Professional wake boarders descend on Tampa Bay - WFLA News Channel 8

Professional wake boarders descend on Tampa Bay

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Some of the world's best wakeboard athletes are descending on the Tampa Bay area for the second annual Red Bull Wake Open.

The 36 professional wake boarders are from all over the United States as well as nine other countries.

Wednesday, some of those athletes attended a media day at McCormick's Water ski, Wakeboard and Cable Park in Seffner.

Steel Lafferty has been on a board since he was nine years old. "It's an amazing sport because it's like a family sport but it's also like an action sport." said Steel, who's nickname is Metal.

"So, you have a great time with the family and then you can also go out and do some crazy tricks and throw it all out on the line." Lafferty says at this year's event, he'll have a few tricks up his sleeve. "I was the first to land a few tricks. The first to land a backside 1080 off the double up. First to land a toe back nine. First to land a wake to wake 1080. So, I'm going to try them all this weekend."

Shota Tezuka is from Japan and is also participating in this year's event. He too makes this difficult sport look easy. "My craziest trick is like the 1080 after wake. How difficult is that?  I mean, not so many people can do it in the world, so it's pretty difficult. "

Organizers say for professional wake boarders, the Red Bull Wake Open is the super bowl of the sport. It takes place in the water right in front of the convention center on July 5th and 6th.

If you can't going and see the event in person, NBC is scheduled to air the competition on the 6th at 4p.m., right here on WFLA-TV,  Newschannel Eight.

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