The OWC Slider Spectacular is one of the best-known annual cable contests in the country. With plenty of divisions and solid riders, this year was full of fun and lots of amazing runs. Guenther Oka was the announcer and he certainly kept the crowd entertained. Check out some of the best highlights of the day, as well as our interview with the winner of the Pro Men division, John Dreiling. Full results can be found at the bottom of this article.
WW: What's your name and age?
JD: John Dreiling, 23
WW: How many times have you done this event?
JD: I have competed in six Slider Spectaculars (I think, haha).
WW: What makes the Slider Spectacular so special?
JD: What makes slider spectacular is the community in Orlando. Getting to compete against all your friends that you shred with every day for a fun, but highly competitive, competition is a great time. Everyone is always stoked and just trying to pump each other up.
WW: What was your favorite moment from this year's event?
JD: My favorite moment from this year was during finals watching both the Stuckey brothers drop KGB 5's back to back from the other side of the cable. I just remember thinking, "Wow, these kids have come a long way." The contest I was currently riding in was the last thing on my mind.
WW: Were you happy with how you rode?
JD: Yes, I was pretty happy with the way I rode. I was just focused on showcasing the sport in a different way and making wakeboarding (and contests) look fun for the local young riders. I wanted them to watch this event and get excited to keep riding throughout the school year, to walk away stoked on water sports and the community they create.
WW: Which riders stood out the most?
JD: The Stuckey brothers stood out the most to not only me, but probably everyone at this event. Their riding had a perfect combination of style and tech that is unheard of at such a young age. However, the whole community of young riders in Orlando caught my eye. After being gone for the whole summer, it was refreshing to see guys like Gavin Giglio and others start to focus and develop their style with tricks like Giglio's stalefish to method.
WW: What did you think of Guenther Oka's announcing?
JD: Having Guenther announce was a great addition to the contest. He is just as much a part of this community as anyone, so hearing him get stoked on everyone's progression over the mic just made the contest vibes that much better.
WW: Is this the best Slider Spectacular yet?
JD: Yes, I think Slider Spectacular continues to get better every year. OWC is always bringing in new features, and updating the contest format naturally improves things. But what made this year so fun was adding the style category to the kickers. You were judged on a style kicker trick and a tech kicker trick. This kept things fun and showcased the sport really well to the young shredders.
WW: What are your plans for the off-season?
JD: My plans for the off season are to spend time at home more focusing on hitting the gym, kickers and winch spots. I have missed being home with the crew and working on new kicker tricks together. That was my favorite part of riding as a grom and I am excited to get back to the roots and keep things fun. I am actually meeting the Stuckeys at a foam pit in an hour (laughs).
WW: What are your goals for next season?
JD: I just want to spend more time with the wake communities I travel to and inspire kids to get on the water and have fun! There are some specific tricks I would like to put down, but that is secondary to the next generation.
JD: When it comes to sponsors, there are some things in the works I am really excited about, but I have to keep it on the DL for now.
WW: Is there anyone you'd like to thank?
JD: I'd like to thank my wife, Jessica, my family for always supporting me and, of course, the OWC staff and community. Wakeboarding wouldn't be the same without you guys!
Pro Men Finals
1. John Dreiling
2. Trent Stuckey
3. Gavin Stuckey
4. Ian Smith
1. Corey Kalisik
2. Aaron Cutler
3. Bo Nice
4. Trent Stuckey
5. Toby Jacobsen
6. Hayden Carnes
7. Gavin Stuckey
8. Tyler Cole
9. Drew De Amas
Open women Finals
1. Kalie Thomas
2. Amanda Sadowski
3. Payton Gibney
4. Lindsey Bransfield
1. Kellan Rudnicki
2. Drew De Armas
3. Corey Kalisik
4. Jason Stuckey
1. Noah Fedorovich
2. Hayden Carnes
3. Tyler Cole
4. Mateo Pinzon
1. Cooper Scarborough
2. Corey Thompson
3. Mathew Blanco
4. Payton Gibney
1. Campbell Scarborough
2. Evan Cole
3. Bri Julius