2021 Wake Awards: The Winners

Learn more about the winners of the 2021 Wake Awards.

Because of the current world climate, the traditional event honoring the best things in wake was featured online for the third time. Much like the “Oscars” of Wake, the Wake Awards winners are voted by a panel of industry experts like the “academy” (unlike the popular Reader’s Poll contest where the fans get to vote for their favorite riders). The annual affair has been running for over 2 decades and to win the coveted Wake Award is considered to be the highest honor.

This year the show was bigger than ever, with 20 awards presented by the best content creators in the industry, including new awards for Women’s Park, Check Out and Full Scope categories, plus Wakesurfing and Wakeskating men and women got recognized for the first time.

And the winners are…


In the boat category, 7-time-World Champion Meagan Ethell won the female Rider Of The Year award. Ethell has previously won 6 ROTY titles and was also voted the fan favorite boat rider in the Reader’s Poll. In the men’s division the top honors went to Italy’s Massi Piffaretti who made the biggest impact during 2021 in contests, social media posts and video edits. Piffaretti teamed up with British Videographer Dave Av, who won the Best Content Creator of the year, and the winning duo also received the Best Web Video award with the amazing short “Cara Italia”. The Best Film Award was “The Coalition. The Movie. The Trilogy” by Spacemob Tv.

Meagan Ethell fan winner
Meagan Ethell won the Reader’s Poll fan vote and the 2021 Wake Award for the Female Boat Rider Of The Year, this is her 6th time winning the prestigious award. Courtesy @bodyglovegirl
Massi Piffaretti web video
Cara Italia filmed by Dave Av and featuring Massi Piffaretti was voted the Best Web Video of the Year. Courtesy Dave Av
Dave Av Content Creator
Dave Av won the Best Content Creator award, getting recognized by his peers and the industry for his great video edits and creative contributions to the sport. Courtesy @dylanmiller
The Coalition movie
The Coalition The Movie The Trilogy produced by won the Best Film/Video Of The Year. Courtesy

Texas native Anna Nikstad repeated last year’s win and took the Female Park Rider Of The Year award. For the first time, the Wake Awards included separate awards for women in Park and Boat categories (like in the men’s division) making it equal and bringing many more amazing women riders to the spotlight. In the men’s division, Brazilian Pedro Caldas won the Park Rider Of The Year award for the first time, achieving a lifelong dream. 

Anna Nikstad park rider
Anna Nikstad won the Female Park Rider Of The Year award after an amazing season. She suffered a gnarly injury at Red Bull Wake The City in Milan but recovered by year’s end getting sponsored by the extreme sport giant brand Red Bull. Courtesy @adamisraelvaladez
Pedro Caldas park rider
Brazilian Pedro Caldas won the Male Park Rider Of The Year award against a stacked field including last year’s winner Tyler Higham. Courtesy @vee_dranginis_photo
Massi Piffaretti rider of the year
Massi Piffaretti won the Boat Rider Of The Year award for the first time! He received his award and celebrated his victory with Kai and Ulf Ditsch in Argentina. Courtesy @ftpindustrial

The winners of the new Wakeskater Of The Year category were Zuzana Vrablova from Slovakia and Thailand’s Daniel Grant. Both athletes took the fan vote win at the Reader’s Poll, making them not just the best but also the most popular Wakeskaters on the planet. 

Zuzana Vrablova wakeskater
Slovakia’s Zuzana Vrablova has been pioneering the female wakeskating scene for years. The six-time-World Champion won her first Best Female Wakeskater Of The Year award. Courtesy Zuzana Vrablova
Daniel Grant wakeskater
Daniel Grant postured himself as the GOAT winning the Best Wakeskater of the Year award and the Reader’s Poll by miles. Courtesy @liquidforcewake

The Men’s Check Out award winner was ten-year-old Kane Ward who took the World Title earlier in the season becoming the youngest rider to land a double flip. The Check Out women’s award went to fifteen-year-old Rivers Hedrick who rose through the ranks all season and had an outstanding performance at Milan’s Red Bull Wake The City contest with teammate Anna Nikstad. 

Kane Ward trophy
Kane Ward won the Check Out Male award landing double flips at only ten-years-old! Courtesy @hyperlitewake
Rivers Hedrick in the park
15-year-old Rivers Hedrick won the first Female Check Out Award. Courtesy @ak_wake

Wakesurfing made its awaited debut at the 2021 Wake Awards with 5-time-World Champion Ashley Kidd taking the win in the female division and Noah Flegel in the men’s. Both athletes won the fan vote at the Reader’s Poll as well.

Ashley Kidd winner
Ashely Kidd, hands down the most popular female wakesurfer in the world, won the Reader’s Poll and the first Female Wakesurfer Of The Year Wake Award. Courtesy @creationmedialive
Noah Flegel
Noah Flegel won the first Wake Award for Best Wakesurfer Of The Year. He was also nominated in the Full Scope Award. Courtesy @maxblakesberg

The Full Scope Award goes to the best all-around rider in all modalities. Guenther Oka won the title for the fifth time in a row positioning himself into legendary status at his young age. The Full Scope women’s award went to Jamie Lopina who notoriously won the Moxie Pro women’s contests in both cable and boat this season. Jamie had a stellar performance never missing the podium all year long.

Jamie Lopina Full Scope
Jamie Lopina won the Female Full Scope award, a new award for women that Jamie earned by winning first place in both Boat and Cable pro events worldwide, including the Moxie Pro and the Red Bull Wake The City groundbreaking event alongside teammate Maryh Rougier. Courtesy @lilolopstable

The Indmar Trick Of The Year awards went to Julia Rick from Germany who landed a KGB540 and to Orlando’s Trent Stuckey that landed an impossibly dangerous “Rage-Cage” for the first time. The Indmar Trick Of The Year award in the Wakeskate division went to Lake Havasu’s Cole Kraiss.

Julia Rick TOTY
Julia Rick won the Indmar TOTY for the third time landing a KGB 540. Courtesy @rickwebcam
Trent Stuckey TOTY winner
Trent Stuckey won the Indmar Trick Of The Year award landing a “Rage-Cage”. The TOTY is one of the most coveted awards of the season. Courtesy @garrettfocus
Cole Kraiss wakeskater
Cole Kraiss took home the Indmar Wakeskate Trick Of The Year award, he also got a nice cash prize from the Wakeskate League @pwl. Courtesy @mahallia_sb

Operation Wakesurf won the Pass The Handle Award for introducing the most people to the sport and the Legend Award went to Wakeskate and foiling pioneer Brian Grubb, who still competes at the pro level to this day. Grubb placed third at the WWA World Wakeskate Championships behind the boat this year and is taking foil surfing and base jumping to the next level. 

Operation Wakesurf
Operation Wakesurf won the Pass The Handle award for teaching and inspiring an incredible amount of wake enthusiasts, beginners and veterans to wakesurf. Courtesy @boardco
Brian Grubb Legend
Brian Grubb was welcomed into the Legend club by members Parks Bonifay, Danny Harf, Thomas Horrell, Cobe Mikacich, Shaun Murray and Dallas Friday to name a few. Courtesy @danieldeakbardos

Honorary mention to rider JB O’Neill who won the Reader’s Poll for the Best Content Creator and the Favorite Boat Rider Of The Year. JB also placed second as the favorite Park Rider Of the Year behind Great Britain’s Liam Peacock. Italy’s Claudia Pagnini won the fan vote for the Favorite Female Park Rider.

JB O'Neill content creator
JB O’Neill also placed second as the fan Favorite Park Rider Of The Year just a few votes behind Liam Peacock. Winning favorite content creator and favorite boat rider of the year in the Reader’s poll, he clearly is the most popular wakeboarder of the 2021. Courtesy @rodrigosnaps
JB O'Neill favorite boat rider
JB O’Neill won the 2021 Reader’s Poll popularity contest as the Fan Favorite Content Creator and Favorite Boat Rider Of The Year. Courtesy @rodrigosnaps
Nautique boat winner
Nautique won the Reader’s Poll for the favorite boat brand. Courtesy Nautique Boats
Hyperlite board winner
Hyperlite was voted the favorite board brand winner at the 2021 Readers Poll. Courtesy Hyperlite

To watch the 2021 Wake Awards show please visit Wakeboarding Magazine’s YouTube channel.


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