This year’s WaveDaze celebrated the tenth anniversary of this east coast surf freeride in Virginia Beach, Virginia. This great event was presented by JetManiac and was hosted by local ride group, the Wavejunkies headed by event promoter Dan Swartz. WaveDaze is a popular ride with over 200 skis and riders registered. Riders came from all over the US and Canada with international riders including Abraham Ho from Mexico, Bruno Jacob from Brazil, Stephen Foot from the UK, and Mick Anthony from Australia.
WaveDaze is held every year in Virginia Beach with a great location right on the beach with the host hotel being the Quality Inn and Suites. Directly behind the hotel is a paved boardwalk which parallels the beachfront. Event sponsors set up product displays of new hulls, skis, and parts. Title sponsor JetManiac and others always have lots of parts to help keep everyone riding after surf riding carnage. The WaveJunkies have beach carts with 4-wheelers to transport freeriders’ skis to and from the beach for them. WaveDaze even provides event security to watch skis and vendor booths during the nights.
This year started with Thursday’s preride being a big tease. It was sunny and relatively warm with big surf. Surf was overhead, clean and glassy with offshore wind. Some of those who rode said it was the best surf they had ever seen at WaveDaze.
The main event started on Friday, but the surf was much smaller but still clean until the wind shifted from the north, and it got much choppier. The Friday weather was good, but things were about to change. Saturday was a day to remember! Morning sun? Check. Midday rain? Check. 30 mph wind (with gusts to 50mph-plus)? Check. Hail? Check. Snow? Check. Snow on the beach in April? Double check. Yes, we had it all on Saturday.
The Krash Industries-sponsored WaveDaze East Coast Freeride Competition started on Saturday during all the crazy weather. There was a large turnout for the competition in spite of the terrible weather and choppy surf. There were an amazing 12 pro riders and many riders in the other classes. The Pro finals were held on Sunday with some better weather conditions.
After everyone deiced themselves and warmed up, everyone headed to the event raffle which was moved from the pool deck to the much warmer hotel conference room. The raffle included many great products from title sponsor JetManiac and industry sponsors including DASA, Rad Dudes, TigerCraft, Free Form Factory, Krash, RRP, Blowsion, Skat Trak and many, many others.
JetManiac donated a high performance freestyle Blue ported motor that was raffled separately to help local WaveJunkie Landon Ward and his son. Krash and RRP donated handlepoles. Jetski Total Loss donated a new total loss electrical system. Raffle proceeds were donated to Landon Ward, Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters, and Virginia Beach Marine Rescue squad.
The WaveDaze after-party was held at Peabody’s with free drinks and free transportation sponsored by the Rad Dudes. There was a free shuttle service from the Quality Inn event hotel to Peabody’s so no driving and parking hassles for partying freeriders. Although the weather and surf were tough this year, WaveDaze 2016 was a big success with lots of memories for everyone to remember like snow on the beach!
Krash Industries’ WaveDaze Freeride Competition results:
Rookie class: 1. Nick “Salty” Stippinovich, 2. Mark Conrad, 3. Dimitar Pavlov; Amateur class: 1. Alex Karacsonyi, 2. Josh Bridges, 3. Skylar Darling; Fixed steer/sport class: 1. Craig Hammond, 2. Stephen Foot, 3. Todd Saulnier; Masters class: 1. Jeff Bolte, 2. Lance Lindquist; Sickest trick: Todd Saulnier; Carnage award: Tom Scaccionce (gas tank fire/no injuries); Pro class: 1. Mick Anthony, 2. Bruno Jacob, 3. Chris Grace