(THIS CONTEST ENDED ON 9/1/15)
Riders Choice Awards Archives:
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Back in 2001 when we started the WakeWorld Riders Choice Awards, I don't think I ever could have imagined I'd be here 15 years later typing the 15th introduction for this annual event! As the most-read wake publication in the world, we have our readers to thank for the incredible success of our vote-driven survey. The WakeWorld Riders Choice Awards presented by O'Brien are bittersweet as they signify the winding down of yet another season of wake, but they also allow us some insight into the minds of our readers.
After tallying the totals, we spent some time at Surf Expo handing out the glass trophies you see above to our many winners. However, before we reveal the riders and products that you all selected as the most impactful for 2015, let's talk about all the prizes we handed out to the voters (that's you) just for participating.
Sure it's great to have your voice heard by the industry, but we like to add a little extra incentive to get as many people voting as possible. We put together prize packages not only from our presenting sponsor, O'Brien, but also from Kicker, Nectar and Rockstar. Check your email inbox to see if you're one of the lucky winners of the following amazing prizes...
• O'Brien Wakeboard of choice
• O'Brien Bindings of choice
• O'Brien Wakesurf Board of choice
• O'Brien Life Vest of choice
• O'Brien Handle and Mainline of choice
• 5 Pairs of Kicker Cush headphones
• 5 Pairs of Nectar sunglasses
• 10 Cases of Rockstar Energy Drink
So what do the results look like for 2015? Well, it depends on what category you're looking at. We had plenty of movement and we had some consistency as well. Be sure to click on each category to see who took top honors and who got honorable mention.
The top of the Top Male Wakeboarders category hasn't changed since 2010 and this year is no different. However, we had a lot of turnover go on in the top 10 with half of the riders from last year's top 10 getting bounced. That means we've got five fresh faces; three that have been in the top 10 in previous years (Shota Tezuka, JD Webb, Randall Harris) and two that made the grade for the first time ever in 2015 (Cory Teunissen, Josh Twelker). In fact, Cory has his name mentioned in four different categories for 2015, more than any other rider.
In the Top Female Wakeboarders category, we also had some consistency at the top, while only one rider didn't make it back to the top 5 from 2014. That left an opening that gave Tarah Mikacich her first appearance on this list. Recently crowned world champion Meagan Ethell made the biggest jump up in this category.
In only the second year of our Top Wakesurfers category, we ended up with another Flegel in the top spot, so that family is dominating the category while the other four spots in the top 5 changed in some way, shape or form.
When it comes to the Top Wakeskaters, Reed Hansen's reign finally came to an end after four years at the top. Reed ceded the top spot to the guy he took it from five years ago. The rest of the top 5 was just a shuffling with nobody leaving and no newcomers making an appearance for 2015.
As mentioned before, Cory Teunissen not only appeared in our Top Male Wakeboarder category, but he also picked up two trophies for Rookie of the Year and Most Improved Rider. Look for his name to come up again in the Wakeboard of the Year category.
We had another brand new face show up in the Rail Rider of the Year category when Chris Abadie, of Shredtown fame, grabbed his first trophy ever. Although Daniel Grant fell completely out of the top 3 in that category, he made up for it by moving to the top of the Cable Rider of the Year voting.
Moving on from riders to products, this year's Wakeboard of the Year is the pro model ridden by the most popular name in the Top Male Wakeboarders category with the Liquid Force Remedy grabbing top honors. The 2015 Binding of the Year remained in the hands of Danny Harf as his Ronix pro model binding took the top spot for the second year in a row.
The top of the Wakeskate of the Year category had another flip flop as the Ronix Boomstick replaced the Obscura Tao in the top spot even though the Tao had just taken the top spot from the Boomstick the previous year. The Wakesurf Board of the Year gave Liquid Force another podium topper as their Happy Pill garnered the most votes.
Rounding out the equipment categories, we award Malibu with the Innovation of the Year since our readers told us that Malibu's new Command Center dash was the coolest product introduction over the past 12 months.
It's great to see that the full-length video category is still alive and kicking (unlike 2013). Even better is that Sean Kilgus is the one keeping it alive with Prime taking the Video of the Year win. When it comes to the Web Video of the Year, the readers spoke and they gave the award to the Raph Derome video entitled Beyond Perception by Jonathan Ferguson.
This is our second year of bringing you two boat categories; Wakeboarding Boat of the Year and Wakesurfing Boat of the Year. However, you're going to see the same name on both of the trophies as the Super Air Nautique G23 won them both. Malibu picked up both runner-up spots and Supra made their first ever appearance in either category with the SE model taking both 2nd runner-up spots.
Be sure to click on the links below to see the full results for every category and jump on the links at the top of the pages if you want to see the Riders Choice Awards for the previous years. Thanks to everybody that submitted a vote and to all the sponsors that provided such great prizes!
• Top Ten Male Riders
• Top Five Female Riders
• Top Five Wakesurfers
• Top Five Wakeskaters
• Rookie of the Year
• Most Improved Rider
• Rail Rider of the Year
• Cable Rider of the Year
• Wakeboard of the Year
• Binding of the Year
• Wakesurf Board of the Year
• Wakeskate of the Year
• Video of the Year
• Web Video of the Year
• Innovation of the Year
• Wakeboarding Boat of the Year
• Wakesurfing Boat of the Year