Real Wake 2017 contenders
"I grew up a with a burning passion for wakeboarding and it turned into a lot more than I ever expected," says Guenther Oka. "No matter if I was on the boat, cable, and most recently a winch, I was going to shred it."
"Double ups are what I love to do," says Steel Lafferty. "That is why I think I was selected to be a part of Real Wake this year. I like to go big, send massive grabs and push the limits of what's possible behind a boat!"
"I spend six months of the year working and riding in Alabama so that I can travel for the remaining months to surf, skate, wakeboard and shoot photos in other countries," says Alex Graydon. "I also ride a wakeskate probably as much as I ride a wakeboard, which is quite a lot."
"I am all about filming and I don't really like normal contests, so when I received the Real Wake invite, I knew I would give 200-percent to come out with the best part possible," says Felix Georgii. "While we were on our road trip trough Germany filming for the part, I had to push myself out of my comfort zone almost every day. I definitely got close to quitting a couple of times. However, as soon as I thought about what all of this was for, and that I am fortunate enough to have my hobby as a job, I realized that the fun should never be forgotten."
"I'm a three-time Rider of the Year, a King of Wake champion and a Red Bull Wake Open Overall champion," says Aaron Rathy. "In the last five years or so I've been focusing on filming video parts, as opposed to riding contests."
"This year I'm back in Real Wake for winning last year," says Real Wake 2016 gold medalist Brenton Priestley. "I put my all into this sport and any project I'm a part of!"
Oka's filmer: Zach Scheffer
"Zach was involved in the wakeboard world about a decade ago but broke away to pursue a bigger career in photography and video," says Oka of his Real Wake teammate, Zach Scheffer. "I think he's going to bring a fresh twist to things."
Rathy's filmer: Taylor Hanley
"We have a similar taste," says Rathy of his choice of filmer/editor teammates, Taylor Hanley. "He is a talented filmer and editor, and we're both from Vancouver Island, so for this project it made sense."
Lafferty's filmer: Wes Williams
Wes is an incredible moto sports filmer and good friend. "We wanted to film with him to get a different perspective on wake," says Rafferty.
Priestley's filmer: Trevor Bashir
"Trev is a good friend of mine, and a wakeboarder too," says Priestly of his choice to work with Trevor Bashir on this year's video. "He can shred on a board, and also is killer with a camera. He's got editing skills and is an all-around legend!"
Graydon's filmer: Joey Arcisz
"Joey is an unbelievable cinematographer and a really laid back person, which are two things I was definitely looking for when picking someone to spend six months filming with," says Graydon of his filmer/editor teammate, Joey Arcisz. "He's also an OG in wakeboarding, so he knows what's good and what looks lame."
Georgii's filmer: Steffen Vollert
"Steffen and I are good friends and travel a lot together. So we both know how the other one works and are a good team," says Georgii about his Real Wake teammate, Steffen Vollert. "This was the first time we actually went winching together, but because every other trip we've done turned out really well, I knew Steffen would be the man for the job."
Judge: Parks Bonifay
"Trick difficulty weighs heavy in this type of video format, as does trick innovation," says professional wakeboarder Parks Bonifay on what he's looking for in a winning edit. "Whether it's doing what has never been done or doing an old easy trick differently, trick innovation is key.The last two Real Wake winners have mastered this creative use of terrain aspect perfectly. This the real grind of filming these sections. And finally, being that this is a video format contest, editing weighs heavy, from music selection to trick selection and overall feel of the video."
Judge: Tom Fooshee
"I am looking for an edit that really displays a rider's creativity, technicality, risk, difficulty, intensity, versatility, variety, and execution -- not only with the tricks he does, but the spots and locations that he rides in," explains wake park World Champion and WWA judge Tom Fooshee on how he's going to judge this year's contest. "Did the rider build anything distinct and original for their park hits? Did they do their research and find an impactful and ideal winch spot? Did they bring the highest level of innovation and difficulty in their boat wake hits? I am also looking for a great edit that flows well, and has a great song that matches the rider's style and edit. Filming will also have an impact, as I am looking for angles and other techniques that really show how hairy and difficult the trick or spot might be."
Judge: Brian Grubb
"I want to see riding I've never seen before, or an approach to riding that is unique and fresh," says professional wake skater and WWA World Wakeboard Series head judge Brian Grubb on what he's looking for in a winning video part. "The editing, music and overall feel of the entire section is also a major factor for me. After I watch the part I want to feel like watching it again."