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2020 Readers Poll Results

See who are the readers’ favorites for 2020.

January 14, 2021
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Once again, the Readers Poll was a huge hit and you all cast tons of votes to let your voices be heard. We changed it up this year to make the voting a little more streamlined, so first, you nominated your favorite riders in each category. Those with the most nominations were then put into the ballot for voting. Now, we have the results.

Favorite Male Wakeboarder – Boat

1. Shaun Murray

Shaun Murray launching big air
Shaun Murray is a legendary wakeboarder. Rodrigo Donoso

Since the Readers Poll started way back in 1994-95, Shaun Murray has made the top 10 every time. That’s insane, but this year, we’re stoked to say the legend made it back to the top spot. While many might shake their heads in disbelief at the accomplishment, anybody who’s met Shaun or followed along the last few years won’t be surprised. Shaun isn’t just a legendary wakeboarder, he’s one of the coolest, most fun-loving guys you’ll ever meet, and his infectious personality continues to make a huge impression on riders and fans (new and old) all around the world. Congrats, Shaun, and thank you for everything!

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2. David O’Caoimh

David O'Caoimh nose grab
David O’Caoimh is one of the most popular in the game. Courtesy O’Brien

David OC has been at the top of this list for a few years now, thanks in large part to his giant YouTube presence and how much he promotes the fun of wakeboarding. Whether he’s trying to ride something new, learn a new trick, or anything else, David’s lighthearted ways resonate with viewers worldwide, making him one of the most popular in the game.

3. JB O’Neill

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JB O'Neill going big behind the boat
JB O’Neill has inspired many others to try wakeboarding. Courtesy Centurion

Another YouTuber with another huge following, JB is recognized almost everywhere he goes to ride these days, be it the cable park or launch ramp. His variety of videos have inspired tons of others to either try something new, or just try wakeboarding altogether. It’s easy to see why viewers/readers have him at the top of their lists for favorite rider.

4. Massi Piffaretti

Massi Piffaretti goes big
Massi Piffaretti is one of the most well-rounded and stylish riders in the game. Bryan Soderlind

Whether he’s just eating a slice of pizza or wakeboarding in a full-on pizza suit, everybody loves Massi Piffaretti. Not only is he one of the most well-rounded and stylish riders in the game, but he’s also one of the most fun to hang out with. You won’t find anybody that doesn’t like being around the Pizza Boy, and you definitely won’t find any that don’t like watching him ride.

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5. Tyler Higham

Tyler Higham launches off the wake
Tyler Higham sets himself apart with insane riding. Bryan Soderlind

The two-time reigning Best Boat Rider, and the Indmar Trick of the Year winner from Wake Awards, Tyler Higham sets himself apart with insane riding that everybody can appreciate it. Tyler has an ability to not only put together some of the craziest freeriding lines for video clips, but he can also put himself on the podium at any contest he enters. That shows just how good he is, and his spot at #5 for Readers Poll show just how much fans appreciate it.

Favorite Male Wakeboarder – Park

1. JB O’Neill

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JB O'Neill hits the ramp
JB O’Neill is one of the biggest ambassadors for cable park riding in the world. Graeme Burress

No surprise here, as JB has entrenched himself as one of the biggest ambassadors for cable park riding in the world thanks to his global travels and popular YouTube channel. These days it’s more common for JB to be recognized and asked for photos or an autograph than not, and that’s a testament to all the work he’s put in and the relationships he’s built. Plus, he shreds in the park, and makes it look way easier than it is.

2. Liam Peacock

Liam Peacock clearing the stairs
Liam Peacock continues to be one of the best. Bryan Soderlind

The 2019 Trick of the Year winner from Wake Awards, Liam Peacock continues to be one of the best, and one of the most popular park riders around the world. The guy goes huge, has an insane bag of tricks and is fun to be around, no matter where in the world he’s riding.

3. Graeme Burress

Graeme Burress hits the park
Graeme Burress continues to ride at jaw-dropping levels. Rodrigo Donoso

Graeme Burress’ story is one of the more inspiring in the sport these days, and the guy known for charging harder than anybody continues to do saw at jaw-dropping levels. His videos the last few years have set him apart from his peers, as evidenced by his numerous Wake Awards victories. In turn, those performances, and his raw, unique style, make him a fan favorite.

4. John Dreiling

John Dreiling off the rail
John Dreiling is known for going full send. Courtesy John Dreiling

John Dreiling is known for going full send, and his style and approach to riding have earned him fan-favorite status all around the globe. He’s become a huge proponent of doing things differently, from beginner riders to advanced, and that has had an influence on everybody, including his fellow pros.

5. Max Van Helvoort

Max Van Helvoort in the cable park
Max Van Helvoort’s riding is insane. Sean O’Brien

Max Van Helvoort can ride a board, period. His late 2019 video with Chris Rogers, “Standing Sideways,” showcased his skills on both a wakeboard and snowboard. If you haven’t seen it, Google it. Max’s riding is insane, and he’s one of the most chill guys you’re likely to ever meet. When it comes to park riding, Max makes it look good, and he’s always having a good time doing it, which is why he found himself in the top 5 for the 2020 Readers Poll.

Favorite Female Rider

1. Anna Nikstad

Anna Nikstad with a nice rail slide
Anna Nikstad has been pushing and progressing women’s riding for year. Bryan Soderlind

It’s a double win for Anna Nikstad, as she also took home Best Female Rider at Wake Awards. Anna has been pushing and progressing women’s riding for years, and with killer video parts, a strong social media presence and her own unique wake park tour, she managed to find herself at the top of this year’s Readers Poll. Congrats, Anna!

2. Meagan Ethell

Meagan Ethell on Philly's Boathouse Row
Meagan Ethell continues to dominate the sport like few others have before her. Red Bull/Rob Snow

Meagan Ethell might not have made the top of the 2020 Readers Poll, but she’s still very much the Queen of Wake. She continues to dominate the sport like few others have before her, while also using her platform to raise awareness for causes she’s passionate about, like breast cancer awareness – where this special, pink-toned photo came from. It’s safe to say that Meagan is and will always be a fan favorite wherever she goes.

3. Lisa Baloo

Lisa Baloo rides in the park
Lisa Baloo has been crushing women’s wakeboarding. Ponchikz

Lisa Baloo has been crushing women’s wakeboarding of late, and much of the world has taken notice. In fact, it’s been hard not to. She’s pushing the limits of what’s possible, as evidenced with her Indmar Trick of the Year win, along with all of her other awesome video clips and parts. That effort has paid off, not only in industry-wide recognition, but in becoming a fan favorite as well.

4. Bec Gange

Bec Gange launches a huge air
Bec Gange is still killing it with her smooth style. Rodrigo Donoso

Bec Gange is a veteran of women’s wakeboarding, but is still killing it with her smooth style and awesome attitude. The Aussie is one of the coolest people to hang out with, and she’s become a fan favorite because of it, whether she’s back home Down Under or up in the northern hemisphere.

5. Dallas Friday

Dallas Friday hits the wake behind the boat
Dallas Friday is one of the most accomplished of all time. Courtesy Dallas Friday

Dallas Friday’s career will go down in the record books as one of the most accomplished of all time, for a male or female. But she’s not done yet – the mother of two took third at the World Championships in 2020, and she’s still one of the most popular riders in the world. Her Legend Award at the 2020 Wake Awards is more than well deserved.

Favorite Wakeskater

1. Daniel Grant

Daniel Grant wakeskating
Daniel Grant Bryan Soderlind

2. Brian Grubb

Brian Grubb riding under a bridge
Brian Grubb Bryan Soderlind

3. Travis Doran

Travis Doran Cover Up
Travis Doran Garrett Cortese

4. Reed Hansen

Reed Hansen wakeskating in a lake
Reed Hansen Bryan Soderlind

Favorite Wakesurfer

1. Ashley Kidd

Ashley Kidd launches a big air while wakesurfing
Ashley Kidd Cadence Crawford

2. Austin Keen

Austin Keen riding at sunset
Austin Keen Austin Keen

3. Noah Flegel

Noah Flegel hits the wake
Noah Flegel Rodrigo Donoso

Favorite Boatbuilder: Nautique

Nautique Paragon G25
Nautique Courtesy Nautique

Favorite Board Team: Hyperlite

Rusty Malinoski going big
Hyperlite Courtesy Hyperlite

Favorite Content Creator: JB O’Neill

JB O'Neill getting ready to ride
JB O’Neill Courtesy JB O’Neill

Favorite Cable Park: CWC

Getting ready to ride at CWC
CamSur Watersports Complex Courtesy CWC
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