April 3, 2017
The 2017 Wavedaze Freeride hits Virginia Beach, bringing with it some of the top freeride athletes in the nation. This year, with the support of Title Sponsor TigerCraft and under the sanctioning banner of Pro Watercross, the Wavedaze event promises three days of freestyle mayhem on the water and plenty of shore-side action for both spectators and participants.
Starting things off on Thursday, April 6, Peabody’s Nightclub will host a kickoff party that will continue through the weekend. Sponsored by South Jersey Freeriders and JetManiac, the three-day after-party will keep the fun flowing with nightly food and drink specials and a free shuttle from the host hotel starting at 6:30 each evening. 80s cover band The Deloreans will take the stage Saturday night.
The oceanfront action kicks off Friday, with the 6-block-long freeride zone open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those who want an early start on mastering Virginia Beach’s challenging surf in preparation for the head-to-head battle of Saturday’s Tigercraft Freeride Competition.
With more than $3,000 in payout up for grabs, and a guaranteed payback of the entry free all the way through 10th place, this year’s Freeride battle promises to bring a full slate of top-notch competitors as well as some new faces.
ON Saturday, the Wicked Trick competition brings some of the most daring stunts to the game.
“PWC Freeriders are wicked enough as it is. But you will not want to miss this year’s Wicked Trick contest!!,” said event coordinator Dan Swartz. “These seriously nutzo guys put the pedal to the metal and go HUGE with tricks such as the double barrel roll, backflips on Blaster sitdowns or no-handed or both!”
While Saturday’s Wicked Trick competition promises thrills and spectacular stunts, the backbone of the freeride is, as always, waves and re-entry.
“The heart and soul of Wavedaze, along with the ideas and people behind it, is Freeride,” Swartz said. “This is the most extreme form of riding PWCs, where the rider surfs waves like a surfer would and uses the waves as a jump ramp for aerial maneuvers. Pioneered in the early days by Scott “Hollywood” Watkins, the re-entry would become the move that defines moto-surf. The re-entry is how a rider jumps off a breaking wave and lands back on the wave, continuing to ride the wave.”
Following Saturday’s freeride, there will be a raffle in the courtyard of the host hotel, Quality Inn & Suites.
The Freeride zone will open up again at 9 a.m. on Sunday for a day of non-competition freestyle innovation.
Proceeds from the 2017 WaveDaze Freeride benefit the Spike’s K-9 Fund - a local Virginia Beach organization that raises funds for the care of Working Dogs during their careers and providing a good life for them afterwards. Funds from the WaveDaze Freeride will provide needed protection for a K-9 unit dog, and both the dog and his handler will be onsite at the WaveDaze Freeride on Saturday, where they will be presented with a K-9 bulletproof vest.
For more information on the 2107 WaveDaze Freeride, visit www.wavedaze.com. To find out more about sanctioning body Pro Watercross, and for a schedule of the 2017 Pro Watercross/Heyday National Tour and regional events, visit www.prowatercross.com. For information on Spike’s K-9 Fund, visit www.facebook.com/spikesk9fund. Peabody’s, TigerCraft and South Jersey Freeriders can be found on Facebook.