Wavedaze Spring Freeride for 2015 was recently held on Virginia Beach in Virginia on April 10th through the 12th. This event was hosted and ran by Dan Swartz and the Wavejunkies. This close knit group of local freeriders have been hosting one of the most popular surf freerides in the country and this year was no exception. Over 170 skis were registered to ride during the event with many more in attendance. The host hotel, Quality Inn and Suites was sold out for the event as always. And this weekend’s ride is the first riding of the year for many attendees from the northeast states and Canada.
The boardwalk behind the hotel was where the event sponsors set up to show off the latest in freeride hulls and parts. This year’s Wavedaze title sponsor was Tiger Craft. Other sponsors included JetManiac, Rad Dudes, Rage Composite Works, Blowsion, Fast Elements, Free Form Factory, MOTO Option, JetTrim, Jettribe, JetLift, LAMD, Team Extreme, TPE, Thrust Innovations, and Trinity composites. This year, the freeride hulls on display included the Viper and Aquabot by Tigercraft, the Havoc by Rage Composites, and FFF 1.0 by Free Form Factory.
The ride started with some very cold weather on Thursday for early riding followed by some very strong wind on Friday. However, Saturday was beautiful and sunny for the main day of this always popular surf freeride.
This year’s Wavedaze featured Round 2 of the Krash Nationals USA freeride competition run by Aussie Nick Barton. Everyone enjoyed watching the competition and hopefully it will become an event tradition. The level of riding was incredible in all of the classes. Mike Barney won the Rookie’s class, Carter Brackett won the Amateur class, Craig Hammond won the Runabout class, and Jeff Bolte won the Masters class. Finally, Jake Bright edged out Brandon Lawlor to win Pro class.
Top left: This year also featured a freestyle riding exhibition by Johnny Leftly in the pool behind the host hotel just before the raffle on Saturday evening. The pool is very small for a hotel and everyone wondered how he would do trying to flip in such a small and shallow pool. He handled the challenge very well, flipping several times followed by a hop turn and then flipping three times just stopping in time to avoid slamming into the wall. Johnny’s ski is a new Rage Havoc hull running a TPE 1105cc freestyle motor with Full Spectrum 49 carbs, MSD total loss ignition, a Maxx 155 mag pump, and tuned by Phil at P&P Performance.
After the backflips in the pool was the always popular freeride raffle. The raffle raised $1,000 for the local volunteer marine rescue squad and approx $5,000 for local Wavejunkie Landon’s medical care. Saturday night featured the Wavedaze party at the Peabody Club with beverages provided by the Rad Dudes. A free shuttle from the host hotel to the club was provided.
As always, Wavedaze was a well organized event featuring details like ATV’s with trailers and a fueling station for skis and security overnight each night for riders’ skis and vendors’ booths. This event is one of the best run freerides that continues to grow in popularity each year.