2020 Alliance Wake Superlative Awards
Like years past we’ve always awarded those who’ve gone above and beyond the call-of-duty for the year. And sometimes those who went um, well off the radar. So here we are, with a list of our 2020 Superlative Awards ???? Who will win these coveted awards?
King of Style
Best Full Length
: A rider who puts risk aside; willing to send just about anything.
Synonym : John Dreiling
Although you may not find the word “Charge-A-Holic” in a dictionary, it’s safe to say throughout any era of wakeboarding’s history there has always been a rider to fit the description. For 2021 we figured it was about time to honor these wreckless individuals, for without them who would make the impossible, possible.
Taking it back to the first days of 2020 John Dreiling pronounced the previous year, his, “Year of Send”, however looking back now that was just the start. Within only a few weeks of the new year John took to Instagram to let the world know he had already broken his hand. For most, this would have taken them out of the game for at least enough time to heal; for John… within 10 days he was back to riding. Breaking a hand might have been the start to the year but it certainly was not the tone of it. From flip gaps in Thailand, to never before seen pool gaps in America, to crossing West Rock’s cableway more times than anyone could count, John got it done in a year that gave him every excuse not to.
36 years ago marks the invention of the Skurfer, and thus the birth of wakeboarding. 36 years worth of spinning around handles one would imagine it’s pretty damn hard to come up with something original that catches attention.
Luckily for wakeboarding, Wesley Crosse Bearden is here to do just that. In a time where more wakeboard footage gets posted on instagram than any one could watch, Crosse still pushes into a territory of creativity that is rarely found and certainly gets the attention of anyone who has hopped on a wakeboard. Crosse is able to bridge a certain gap from extremely techy riding while still being able to get down when it’s time to huck a tame dog off a rail, all while backing it up with solid style. It’s truly difficult to put into words the talent of Wesley Crosse Bearden which is what makes him the most fitting rider from 2020 for this award, but rest assured if you are able to catch him taking some laps around Valdosta Cable Park you will certainly have your mind melted.
King Of Style
Crowning a supposed “King of Style” isn’t exactly a modest statement.
Furthermore, becoming a king of anything certainly isn’t achievable in a year’s worth of work – neither is style. Style is something that is cultivated through years of experience coupled with attention to detail along with a fair share of a creativity. Our 2021 King of Style has certainly been at the craft for quite some time. Whether it be in front of a camera or behind one, these adjectives ring true.
To put it simply: if you have ever gapped the ole’ wake to wake or sent it deep off the kicker, chances are your hands have stumbled upon the mute grab. What separates the King of Style from us “laymans”, is that our Mute grab out of the box certainly doesn’t look like his. Landing a trick and making it look good are two completely different facets of the sport, yet throughout 2021 Trever Maur not only rode the cable, got behind the boat, and in the streets, but he made it look like few others ever could; making Maur the 2021 King Of Style.
In recent years it’s no secret that wakeboarding has certainly broken off into niches. On one hand, it’s settling to know that whether you like boosting off the double up, getting techy on a rail or grinding in the streets, wakeboarding has a spot for you. On the other hand, the riders who can manage all the disciplines with great proficiency are a dying breed. The swiss army knife of rides, the ones that can do it all, the ones that could care less whether they are hitting the wake or a rail, the ones who are just excited to hit the water.
Despite the scarcity of these folks, the sport needs them. They are the ones that change the game bringing fresh ideas and creativity that doesn’t bind itself to an arbitrary discipline; cable or wake. These riders are truly All Terrain.
In 2021 one rider stood amongst the rest as doing just that. This athlete not only, won the Double or Nothing contest, won Wake Park Worlds, put out one of the best boat parts of the year, finished a solid season in the PWT, got in the streets for space tapes, but even went as far as to create his own DIY rail setup during the days of quarantine. It’s safe to say that Guenther Oka is truly All Terrain.
Haven’t heard of Liam Brearley? Well then you’ve been sleepin’! In 2020 Liam has been putting up clips left and right throughout the year as well as being seen in the latest Out House Movie. This Candadian ripper has been on the come up for quite some time, and has certainly gotten well deserved attention. Liquid Force recognized Liam’s potential which debuted in a “welcome to the team” part, filmed throughout 2020. Liam is also not a stranger to the snow scene throughout the Canadian winters as well. This addition of snowboard style mixed with Liam’s high intensity yet smooth riding is certainly worthy of praise.
Best Full Length
There has never been a time where instant gratification has been more rewarded then right now.
Why wait to put together a full video when I get Instagram likes tomorrow!?
Because of the easy out social media provides, Full videos or even individual parts are becoming more and more rare. Luckily for us, there are still groups out there putting in work, cultivating unique videos that go above beyond to offer a rad viewing experience. In 2021 one video stood out above the rest, “2 Spicy”
Not only does 2 Spicy have a line up of some of the best riders in the world, but these riders all bring something different to the table that makes each section dissimilar from the last; 31 minutes and 8 second have never gone by so fast. Each riders section is also broken up with scenes to set the stage as well as plenty of hijinks to keep ya’ entertained. If that isn’t enough, the unique graphic design and editing alone make this video visually one of the most unique looking wakeboard videos we have ever seen. Do yourself a favor and watch this work of art.
Putting together any project (especially one of this caliber) is a team effort and this is one absolutely stacked team:
Director: Fame Ivan Kogen (spicy.noodless)
Shot by: Matthew Mulholland
Aerial shots: Dave AV
Edit: Nakorn Jumpadib ( inmymile )
Feat. Shokathan Silvershazt , Simon Pettai , Josh and Brandon Harris , Karsten Laugesen , Clem Nadal , Michael Bossini and Pedro Caldas
All the way back to the days of the Pointless Posse, wakeboard crews have been coming together to push each other, and to a certain extent, the sport as a whole.
Having a crew of talented riders is one thing, but being able to gain traction and a following is a whole other. Putting out videos, getting with the community, and growing the sport all go hand in hand with putting together a notable crew. Getting by on talent alone just isn’t going to cut it – but rest assured these dudes shred. The tribe that stood out this year has certainly checked many of the box’s in regards to going above and beyond.
With their stomping ground being predominantly the south eastern area of Florida (more specifically Miami Watersports Complex) they have certainly made a point of riding with the locals not only at their own park, but also getting around to other parks and events throughout 2020 spanning from Beach n’ Boardfest all the way to homie laps at Westrock Cable Park. Even if you didn’t happen to catch this crew in person, Max Evan has been sure to document everything, while doing a damn good job at it.
Zuu Pack spent 2020 not only going above and beyond in the community, but also making sure they put down with the best of them on the water as well. Every rider in the Zuu Pack clearly makes style a priority, but at the same time they are able to maintain that style while sending some ridiculous maneuvers. This style to send ratio makes for some of the most entertaining riding on the internet. Whether it be sending a ridiculous grass drop to flat or flipping into/onto/over a rail they make sure it looks good while they’re doing it.