Gomer Report: US Freestyle Championship Round 1: Lake Havasu, AZ


Monday evening I landed in LAX and had a moment to catch up with my mom over dinner. Then, I packed up my truck with the borrowed factory Rickter XFR freestyle ski, gear, and quickly washed cloths. At 3am the following morning I was 300 miles bound for Lake Havasu, AZ. Getting there early gave me a chance to meet up with my best friend in the industry and last year’s 900cc Freestyle World Champion Tanner Thomas. Thanks to the support of my family at KMG Racing, Tanner and I had a compound at Crazy Horse campground to call home base to come back to throughout the day. Through the week we ran errands, finished emails, worked on equipment, trained, and crashed out. This made a huge difference, as Tanner and I were able to hone in our skills within four days to become contest ready.

The weather at the event was great apart from the 40 mph wind. A large part of flatwater freestyle is setting up two wakes to collide in order to make a “big wake” which is about a foot tall at most. This is difficult to construct when the water all together is chaos. Underpowered in the 1200cc class with a 1000cc engine in the borrowed demo Rickter XFR. I took it to my qualifying heat landing 4th place while riding in a heavy spot of the wind. For sickest trick run I was able to put together a no hand backflip, right into another backflip off the landing of the first.

Coming into my main run I caught a mild break of the wind and was able to throw down a busy run. I got ejected during one of my opening flip combinations pushing to get more out of that combo. I recovered, and put down a lot of tricks with many variations. Some were more difficult than others, such as the Scarecrow barrel roll, which is a corkscrew rotation in the air with only one foot attached and another no hand backflip.

At the end of the event I was beyond pleasantly surprised to end up receiving third place in sickest trick and 3rd place in the 1200cc pro class. This was my second professional freestyle contest. I am absolutely thrilled to have made the best of the TC Freeride built Rickter XFR powered by a DASA 1000cc Engine and Skat-Trak 155mm Mag pump. After the event I dropped the XFR off with my friend Brock Austin, who will be transporting the ski to Florida for the first two national tour stops around the corner.

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Mark Gomez

A progressing 23-year-old professional Freerider, World Champion racer, and stuntman from Fullerton, CA., Mark has been riding stand up jet skis since he was 7. When he's not traveling the globe to participate against the world's best surf riders and racers, Mark can be seen performing stunts at Universal Studio's "Waterworld Stunt Show" and has even graced both the TV and movie screens as a stuntman.

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