2014 National Points Chase Final
words by: Dano "Noise of the North" - courtesy of iWake.com
For the fifth straight year in a row the National Points Chase Final has brought together more cable riders to compete, then just about any other wakeboard contest in the world. 18 cable parks from around the country fed into this years finals, which was held back again in the Southwest at Hydrous Wake Parks newest location in Little Elm, Texas. Top wakeboarders and skaters competed in a series of events all summer long at their home parks. The top riders in categories ranging from beginner all the way to pro levels, have a shot at making the finals each year, as well as the chance to represent their home cable park in hopes of taking home the overall team title. This year, legendary rail builder and two tower System 2.0 innovator Patrick Panakos joined forces with Blake Hess to make this year’s event bigger and better then ever. With new sponsors on hand, a great panel of judges, and a positive family environment, I think Points Chase is the ideal event. The organizers just want to grow the sport, and it shows. This year new judges were being acclimated as the event seems to gain more competitors each year. The action lasted for five days and with plans to expand the divisions and disciplines, I see this event having multiple different divisions running all at the same time on different cables.
As far as action, it was cool to see the progression of the different riders from all the different cables. I thought it was cool seeing guys make it so far in the pro division who were competing in intermediate level last year. The riders are getting so good and progressing so fast. A lot of that has to do with the new Wake Parks, offering features which help keep the progression fun and obtainable. In pro men Tom Fooshee took his fifth consecutive win in traditional cable wakeboarding, which was a mix of both air tricks and features. Tom is consistent and smart. He knows the system and is one of the toughest competitors of all time. Traditional is fun, but the Features Only event truly keeps the fans engaged at all times. Each carrier has a different rider, a certain amount of time is put on a clock, and the riders go into a jam format, unlimited falls, with only the top in the field advancing. In Pro Men Features Only, Tampa Florida’s Chandler Powell took the win. The kid is insane and no doubt soon to be one of the biggest names in wake. Byerly Boards team rider Brett Little, known for his wakeskate abilities, oh yeah and his many National and World titles, competed in the Masters division for Features only wakeboard, and let me tell you he can ride. Brett podiumed in wakeboarding and took first place in Pro Wakeskate.
On water action was great, but the overall environment was what sticks out most to me: the award presentation and dinner, the thousands of dollars in prizes from the sponsors for all the amateur divisions and good cash prizes in pro. It is also having top name cable riders and wake park managers from all over the US judging together, working together to come up with ways to make the judging as fair and easy to understand as possible; the feeling that you are part of a family, part of sport that is really so new, but rising so fast. Every year I look forward to the Points Chase Finals. In fact, this year I passed up a trip to Cancun for it. I appreciate the organizers, the sponsors, the riders, but mostly the families and the future. Enjoy the photos and check back next time for more “Noise” with me! Peace, Dano