This year Mother Nature was cooperative with beautiful, sunny and warm weather, possibly the warmest Wavedaze ever. Unfortunately, Mother Nature wasn’t so kind with the surf conditions. The swell was small and weak, and high winds created choppy water.
Wavedaze was moved two weeks earlier this year, but it didn’t stop people from coming; Dan Swartz and crew registered over 100 skis and welcomed many more spectators.
Starting seven years ago by a local group called the “Wavejunkies,” it has grown into one of the largest surf freeride events of the year, held annually on Virginia Beach, VA. Organized by Dan Swartz and the Wavejunkies, Wavedaze is very well organized event.
When you arrive, the Wavejunkies shuttle your ski from your truck or trailer straight to the water with provided ATV’s and beach carts. When you need to refuel, they will drive your ski to the beachside fueling station. Overnight security is also provided to watch the skis on the beach as well.
This has helped Wavedaze to attract international riders including Julian Herpsont from France, Abraham Ho from Mexico, and numerous riders from Canada.
The West coast was well represented this year too. The TC Freeride team made the long trip from California including Taylor Curtis, Brandon Lawlor, and Mark Gomez, as well as Zach Bright as the west coast distributor for Krash Industries. They were all on hand to ride and offer demo rides on the latest hulls from RRP/Rickter and Krash.
Additional hull builders Rage Composite Works and Aquabot were both set up on vendor row with their latest hulls on display and demo skis available to ride on the beach.
Other vendors present were title sponsor Rad Dudes and JetManiac with the latest in freestyle and freeride parts, helping to keep everyone riding all weekend. True Performance Engineering (TPE) had motors on display and Chris Rauen was selling shirts by RACU Design Co.
This year’s event included several classes of racing as well freestyle competition including Top Pro and Amateur riders. Mark Gomez won the “Sickest Trick for freestyle. Travis Collette won the “Cherry Popper” competition by completing his first backflip and also got engaged at Wavedaze with Crystal Cascarino. Congrats!
After the ride on Saturday evening, there was a raffle for great prizes donated by all of the sponsors. There were so many prizes that most who entered the raffle won something. This year, a separate raffle was held for a donated TPE 964cc cylinder kit with all of the proceeds were donated to the Virginia Beach Volunteer Water Rescue Squad and the AWA.
Although the skies were clear and the temperatures warm, the waves simply weren’t there. Many dusted off their freestyle skills and still put on a great show. Despite the low swell, everyone had a great time, proving that Wavedaze is always a great surf freeride and that everyone is exited for 2015.