The Oklahoma River is hosting a very unique event this weekend: The World Wakeboarding Championships.
There will be wakeboarding and wakeskating beginning at 9 a.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The pro division finals are on Sunday which should make for some impressive acrobatics on the water.
Nearly 200 wakeboarders and wakeskaters from a dozen countries are competing on the Oklahoma River.
Wakeboarders are judged on the overall composition and the execution and variety of tricks and aerial stunts. On the river, there will be rails and ramps the riders will use to perform tricks while maneuvering at a speed of 25 mph.
Two judges ride along in the tow boat while three other judges watch from the shore and judge’s tower. A wakeboarder can earn as much as 100 points for each ride.
There also is a division for wakeskating, which is performed on a smaller board. The riders also are not binded in like they are when wakeboarding.
There are 16 separate divisions based on age, gender and skill level. Two pros are trying to make history.
Florida’s Dallas Friday, 21, the most decorated female wakeboarder in the world, is seeking a record-tying fourth championship on the women’s side.
Florida’s Philip Soven, 19, is seeking his third title in four years in the men’s pro division. A third crown would tie a pro wakeboarding record.
: There are three Oklahomans competing as amateurs, including 16-year-old Taylor Kress of Edmond who is in the junior men’s division.
The junior men’s division is like the minor league or college varsity equivalent of pro wakeboarding and those athletes are next in line to go pro.
The pros in the men’s division are competing for a total purse of $33,000.
You can watch the competition at the old airpark, SW 17 and Western. There will be a carnival-like atmosphere on the river, with music and tents where people can buy wakeboards and accessories along with food and drink. Autograph sessions are scheduled each day.
Bring your lawn chair if you plan to stay long. Tickets for adults are $10 on Saturday and Sunday and $5 for children ages 6 to 12. Admission is free for ages 5 and younger.
On Friday, admission is free.