Pro Wakeboard Tour 2023 Stop #3 Groveland

Tyler Higham takes first PWT win, Jett Lambert wins first PWT surf title.

PWT 2023 Stop #3 podium
Tyler Higham (center) took his first PWT win at stop #3. He is flanked by Kai Ditsch (left, who took 2nd place), and 3rd place finisher, Luca Kidd (right). Courtesy PWT

Progression is the focus of every action sport. On occasion there is a single event that brings that progression to light and the Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour Stop #3 served as that platform. Never-been-dones, rarely seen contest tricks, and an overall competitive lift were all on display on Lake David in Groveland, Florida in between classic Central Florida weather delays and glassy conditions.

The new format heavily influenced by the riders was a head to head, bracket style, single elimination tournament with scores based on three passes which brought a unique feel to the day. The first pass was judged on the best 4-trick line. Next pass gave the chance to land a single best trick off the wake. Finally, they capped off their run with a double-up. 

The heavy tricks coming out the day were multiple different riders landing clean Crow 7s, Tyler Higham‘s wake-to-wake TS BS 900 and Mute HS 10, Luca Kidd’s perfect double grabbed HS BS 900, and a switch heelside 10 off the wake by Kai Ditsch to be the first ever to land it in a contest.

West Coast native Tyler Higham was the perfect competitor to take the win in an event filled with stylish, technical riding. As a high seed coming into the day tied for 1st in overall standings, Higham took advantage of the new format.

“I felt like I’ve had the tricks to win an event for the last few years, but my consistency has really come a long way.”

That has to make the field nervous because a confident rider with a deep bag of tricks that all look perfect is something you don’t want to see in your heat as a competitor.

In a twist of fate, Tyler drew his brother’s name out of a hat for the first round. “I told everyone that I knew I was going to pick his name. It was cool to ride against him but it was a bummer that one of us would be knocked out in the first round,” said Tyler. That was the theme of the day as Tyler continued to go up against his best friends and riding crew. Aptly named “La Familia” the group of riders has a lock on the freshest video content, newest tricks, and overall good vibes in the wake community right now. “We decided the night before to bring out our tent, grill, and music. It felt like we were just riding at home because that is what we do everyday. Grill out food, take a few sets and root each other on. We all just love the sport of wakeboarding so much. It was a bummer that we were all on the same side of the bracket besides Kai.”

Tyler Higham on the water
Tyler Higham took his first PWT win at stop 3 in Groveland, Florida. “I felt like I’ve had the tricks to win an event for the last few years, but my consistency has really come a long way.” Courtesy Tyler Higham

That relaxed feel propelled Higham to push the limits of his riding even when he didn’t have to. In the Quarter finals against his crew-mate Sam Brown, all he needed was to land a solid trick off the double up. “Since he went first and fell and he is one of my boys, it didn’t feel right to just do something easy,” explained Higham as he reflected on landing a perfect switch mute heelside frontside 1080. 

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On the wakesurf side, long-time surf tour staple Sean Silvera came out of competitive retirement to show the young guns that he still has what it takes to win. Edging out 13 year old Jett Lambert was no easy feat but certainly provided some bragging rights. Lambert placed 2nd and secured his first overall PWT Surf title. 

The Jr. Pro division had Beaux Wildman taking the win and extending his lead in the overall standings.

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