Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Danica is to Racing Like Dallas is to Wakeboarding

When I heard about Danica Patrick becoming the first woman in history to win an IndyCar race, it reminded me of another pioneering woman in the world of action sports, Dallas Friday. You may not hear about her accomplishments on Good Morning America, but she has been making history in water sports for the last eight years. She is the most successful female athlete our industry has ever seen both on and of the water. She dominates her discipline like no other.

Dallas joined the Malibu Boats Team back in 2000 at thirteen. She was discovered when she began competing in amateur tournaments in her hometown of Orlando, FL. Our Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Paul Singer, and our Team and Event Director, Lani Farmer, paid close attention to this phenom. They met with her parents about their desire for a Malibu wakeboard boat and she became a member of our pro team not too long after that. Today she is an anchor on one of the most successful factory teams in our industry.

ESPN labeled Dallas as, "The winningest female wakeboarder in history."

Between 2003 and 2006 Dallas competing in 44 tournaments. She took home the gold in all but three of those competitions.

The only professional wakeboarder to win an ESPY, Dallas Friday, is no stranger to cutting her own path. She has done things in her career that remain unmatched by a male or female rider. From her sports titles to industry-first endorsement deals to movies and commercials to mainstream features and articles, Dallas has produced a list of accomplishments that guarantee her a place in wakeboarding history.

Dallas has even made her mark in the area of comebacks. In 2006 Dallas was involved in a near death accident. at a competition in Singapore. She shattered her femur and went into a comma in late summer of that year. Dallas suffered from acute respiratory distress syndrome, which put her on a ventilator to help her breathe.

Amazingly enough Dallas came back for the 2007 season. She put together a run of second place finishes and ended the season by capturing the title at the 2007 Wakeboard World Cup in Singapore, where she nearly died just a year earlier. Read about this event.

Dallas will be participating in her first competition of the year this weekend. The Wake Games will again be held in Orlando, Fla., at the Orlando Watersports Complex, April 24-27, 2008.

Danica's got nothing on you, Dallas. Good luck this year. Everyone at Malibu Boats is rooting for you.

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