This Saturday August 8, 2015, wakeboarding returns to X Games competition after a decade long absence. The MasterCraft Throwdown launches in Grand Rapids and will feature eight invite only athletes in wakeboarding and Skifly. The event, taking place at Millennium Park and created by ESPN X Games and MasterCraft Boats, will be featured in a 90-minute, live World of X Games special at 2:30 p.m. ET on ABC.
“A decade is a long time and wakeboarding is finally back at X Games and I for one am thrilled,” said Parks Bonifay, 2-time Gold Medalist X Games Wakeboarding. “The level of riding is top notch, and as the emcee of the event, I get to witness firsthand the next step in wake competition.”
Boasting the largest single event prize purse in the history of competitive wakeboarding, the MasterCraft Throwdown will pit the biggest names in the sport in head-to-head, single elimination heats where athletes will be scored on their biggest and best tricks. In addition, officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be on hand as ski jumping legend Freddy Krueger will attempt to soar the length of a football field in hopes of breaking the current World Skifly Record of 299 feet, set back in 2000 by Jared Llewellyn.
“I was able to compete in the X Games in 2005, and now I am so honored to be asked to return to compete 10 years later,” said Rusty Malinoski. “Besides Freddy (Krueger) and Danny (Harf), we are the old veterans of this sport. Many of the riders have never had a chance to compete in X Games, the place where only the best are invited to compete.”
MasterCraft Throwdown Athlete LineUp:
Harley Clifford, age 22 (Gold Coast, Australia / Orlando, Florida) – Nicknamed “The Phenom,” Clifford is a three-time Pro Wakeboard Tour (PWT) World Champion and World Wakeboard Association (WWA) World Champion and current King of Wake champion.
Mike Dowdy, age 21 (Pinckney, Michigan) – First to land the Moby Dick 720 and the switch double back roll to revert in contest, Dowdy was also the 2012 Junior Masters Champion and 2013 Rookie of the Year
Danny Harf, age 31 (Visalia, California / Orlando, Florida) – Harf is a four-time X Games gold medalist, two-time U.S. Masters Champion, Multiple PWT World Champion, WWA National Champion and first athlete to land the 1260, a three and a half rotation spin.
Rusty Malinoski, 31 (Humboldt, Saskatchewan, Canada / Clermont, Florida) – nicknamed the “Bone Crusher” for his strong and powerful style. Malinoski is a 2005 X Games competitor, two-time Wakeboarder of the Year, PWT World Champion and WWA National Champion
Massi Piffaretti, age 21 (Como, Italy / Orlando, Florida) – Recently, Piffaretti achieved his goal to land a double rotation trick known as the “FS 360 Rewind” where he combines two aerial spins – two complete front side spins and then rewinds to spin 180 degrees in opposite directions.
Aaron Rathy, age 27 (Nanaimo, British Columbia / Winter Garden, Florida) – 2013 Wake Open champion showcasing the best overall ability in best in boat, big air and park.
Bob Soven, age 24 (Longwood, Florida) – Soven was featured in the 2012 MTV series, WakeBrothers with brother Phil, who is also a pro wakeboarder and X Games gold medalist
Shota Tezuka, age 22 (Shizuoka, Japan) – The Japanese wonderboy is an International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) Tour Champion, 2011 WWA World Champion and 2011 Rookie of the Year
Freddy Krueger, age 40 (Decatur, Illinois / Winter Garden, Florida) – Although he may be the oldest competitor at the MasterCraft Throwdown presented by GM Marine, Freddy “The Nightmare” Krueger is one of the most decorated athletes in waterskiing as a World Jump Champion and 11-time Masters Jump Champion. He will attempt to break the current World Skifly Record – a record currently held by Jared Llewellyn at 299 feet set back in 2000.
The most updated details on the MasterCraft Throwdown including ticket information, competition schedule, athletes, music and entertainment is available at www.mastercraftthrowdown.com.