• Wakeboarding: An International Sport
When it comes to an extreme sport that has a genuine international appeal, wakeboarding is definitely a great example of just such a sport. Within the WWA, or the World Wakeboarding Association, the top ranking men’s riders are generally from Australia, the United States, Japan, and Canada. While riders from certain other nations are indeed represented, the top competitors tend to be from one of the four aforementioned countries. In order to shed some light on the top men’s competitors in the World Wakeboarding Association based on their country of origin, the highest-ranking wakeboarders from each respective country will now be presented with brief profiles provided.
• Top Ranking Men’s Australian Wakeboarders in the WWA:
Born the 29th of September 1997, Cory Teunissen is a Brisbane, Australia native who has come to dominate in professional wakeboarding in recent years. Teunissen began his career as an elite wakeboarder at an extremely young age, which allowed him to develop his skills effectively before many of his competitors were even getting onto a boat. His early childhood wakeboard training has clearly paid off, given that Cory already has earned two World Titles at such a young age. For another major career highlight that Cory has achieved early in life, he managed to pull off a wake-to-wake 1080 spin at a mere fifteen years old. For such a young and talented rider, Cory Teunissen is an elite wakeboarding representative for Australia. He is certainly someone to watch as the WWA events keep rolling along in 2016.
Nic Rapa, another outstanding top-ranked Australian WWA professional wakeboarder, is definitely another to pay close attention to throughout the 2016 season. From Hawkesbury, NSW, Nic just turned pro this year and is already doing big things in the WWA. With a goofy stance and riding a Ronix ONE Timebomb, Nic Rapa utilizes a unique riding style which is earning him a big name in Australian, and international professional wakeboarding. Some of his major sponsors include Ronix, GoPro, Mastercraft, Body Glove, and Rockstar Energy Drinks. Nic Rapa is already proving himself as a titan of Australian wakeboarding, and is sure to continue impressing through the 2016 season and beyond.
• Top Ranking Men’s American Wakeboarders in the WWA
Mike Dowdy is another top ranked WWA competitor who happens to hail from the United States. Dowdy has something in common with many other elite professional wakeboarders; he got a very early start in the sport at only 8 years of age. Coming from Louisville, Kentucky, Mike Dowdy is one of the best WWA wakeboarders from the United States who has even been nominated for a sought-after award known as the ESPN Wakeboarding Award.
It is clear that Mike Dowdy is an incredibly resilient competitor, given that he has experienced devastating injuries while wakeboarding and yet he always comes back to continue competing and giving 100% on the wakeboard. Red Bull has been a major sponsor of Dowdy’s career thus far, and though he has other sponsors they are his most coveted one. With his fearless riding style and ability to come back from injuries, Mike Dowdy is a fearsome competitor representing the United States in the WWA.
JD Webb is another American competitor in the professional wakeboarding league known as the WWA, and he is consistently bringing something new and interesting to the table. Like Mike Dowdy, Red Bull is a major sponsor and endorser of JD Webb’s career and has helped him facilitate some of his best demos and riding events. JD is able to bring something fresh and different to the table, as he uses a bit more street style in his riding and is willing to always try new things to get a new angle on his riding techniques.
For example, in collusion with Red Bull, JD Webb and a handful of other riders have engaged in some very unique riding sessions known as the Red Bull Winch Sessions. These sessions have taken place in various different locations, and are defined by the installation of a portable winch system on a water area where using a wake boat would otherwise be impossible. These sessions have allowed for an amazing demonstration of what wakeboarders are capable of when they are riding with a winch instead of a wake boat.
• Top Ranking Men’s Japanese Wakeboarders in the WWA
Shota Tezuka is a top ranked Japanese representative currently competing in the WWA, and like many other Japanese WWA competitors his wakeboard training occurred alongside his intensive education protocol. Beginning as a wakeboarder in only second grade, Tezuka immediately demonstrated intense potential and improved at rapid rates.
His family understood very early on that while his education was a priority, their son had a special talent for wakeboarding and they helped to influence his progression in the sport. One major achievement that Tezuka has secured for himself in his career is a victory at the JWBA Kanto Junior Boys class at the prestigious All Japan Championship. Born in Japan in 1993, Shota Tezuka is proving himself to be a worthy representative of his nation competing in the WWA.
• Top Ranking Men’s Canadian Wakeboarders in the WWA
Raphael Derome is a Canadian wakeboarding superstar currently representing his home nation competing in the WWA. Born in Coteau-du-lac, QC in January 1992, Raphael Derome is a remarkable regular-stance riding Canadian wakeboarding professional. Anyone wondering about the accolades and the achievements of the Canadian wakeboarding powerhouse, Raphael Derome, would likely be impressed by his list of remarkable credits. Some examples of these credits include the 2012 Alliance rider of the year, the 2012 Transworld rider of the year, the 2013 Transworld rider of the year, and the 2010-2012-2013 rail rider of the year. With a home riding spot, and favorite riding spot as being Wow Plaza, this Canadian native is very invested in positively representing his homeland of the Canada.
Derome is extremely engaged in his training, and has clear intentions to become one of the best wakeboarders to ever come out of Canada. Another clear sign that Derome has a massive future in professional wakeboarding is his broad and impressive range of sponsors and endorsements. Some examples of Derome’s big-name sponsors include Axis, Billabong, Liquid Force, Red Bull, Malibu, Vonzipper, Unit, and Sesitec. If rooting for Canadian professional wakeboarders is important to you, Raphael Derome is a very important competitor to follow and keep up with.