The biggest fan-driven contest in wakeboarding got even bigger this year. First conducted in the pages of Wakeboarding in 1996, the Readers Poll brings the opinions of you, the readers, to the forefront. As it has grown in size and clout the last few years, we’ve added categories to reflect the growth of the sports and what you care about. Below you will see how the voting shook out. Did your favorites make the list?!
Favorite Male Wakeboarder – Boat
1. David O’Caoimh
The fun-loving Irishman continues to use his YouTube channel and unique skills to bring eyeballs to the sport, and because of it, he has a worldwide fanbase stoked to catch his latest creations. Whether or not he lands the hardest tricks or wins the most contests is beside the point, because this is the Readers Poll, where fans vote for their favorites. With that global reach David is bringing wakeboarding to more people than ever, and making a name for himself (and that’s saying something, because his name is crazy!)
2. Shaun Murray
Take notes kids: the 40-something-year-old Murray, whose career began back in the early 90s, is as popular as ever, and for good reason. He’s easy to like and he makes wakeboarding fun. And he still rips. Since its inception in 1994, Shaun Murray has made the final list on the Readers Poll EVERY. SINGLE. YEAR.
3. Harley Clifford
One of the best riders to ever strap on a wakeboard, Harley Clifford has done it all, and he’s still just 26. With a bag of tricks as big as any rider ever, and an uncanny ability to pull them out anytime at any place, Harley has become one of the most popular riders in the sport.
4. Cory Teunissen
The young Aussie’s rise to the top of the sport is paralleled by his popularity, and for good reason. Cory is as laid back and fun-loving as he is talented. Wherever he goes he attracts a crowd and always takes time to interact with and have fun with the fans.
5. Tyler Higham
First he goes and wins Best Boat Rider in Wake Awards, now he’s in the Top 5 for Favorite Male Wakeboarder. Tyler Higham’s 2019 has been an epic one, and with a style uniquely his own and an ability to land some of the hardest tricks in the game, Tyler is well positioned to dominate in the years to come.
Favorite Male Wakeboarder – Park
1. Guenther Oka
Guenther’s domination in the park has long been appreciated by his peers, and now fans are catching on more than ever. This year Guenther once again traveled the globe and laid claim to a variety of wake park victories and podium finishes. He not only pushes boundaries when he’s on the water, but he’s as humble and easy-going as they come when off of it.
2. Max Van Helvoort
The Dutchman’s return to prominence in the sport has not gone unnoticed. All you had to do was stay tuned to social media to see the jaw-dropping projects he’s been part of – not to mention his insane skills.
3. Liam Peacock
Speaking of prominence in the sport, Liam Peacock has quickly become one of the best in the wake park game with an unbelievable set of skills. The guy charges unlike any other rider, and he’s got the ability to push the sport to new heights. Just take a look at his Wake Awards-winning Trick of the Year…
4. Daniel Grant
Nobody rides wake parks like Daniel Grant, and nobody ever will. All grown up from his days as a globe-trotting grom, Daniel attacks wake parks like only he can, all the while keeping all those around him entertained and inspired.
5. John Dreiling
Who says “sponsor me” tapes don’t work these days? Following a series of solid video releases and contest results – included the aforementioned “tongue-in-cheek” version of a sponsor vid – John Dreiling quickly became a rider lots of fans could relate to.
Favorite Female Wakeboarder
1. Meagan Ethell
Meagan’s hard charging style combined with her upbeat, energetic personality make her a fan favorite. She’s the reigning 6x Best Female Rider from Wake Awards, and this is her second consecutive time voted as a fan favorite.
2. Anna Nikstad
The leader of the freeride park movement, Anna Nikstad charges as hard as anybody: male or female. With a smooth style and a knack for putting down some creative lines, Anna has carved out a niche all her own in wakeboarding, and has a growing fanbase in fully support.
3. Zahra Kell
4. Courtney Angus
Wherever she goes you can guarantee Courtney Angus is having a good time. And probably shredding. Her fun-loving personality, combined with her ripping abilities, have made her a fan favorite for years.
5. Bec Gange
Bec Gange has done it all over the years, and the Australian isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Her skills and Down Under temperament make her a favorite wherever she is in the world.
Favorite Viral Moment
1. Rusty Malinoski & Steel Lafferty – Rusty vs. Steel
The Instagram “beef” that turned into one of the coolest contests of the years. Of course, it’s not real beef when it’s two buddies and MasterCraft teammates like Rusty Malinoski and Steel Lafferty, but it’s just as entertaining. In fact, it probably made the smack talk that much more entertaining. Of course, the double up hits speak for themselves. You can relive the action right here!
2. Cory Teunissen – Line of Hammers
Don’t act like your jaw didn’t drop when you first saw this. Or when you re-watched it for the 37th time. Watch it again…
3. Parks Bonifay – Barefoot Shred
Watching Parks shred with his bare feet will never get old. Check it out…
4. Steel Lafferty – Bottlecap Challenge
The video that went beyond viral… and made people think Steel was ruining the environment. HE PICKED IT UP, OK!!! Thanks, Steel! Watch this craziness again here.
5. Bob Soven – Wakesurf Kickflip
Leave it to Bob Soven to go and stomp something like this…
Favorite Pro Wakeskater
1. Daniel Grant
2. Reed Hansen
3. Brian Grubb
4. Andrew Pastura
5. Nick Taylor
Favorite Pro Wakesurfer
1. Austin Keen
2. Noah Flegel
3. Ashley Kidd
4. Sean Silveira
5. Reed Hansen
1. Rodrigo Donoso
2. Garrett Cortese
3. Jeff Mathis
4. Steffen Vollert
5. Tyler Soden
1. Dave AV
2. Chris Rogers
3. Shane Bonifay
4. Trever Maur
5. JB O’Neill
Favorite Board Team
2. Liquid Force
Favorite Boat Brand