Big Air Wakeboarding Tourney in Bull Shoals June 24-26

Big Air Wakeboarding Tourney in Bull Shoals June 24-26

Jill M. Rohrbach, travel writer
Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism

What can you expect at Brostock Wakeboarding Tournament by Liquid Force June 24-26 on Bull Shoals Lake? Lots of bikinis, tons of boats, cheering crowds, the beautiful scenery of the Ozarks, and young guns in the world of wakeboarding vying for the 2011 title.

“The best of the best are coming to Bull Shoals and they’re going to be competing for the best double up,” says Kevin Eastwold of Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock, located in the town of Bull Shoals in north central Arkansas. For a double up, the boat driver makes a wide turn and then crosses over the wake the boat just made. The wakeboarder rides on the inside of the turn, then hits where the two wakes meet to perform a stunt. “It’s a big air competition,” Eastwold explains.

“Danny Harf won last year with a 1080,” he says. “You rotate around three times. It’s just like snowboarding or skateboarding as far as the tricks.”

According to, the format is the same as last year with three rounds of riding and each athlete getting two double ups. The best score will be taken into consideration. No trick can be scored more than once, which increases creativity. The final consists of the top five riders of the day.

The prize money is: First – $13,000; Second – $5,000; Third – $3,000; Fourth – $2,000; Fifth – $750; Sixth through 10th – $250.

Eastwold says all of the competitors are professional riders ranging in age from about 17 to 30-something. He adds that in addition to riders from all over the U.S., some are coming from Germany and Australia this year.

Confirmed riders according to are: Harley Clifford, Bob Soven, Steel Lafferty, Shane Bonifay, Adam Fields, Phil Soven, Adam Errington, Danny Harf, Chris O’Shea, Gabe Lucas, Rusty Malinoski, Kevin Henshaw, Chad Sharpe, Shawn Watson, Mike Ennen, Jimmy LaRiche, JD Webb, Collin Harrington, Parks Bonifay, Tom Fooshee, Ben Greenwood, Daniel Powers, Ricky Gonzalez, Clay Fletcher, and Trevor Hansen.

This is the second year for Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock to host the event. The boat dock is a family vacation resort offering pontoon and houseboat rentals.

Renting a boat, particularly a houseboat, is the most popular way to spend time on the water watching the wakeboarding competition. Eastwold says the event is fun for more than young adults. “Last year there were families with kids, and big house boats with slides with mom and dad, and their friends,” he adds.

“It’s kind of like a big free-for-all to celebrate wakeboarding,” Eastwold explains. “It’s the only week off before the pro tour.” The event is shown on Fuel TV.

The U.S. Corp of Engineers will patrol Beaver Lake so everyone can have a nice day out on the water, Eastwold says. “We don’t want crazy,” he explains. “There are laws on the lake. Pick up your trash and have a designated driver. We don’t want anyone getting out of hand.”

He adds that many rooms throughout the area are booked and the event is bringing a lot of tourists to the region.

“I wakeboard every day,” Eastwold says. “I’ve been slowly trying to get wakeboarding into the area.” While Eastwold prefers to give no credit to himself, he has been talking to people in the industry about coming to Arkansas since at least 2004. Some of the pro wakeboarders began visiting Bull Shoals Lake in 2006. A couple of years ago, Eastwold met the right person at the right time to accomplish his goal.

“They came here to bring wakeboarding to the Midwest a little bit because no one has done anything in our area like this. It’s never happened on Bull Shoals before last year. It’s going to be a little bit bigger every year.”

Bull Shoals Lake Boat Dock hosts a Meet and Greet with the pro riders from 5 p.m.-8 p.m. Friday, June 24, at its marina. Other side events take place as well.


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