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Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour Announces Revolutionary New Format for 2020

The 2020 PWT season will feature two traditional, live stops and two all-new “virtual” stops.

May 6, 2020
2020 Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour new format announced
The Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour has announced a revolutionary new format for the 2020 season: two traditional, live stops and two all-new “virtual” stops. Courtesy Supra

With an all-new boat comes an all-new format for the 2020 season of the Supra Boats PWT.

Hot on the heels of the unveiling of the 2020 Pro Wake Tour edition of the SA 550, Supra Boats and the PWT have announced a revolutionary new format for the upcoming season. To be perfectly honest from the get-go, it’s one I’m personally excited to see take shape. Rather than the traditional, four live stops around the country, the PWT will now consist of two live stops and two “virtual” stops. Read more for the groundbreaking new format and details.

The two virtual, online stops will feature an entirely new format, as well as new judging. This time, fans get to be part of the process. Their vote will be combined with a panel of PWT sanctioned expert judges, and will be applied to riders’ scores.

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Let’s start with the qualifier. For each of the past five seasons, the Supra Boats PWT has pitted the top 16 riders against each other at each stop. The top ten are pre-qualified based on the previous year’s results, and guaranteed a spot on the tour. The final six must qualify at the qualifying round, held the day before the first stop of the PWT. With the digital stops, the prequalified number is now eight, leaving open eight spots for qualifiers to go after. To enter and try to qualify, riders must submit a video showcasing one consecutive line of six tricks. Riders are welcome to ride on their home lake behind their home boat, as long as the video submission meets the entry criteria. What makes this really neat: any rider is welcome to enter!

Digital Qualifying Event Flow: (website and more information coming soon)

  • 1 consecutive 6-trick line consisting of your best tricks unedited and filmed from the towboat
  • 1 of those 6 tricks must be a straight air or spin less than a 540
  • Submit the run to the official PWT website
  • Runs to be judged by official PWT judges as well as a fan vote
  • Top 8 qualify to advance into the PWT group of 16

The 16 athletes who make it to the “digital stops” must submit two runs for the event: a semifinal run and a finals run.

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Digital Event Flow: (website and more information coming soon)

  • 2 consecutive 6-trick lines consisting of your best tricks unedited and filmed from the towboat
  • Riders must submit two, consecutive 6 trick line videos
  • 1 semifinal run, 1 finals run
  • 1 of those 6 tricks must be a straight air or spin less than a 540
  • Riders are only allowed to repeat 3 maneuvers from their semifinal run in their finals run/video. There must be at least 3 new maneuvers in the finals video.
  • Submit the runs to the official PWT website
  • SemifInals will consist of 4 heats of 4 riders
  • Semis will be posted to PWT website
  • Runs to be judged by official PWT judges as well as a fan vote
  • Top 2 athletes from each heat advance into the Finals – a heat of 8
  • Finals run will be posted to PWT website
  • Runs to be judged by official PWT judges as well as a fan vote component

2020 Supra Boats PWT Schedule

Two Virtual/Online Events

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PWT Qualifier: May 25th – 28th – Online Voting

PWT Stop #1: June 15th – 19th – Online Voting

PWT Stop #2: July 6th – 10th – Online Voting

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Two Live, Traditional Events

PWT Stop #3: Saturday, Aug. 1 – August Lakes, Katy, Texas

PWT Stop #4: Saturday, Aug. 22 – Windsor Lake, Windsor, Colorado

Now that you’ve taken all that in and started to process it, let’s review. By now we’re well aware the long-reaching affects COVID-19 and the coronavirus have had on seemingly anything and everything. The 2020 PWT season was no exception. With travel seemingly limited for the next couple months and large gathers/sporting events not yet given the green light anywhere in the U.S., the organizers behind the PWT were left with few options to keep the series as the traditional, live, in-person events it’s become famous and beloved for. Rather than reduce the number of stops or take any unnecessary risks, the PWT have decided to shift gears, and taken the opportunity to try something new and radical. I think that’s a good thing. Without change, things can get stale. While the riding on the Supra Boats PWT has continued to progress and change over the years, this may just be the catalyst that opens new doors, reaches new eyeballs and helps not only the PWT to evolve, but the sport as a whole.

Personally, as a longtime editor and photographer in this sport (and as an even longer-time fan), I can’t wait to see what comes from this. How cool will it be to have riders that haven’t competed in years (or at all) throw their hat into the ring? What about riders from around the world who never got the chance to compete on the PWT before? Or how about the top women going up against the guys? Add in the element that the fan vote will be integrated with the pro judges’ votes into the final scores, and you have a PWT series that is more inclusive and exciting than ever before. The online voting for the Qualifying Round starts in just three weeks, so stay tuned!

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