injury that had the potential to sunset her legendary competitive career. In her 15th year being invited to the prestigious event, she secured her 8th winner’s ring with her classic switch and regular spin combos, composed and smooth riding style, with grabbed technical tricks like her indy roll to blind on her way back to the dock. All of this as a “veteran” competitor at the young age of 27, Ethell continues to exhibit the gameface and the dedication to fend off the Zahra Kell’s of the world, who seems to win most events she enters as of late.

If Massi Piffaretti’s victory in 2023 wasn’t one for the ages, his repeat in 2024 makes his accomplishment that much sweeter. A few years ago the question was posed, “can you win a pro event without multiple double flips and 1080s?” While more than capable, Piffaretti chooses to let his personal touch on wakeboarding shine through and separate his runs from the field. 3 impressive rewind tricks, solid spins and some relatively stock mobe 5’s stomped in some challenging conditions all totalled up for a winning run against some of the best boat riders in the world who failed to stand up their runs. A toe-side frontside 540, rewind 360 off of a hefty double-up was just….”chef’s kiss” as his fellow countrymen and women might say.

Jr. Riders Shion Takaiwa and Giulia Castelli showed how they are following in the Pro winners’ footsteps. Japan’s Takaiwa executed flawless Massi-type tricks, adding late grabs to technical spins and making rewind tricks flow in a contest run. On the Jr. Women’s side, you would be hard pressed to find a competitor that hasn’t looked up to Ethell and her gracious, winning ways over the years. She also just happens to add another Italian flag to the top of the podium, which undoubtedly added an extra smile to Piffaretti’s face.