A few weeks ago we told you about the Red Bull Wake Open taking place during the 4th of July weekend. Well now that the fireworks are gone, the grills have cooled off and you’ve put away your American flag pants until next year… let’s recap.
While most hardworking Americans were off on Friday July 5th… I, unfortunately was not. However the weather must have been on my side and decided to delay the start of the Big Air competition. Ryan, Nick and I headed down to the Convention Center to check out the scene with a sprinkle of rain remaining. We grabbed a drink at the Sail Pavilion and headed back into the rain for some exploration. We headed past the McCormicks Waterski Wakeboard and Cable Park, the Bass Egg, some food trucks, and the wakeboards that were designed for the Wake Art Project. While checking out the boards we had a chance to meet Chad Cardoza from Kick Start my Art, who combined with Red Bull, created the Wake Art Project. He showed us his board which was essentially a life-size Pez dispenser, complete with a head that lifting to reveal real packs of Pez. Very cool- no wonder he went on to be one of the winners.
Once the competition began, we cruised across the bridge to Jackson’s to get a better view. After winding through all the people dining at Jackson’s we made our way down to the edge of the water. Here we were able to stand right behind the area all the athletes were located. Some of them were even walking around amongst the spectators and you’d never know they were there if their long crazy hair didn’t give them away. After taking in a few more rounds of the competition it was time to call it a day.
Day 2 began at noon and lucky for us there was no weather delay. In fact, it was gorgeous out. Gorgeous and HOT, and crowded. We made our way through the crowd towards the Red Bull DJ Truck to check it out. Since it had been raining the day before they had the truck all closed up but this was seriously cool. Not only did it have a DJ booth in the truck, but also TVs and you could play video games off the back of the truck. Very cool. We grabbed some water and Red Bulls from the Media room (ya, we know people) and headed back out towards the dock to get a better view of the wake park competition.
We were especially excited about the fact that the event was so social media friendly. Being the social media enthusiasts that we are, we took full advantage. They would show Instagram photos that included the hashtag #wakeopen on a giant screen, then you could print those photos out right at the event. Finally, you were able to grab your friends, take a photo in their on site photo booth and upload it right to your social media accounts. #wedonthateit
At the end of the competition, it was Aaron Rathy who took the overall competition, but truthfully… I think it was the city of Tampa who won.