2021 Alliance Wake ROTY – John Dreiling
The Alliance Wake Rider of the Year is a 20+ year long tradition that is only awarded to riders that can display top notch talent on the water and also have powerful influence on the sport and its participants off the water. It’s one thing to be able to ride alongside the best wakeboarders in the world but in order to achieve this award you also have to be an advocate for the sport that everyone can get behind.
That being said, few have been able to perform the balancing act of riding at an elite level, while still promoting wakeboarding at the most grassroot level as consistently as John Dreiling. From coaching local groms to competing at the highest levels internationally, while even finding time to host his own competition. John is motivated to not only lay everything on the line to push the bounds of what is possible on a wakeboard but also to ensure that the next generation of riders have a role model to look up to.
John’s work ethic was second to none this year, having dropped three separate videos, one of which was entirely a winch edit through the Florida springs to cap off the 2021 season. A full winch part from John was something most had been waiting to see from him, and the creativity behind it certainly did not disappoint. A winch part alone, paired with an international travel schedule would be an impressive year, but that is only scratching the surface. John also released a video partnered with Unit Parktech to introduce a second John Dreiling signature feature. This was done in true to form fashion with a fresh round of hectic unit hacks coupled with some truly wild gaps that have become a staple for Dreiling. When it comes to putting out videos John was on top of his game this year.
Ironically the guy known for big gaps has also built quite a reputation for riding mini wakes. Last year John released a video where he exclusively rode behind a ski boat which of course produced ski sized rollers; mini wakes. Especially mini in comparison to today’s wakeboard specific vessels. This year John doubled down on this idea and hosted a Mini Wake Competition. He gathered some of the best wakeboarders both on the cable and behind the boat to compete in a variety of ways, and even included wakeskaters in the action. Although this is seemingly just good ole fashioned fun having (which it is), it also serves a purpose to the masses; it’s a message that it is fun to get out and ride no matter what you’re being pulled by. It goes without saying that most people don’t have access to the caliber of boats we are used to watching the upper echelon of wakeboarders ride behind, but John’s efforts have illustrated how much fun and possibility there can be on a “mini wake.” Not to mention if Thomas Herman and Jake Ramsdell can drop double flips in their respective manners during this competition, then it would seem the excuse well is drying up.
The last and possibly most crucial part of John Dreilings path to the 2021 Alliance Wake ROTY is his unwavering dedication to the most grassroot level of wakeboarding. On almost any given day you can bet John’s at the cable not only improving his own riding but also the riding of those around him. From coaching the up and coming riders of tomorrow, to filming a few clips of the local cable rat, or even judging competitions including this years Moxie-Pro series, John goes above and beyond what most people expect from a professional wakeboarder in ways that seem simple but will impact the future generation in a big way. John is truly dedicated to the sport of wakeboarding, it’s been that way for years and will be for years to come, but 2021 is officially the year that we will forever recognize John Dreiling as the Alliance Wake Rider of the Year.