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2006 WakeWorld Riders Choice Awards



Riders Choice Awards Archives:
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We always say that the Riders Choice Awards are all about you, the WakeWorld reader, and 2006 is no exception. The number of ballots we received this year has been amazing! Your collective voice was heard loud and clear in year number six of our annual survey of wakeboarders around the world. The Riders Choice Awards give you the chance to let the riders and manufacturers know who and what you like for the 2006 season.

In addition to sounding off, each entrant got the chance to pick up some free wake goodies from Liquid Force, XRAY Eyewear, Ten-80 and Sidewayz.

As you can see from the prize list below, Liquid Force, our presenting sponsor, hooked up our winners in a big way with all kinds of equipment, while our other sponsors will make sure our winners look stylish and have plenty to do when they're off the water! Check your email inbox to see if you're the winner of one of the following prizes...

So what do the results look like this year? As far as the Top Male Wakeboarders go, it looks like a major changing of the guard with the youngsters moving in and up and some of the veterans moving down. For the first five years of the Riders Choice Awards, Parks Bonifay has been the guy on the top of the list. Well, for 2006 Parks gets pushed down by the red hot Danny Harf. We also saw the legendary Scott Byerly fall off the list for the first time. Chad Sharpe and Daniel Watkins also dropped off. Relative newcomers Rusty Malinoski, Keith Lyman and Ben Greenwood made their first appearances in the top ten. Malinoski made the highest debut at #5 and Andrew Adkison made the biggest jump going from #4 in 2005 to #2 for 2006.

We have a new rider, Amber Wing, joining the ranks of the Top Female Wakeboarders with Leslie Kent making an exit. The Top Wakeskaters category saw a couple of newcomers in the form of George Daniels and Brandon Thomas at the expense of Danny Hampson and Thomas Horrell. The winner of the Rookie of the Year probably won't surprise anybody, but we did get our first female Rookie of the Year top three finisher when Heather Johnson grabbed the second runner-up position. I'm going to make you click the link to find out who the Most Improved Rider was, but I will say that he's also on the Top Male Wakeboarders list.

Now let's check out the products. For the first time in the history the WakeWorld Riders Choice Awards, we had one rider's pro model sweep both the Wakeboard of the Year and Binding of the Year categories. I think Shawn Watson should get a fat bonus check from his employer for having such a valuable name. Although it was a clear victory in the Wakeboard of the Year category, the Binding of the Year category provided the tightest race we've ever seen with the top three finishers separated by only five votes!

The Wakeskate of the Year changed hands once again with Hyperlite moving to the top of the heap. Hyperlite also topped the Wakesurf Board of the Year category with a couple of Liquid Force boards rounding out the top three.

The Boat of the Year category got tighter, but it's the same top three you saw in 2005. The Innovation of the Year race was tight, but a little invention by CWB ended up with top honors. Finally, Video of the Year went to a DVD released by Hyperlite.

Be sure to click on the links below to see the results of every category and jump on the links at the top of each page if you want to see the awards from previous years. Thanks to everybody that submitted a vote and to all the sponsors that provided such great prizes!


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