On Tour - 5 Highlights from PWT Stop 1 in Katy, Texas

The 2019 PWT kicked off in the Lone Star State with some epic action

The Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour entered its 28th season with a bang in Katy, Texas, just west of Houston. By taking over the brand new, private August Lakes development, riders and fans were treated to an epic lake ideal for a contest. Despite clouds, wind, and occasional spits of rain, the athletes still put down unbelievable runs, while loads of fans lined the shore to watch.

Here are five highlights that caught our eye at the first stop:

Nic Rapa clean mute 540
Rapa putting down a clean mute mobe 540 in his finals run.Garrett Cortese

1. Nic Rapa returns to the PWT with a vengeance. Having lost the overall title in 2018 at the final stop due to injury, Rapa has come into the 2019 season more focused and determined than ever. With a new double indy tantrum in his bag of tricks, he took the top spot and got 2019 started with a bang.

Nic Rapa stoked
Stoked after his finals run, Rapa sealed the deal to take the first win of the year.Garrett Cortese

2. Sean Silveira made serious work of defending his overall Pro Wakesurf Tour title from 2018. Continuing to progress his backside and switch riding, Silveira set himself apart from the competition and took a big step toward keeping his overall champion crown.

Sean Silveira won the first stop
After winning the 2018 overall Pro Wakesurf Tour title, Silveira was signed to the Supra team. He validated it with a win at the first stop in 2019.Garrett Cortese
Shota Tezuka and Sean Silveira
Shota Tezuka and Sean Silveira waiting for the awards ceremony to start.Garrett Cortese

3. 2018 Rookie of the Year Tyler Higham wowed both the judges and the crowd in Katy, TX, and nearly made the podium. With a unique style to his riding, along with signature tricks, Higham continues to make his own mark on the PWT, and continues to threaten the riders at the top.

Tyler Higham launches big air
Tyler Higham proved the Rookie of the Year award from 2018 was no fluke by making the finals in Katy.Garrett Cortese

4. With a third place finish, Supra Boats team rider Shota Tezuka returned to the PWT podium for the first time since 2016. Tezuka has been training hard throughout the offseason, and it showed at this weekend's first stop. He's still riding the way that's made him a fan favorite - by going huge - but he's added tricks to his repertoire and thoroughly impressed the judges throughout the weekend.

Shota Tezuka unleashed some new tricks
Shota used his signature big, floaty style along with some new tricks to make his way back to the PWT podium.Garrett Cortese

5. Missing most of 2018 due to a knee injury, Italian Massi Piffaretti entered his first contest of the year and made it all the way to the finals. Known throughout the sport and around the world for his unique riding style, Piffaretti used creative grabs and one-of-a-kind tricks to propel him to one of his best finishes on the PWT.

Massi Piffaretti made a triumphant return
Tricks like the 3-2-1 - a frontside 360 with a rewind backside 180 - helped Massi set himself apart in his return to competitive riding. He made it all the way through the qualifying rounds on Friday to the finals on Saturday.Garrett Cortese
Massi Piffaretti was welcomed back
Fellow riders and fans alike were stoked to have Massi back on the PWT.Garrett Cortese

6. We said we had five highlights, but there was one more special one in Katy. The man on the microphone for the weekend was none other than Dan-O the Man-O, AKA the Noise of the North, AKA Danny Amir. After several years away from the PWT, Dan-O made a triumphant return. And it was extra special for him because it marked his tenth season of announcing at least one PWT event.

Dan-O the Man-O announced the event
Dan-O and his signature golden mic back in action on the PWT.Garrett Cortese