The 2015 Mastercraft Throwdown was a history-making event in the wakeboard industry. The last time wakeboarding had any association with the X-Games was back in 2005 in Los Angeles, California when Danny Harf took the win, winning his fourth X-Games gold medal. It was exciting to see Danny back this year at 30 years old throwing down against the current elite riders. While this competition certainly didn't pan out like it did in 2005 after being eliminated in the first round, his legacy will remain untarnished as one of the greatest rider in the history of wakeboarding.
The format for this event was a straight head-to-head match-up in which each rider would only get one run with four tricks. This format seemed to completely level the playing field as a better rider could fall on a more advanced trick while the second rider could coast through four easier tricks to advance. This meant that the riders were forced to throw their most consistent tricks rather than take any chances. This was especially noticed in the semi-finals match-up between Mike Dowdy and Shota Tezuka, when Dowdy seemed to have it in the bag after landing a wake-to-wake Double Back-Roll but then fell on a Heelside 900, a trick Dowdy rarely ever falls on. Shota was then able to go out and throw a clean, low-risk run to advance on to finals.
The Final Match-up included Shota Tezuka and Harley Clifford. The finals allowed for each rider to throw two runs rather than just one, which meant the riders could either throw down an easier run first just to get a good score on the board, or go for a more difficult trick knowing they will have a second chance if they fall. Shota was first off the dock and threw down a Toeside 900, a switch Toeside 900, a Crow Mobe 540 and a Heelside 720, giving him a score of 84.33. Harley then went out and threw down a Crow Mobe 540, Back Mobe 540, Toeside 900 and a Front-Mobe 540, earning himself a higher score of 86.33. Shota then had a chance to go out and beat Harley's score and started his run with a Toeside 900 and a Crow Mobe 540 but fell attempting a Heelside 900. Harley didn't need a second run as his first score held up and he became the 2015 Mastercraft Throwdown Champion. This is Harley's nineth win of the year and it's been a great year for him as he also just won the 2015 Pro Wakeboard Tour. His next competition will be at the WWA National Championships in Miami, Florida August 13-16.
MASTERCRAFT THROWDOWN World of X-Games August 8, 2015