Monday, April 16, 2012

Soven, Derome and Grubb Kill It At Wake Games

Phil Soven
Congrats to Malibu team riders, Phil Soven, Olivier Derome and Brian Grubb for their top performances at Wake Games on April 14. Also, Dallas Friday and Amber Wing showed they are back with authority in the quarters and semis, although the windy finals conditions gave them a tough battle.

Soven, the current World Champion was feeling a lot of pressure this season, further impacted by a crew of MTV cameras following his every move. "I thought last year's King Of Wake final was a lot of pressure," Soven said. "But that's nothing compared to this. Sometimes, I feel like the weight of the entire sport is on my shoulders." Some thought this would be a distraction leading into Wake Games. However, Soven proved once again that he can rise to the occasion when it matters most. In a less-than-desirable finals with wind over 15 m.p.h, he put together a flawless run including a nosegrab heelside 720, Moby Dick 540, Whirly 720, switch nosegrab crow 540 and switch toeside 900, as well as solid rail hits on the new UNIT rails. In the judges eyes, this run stood up to killer passes from Harley Clifford and Phil's brother Bob, who is making his riding look very unique and huge with innovative moves not seen before on tour.

Grubb was able to land in second place after Reed Hansen in the Pro Wakeskate division, despite huge threats from Danny Hampson and Brandon Thomas, who scored higher than Grubb in the earlier rounds. There is no doubt that Grubb is on his game more than ever, also proved by his top performance of all the Red Bull wake athletes at their recent Boot Camp.

After the Pro Men finals, a prize of $5,000 was up for grabs to any rider who could land a move that's never been done before in a contest. With strong winds, Harley Clifford still stomped a switch toeside 1080 wake-to-wake (without the use of the double up). Rusty Malinoski had landed this trick off the double up two years prior, however this has never been performed wake-to-wake at a contest. Without missing a beat, Olivier Derome took off next and stomped the same exact move flawlessly, sending his fellow riders and the crowd into an uproar. The two riders both took home checks for $5,000 and celebrated into the night.

Olivier Derome

Derome & Harley Clifford

Phil on top with Harley and Bob

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