Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wakestock Washes up on Toronto Islands


By the time Saturday rolled around I was getting pretty anxious to get over to the islands to see what was in store for the Wakestock’s 10th anniversary jam. We learned the hard way that the ferry is probably the worst way to get to Centre Island (the water taxi was only 10 bucks) but my friends and I waded through the lineup and got aboard a ferry within an hour.

Over at Centre Island things were heating up and getting messy. Kids were already passing out and Bud Light cans littered the grass . All eyes, however, were on the ladies at the Miss Reef bikini contest. When the drool contest was over, the winner was declared, then it was time for the crowd to shake it too.




It was sweet to hear De La Soul drop some beats from back in tha day.

They mixed it up and cranked out the energy, working the crowd until we all had our hands in the air and were yelling back the lyrics.



At one point the show stopped as we all heard a loud chainsaw rip through a tree branch to make some room for motocross riders. It didn't go over well with De La Soul or their crowd, yelling ensued and the sawing stopped. Fortunately they did very little damage to the tree. This didn't stop TStar and TOist from overblowing it and making it seem as though a giant tree came crashing down. If you wanna talk tragedy, the lack of recycling for 40,000 fans drinking beer or bottled water and throwing butts in the lake was a major mistake.

After all that shouting we deserved a drink and found a little marina for a break. Behind the building, a few boys who I'm sure were wakeboarders were winding down with a game of volleyball while one dirty boy was rolling around in the dirt with a big smile on his face. My girlfriends swapped some words with the hotties and left them to sweat it off. About an hour later, as we sailed slowly through the western channel we saw the boys racing toward us. They mooned us and sped off.



Five seconds later, a police boat with sirens wailing slammed through the channel too. We watched the police chase them across the lake and I swear they never caught up. I love watching the police boats race through the lake and that was one chase I’ll never forget.

Sunday promised new beginnings and an excellent round up of athletes in the wakeskate, railslide and wakeboard tricks finals but my girls and I were suffering from exhaustion and didn’t make it there until late afternoon.

As the sun fell over the Islands I was torn between listening to Lupe Fiasco on the main stage and watching the top four wakeboard finalists compete in the Malibu Boats Expression Session.




I couldn't tear myself away from the tight competition though and stood screaming my ass off for Muskoka rider Rusty Malinoski in the final four. He nailed the tricks over and over showing incredible stamina, but it was Phillip Soven who impressed the judges with technical trick perfection. Andrew Atkinson (wakeboarder above) turned my head too. I loved watching these riders push the limits of the sport, trying all sorts of new combos including a shot at the first completed 1080 of the day.

About 40,000 people washed up on the Toronto Islands this past weekend for Wakestock's biggest and messiest event ever. I got my adrenalin fill and learned a bit about wakeskating as well. For those willing to give it a shot I can attest the water's warm now and if you get stuck on the island, like many of us did, you could always use one to paddle back to the city.

Thanks to to my ladies including Rachel Ford for shots two and five. Wanna read what people think about the tree branch controversy? Check out the comments on blogTO.

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