The legendary Ft. Lauderdale Aquatic Complex in South Florida is best known for hosting gold medal swimmers, housing world records, and mainly letting people take a quick dip inside the Olympic-sized pool.
This past weekend, however, the facility was drastically switched up as 18 of the best wakeboarders and wakeskaters in the world arrived to compete in the Red Bull Wake of Fame.
The 82-year-old complex shut down its three pools, which were then connected with a variety of wake features and an innovative cable system called the Sesitech Cable System 2.0 that allowed the athletes to showcase their best skills and tricks on a variety of obstacles. This pioneering system eliminates the boat so outside-of-the-lake locations can be used for competitions.
"Those setups in the pool with the rails and the different lines you can hit were super fun." -Nico von Lerchenfeld
Obstacles included rails, a quarterpipe, stall wall, corrugated pipe, kicker, and a giant elevated gong – an instant crowd pleaser each time it was hit by an athlete.
“This is one of the sickest events I’ve been to so far,” says seventeen-year-old Nico von Lerchenfeld. “The system is making events like this possible. My dad actually invented this system so I really have to thank him for that. Those setups in the pool with the rails and the different lines you can hit were super fun.”
Nico won Wakeboarding Best Trick by executing a front-lip to backside 270-out on the oversized step-up ledge, while Florida native Reed Hansen’s front-varial flip got him the Wakeskate Best Trick.
“It’s really fun to bring this to the masses,” says JD Webb. “It was challenging because the pools are really small and you’re kind of rushing to go back and forth so you can get everything lined up and get the right line to hit the rails well. It was really a lot of fun.”
Best Trick Results
1. Nico von Lerchenfeld
2. Kevin Henshaw
3. JD Webb
1. Reed Hansen
2. Nick Taylor
3. Andy Pastura
- Video: Parks Bonifay's Double or Nothing
- More Red Bull Wakeboarding
- Sign up for the Red Bull Spam newsletter