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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Wakeboarders make splash on UA campus

    Despite some technical difficulties, professional and local wakeboarders performed rail tricks and spins on the UA Mall yesterday to display their skills and promote the sport.

    Wakeboarders performed their tricks on a 100-foot-long course made up of a take-off pool, a slide rail and a 40-foot by 16-foot pool. About 20,000 gallons of water were used to fill up the two pools.

    A gas-powered winch pulled the riders along at a speed of about 30 mph.

    The event was scheduled to begin at 11 a.m., but the take-off pool’s air chambers split and water started flowing into the chamber, causing water to burst out of the seams. Organizers had to nail down the pool with stakes to avoid another water burst, and the event started an hour late.

    A main draw was to be the chance for students to participate and try out the course, but because of the malfunction, safety and insurance issues prevented it.

    “”The event is pretty sweet, but it’s sad that they couldn’t let local riders try it,”” said Corey Hass, a mechanical engineering freshman.

    Avery Harper, owner of the local Peter Glenn Ski and Sports store who helped organize the event, said they had to make a last-second decision, but because of the metal stakes in the take-off pool, he couldn’t risk anyone, other than the riders chosen to perform, getting hurt.

    “”They are sponsored riders, and they know what they have to do avoid getting hurt,”” Harper said.

    Despite the difficulties, the three professional and seven local riders who came along for the event enjoyed doing what they love.

    Collin Harrington, a Florida native and professional wakeboarder for nine years, was one of the professional riders at the event.

    “”We do these all over the country, and we just promote the sport and have fun,”” Harrington said. “”It’s cool to do it on campus for all the kids.””

    “”There aren’t any rails in Arizona so I came down,”” said Nick Wittl, a rider in the event and a member of ASU’s wakeboarding team, the Wakedevils. “”I love it. It’s so much fun and it’s a good adrenaline rush.””

    Harper organized and sponsored the event as a way to promote the summer sport.

    “”Peter Glenn is mostly known for snow sports, such as skiing and snowboarding, but after the winter season we turn our focus to wakeboarding, and (yesterday was) the kickoff event for the campus tour,”” Harper said.

    Monster Energy, a beverage company, and Liquid Force, a wakeboarding company, presented and organized “”The Liquid Force Slide Show”” event.

    Chris Urbanovitch, a regional development sophomore, was excited when he heard of the event and had his wakeboard on hand.

    “”I drove nine hours, back and forth, to get my board from Lake Havasu,”” Urbanovitch said. “”I think it’s awesome that they are doing this and they should definitely bring it back.””

    Harper said that he wants to come back again next year, but with a bigger and better setup.

    “”I hope to have three pools next year with a rail, fun box and a lot more vendors,”” Harper said.

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