My First Wakestock With Bob Soven

Jun 9, 2010

Author: Bob Soven

If you think of all the “Stocks” in the history of wakeboarding, multiple events come to mind; this story is about the Wake of Stock or “WAKESTOCK.” Wakestock is not a just wakeboard contest. Oh no, it’s much more than that. The trip alone is an adventure, the people there are bonkers and Monster Energy holds it down the entire weekend.

I’m writing this story a couple of months after the event while I’m at my high school. We are currently learning about Geoffrey Chaucer so I will tell open this tale with a prologue of all the characters.

Bob Soven, Monster Energy, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Bob Soven: Your narrator and overall did the best at “Wakestocking.”

Harley Clifford, Monster Energy, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Harley Clifford: Might be a little too young for Wakestock, but his amazing wakeboard skills and strikingly handsomeness ensured he had a great weekend.

Jimmy Lariche, Monster Energy, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Jimmy Lariche: My roommate for the trip (we are pretty much half brothers). The man has lived 40 years worth of living and he is only 20.

Shawn Watson, Monster Energy, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Shawn Watson (plus one): You know you are successful when you bring your girlfriend on a trip and she makes more money than you did!

Shane Bonifay, Monster Energy, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Shane Bonifay: The mentor of the group and winner of the Best-Spirited Award.

James Balzer, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
James Balzer: It’s hard to say this Wakestock was his best showing but he did perform well. This man can bring any party to its knees.

Daniel Watkins, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Daniel Watkins: By far the most experienced and knowledgeable character of the whole group. With more than 1,000 Facebook friend requests waiting at his computer, this man is world-renowned.

Kevin Henshaw, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating
Kevin “Henny” Henshaw: LEGEND. We won’t even get started with his past, this was the weekend of the Henny contest comeback.

Kevin Henshaw, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Libby Everest
Libby Everest: Inventor of the “Positivity Circle” and the main reason we had one of the greatest weekends of our life.

Kevin Henshaw, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Libby Everest, Nelson Phillips, Damon Pyett
Rest of Canada Monster crew: If you could take the best people in the world and chuck them into one perfect club, posse, group, gang, etc... That is what Monster Energy Canada has done with its staff.

This journey begins as we all arrive in Toronto, which turns out to be around an hour driving distance from our destination, Collingwood, Ont. Monster picks us up in a sweet party van, which is decked out with energy drinks and “extras” to go with it, but they forgot the jams! Of course, we get the driver pull over so we can buy a CD and get this party started right. During the stop Balzer knocks over a porta-potty, Harley gets in trouble for peeing outside a building, and I’m handed a fresh ear of a corn picked outside the van, which I enjoy thoroughly. At this point the chaos apex is at its peak and it’s going to come all the way down. The CD we get our hands on is Best Of Lionel Richie and we listen to “Dancing on the Ceiling” on repeat for the duration of the ride that was only supposed to take an hour. It ends up taking us nearly four hours to arrive at the hotel due to bathroom breaks, the driver yelling at us and excessive dancing (unfortunately, NOT on the ceiling)

Keeping this narrative in chronological order, we arrive at the Blue Mountain Village in Collingwood and the first “Official” (i.e. not on a bus) dance party of the weekend is scheduled! What would a group of rowdy wakeboarders want more then an AC/DC cover band? Well nothing else, so that is what Monster set up at a bar called Kaytoo. I can assure you, a bar has never seen this amount of air drumming. At one point I honestly believed that my hands were producing the massive thumps reverberating across the dance floor and if Shane stopped lip-syncing the music would cut out. During the fist pumping, two members of the crew are thrown out of the bar like in the movies, heave-ho style onto the street, and I’m somehow taken on a wild Canadian amusement ride for the rest of the night. But we don’t stay out too late (5 a.m.) because we have the contest the next day.

Kevin Henshaw, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Libby Everest, Nelson Phillips, Damon Pyett

Not the real Angus Young, but pretty damn close. Dalby photo

So far there’s been lots of tales of dancing and team “bonding” but we’re a little thin on the main reason we’ve come here: wakeboarding. Saturday was the first day of the contest and it looked like Poseidon and the Little Mermaid had just had an argument because the water wasn’t the greatest of conditions. Good thing it was just preliminary rounds and everybody rode well, especially Henny. The competition course had two massive rails that he totally destroyed. Combine that with stomping a perfect run, Henny made it to a Sunday for the first time in a long time. Along with Henny making it through, Harley, [my brother] Phildo, Rusty [Malinoski], [Aaron] Rathy, myself and a few other heavy hitters progressed to the next day of inter-galactic competing.
Due to excessive dancing I forget how the top 16 broke down into eight so we will start with the Elite 8. In Heat 1 we’ve got Phillip Soven, Rusty, Raphael Derome, and yours truly. Heat 2 consists of Rathy, Harley, Oliver Derome, and Austin Hair.

Phillip Soven, Monster Energy, Russell Dalby, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating, Libby Everest

Big brother, Phil, taking this Tailglide out into the flats. Levitt photo

 I am first off the dock in my heat of wakeboard heroes, so I go out and do my thing: a run of Raleys and Switch Raleys, putting the pressure on Rusty and Phil. Rusty chokes after seeing how big my Raleys are and Phil beats me by two points by doing more inverts. That may not be exactly how it went down but me and Phil make it out of our semifinal heat and into the finals. Harley and Aaron continue their season-long battle and both push through to the finals.
The Finals: being a Wakestock rookie (and maybe because of the judges’ bias against Gingers) I am still the worst seed and I have to ride first. It’s back to the Poseidon vs. Little Mermaid conditions, I ride and end up falling a bunch but come out of my last fall with a great wave to the crowd. Harley rides second and has close to the same outcome as me. Then the weather clears up; I’m guessing it’s karma from being young and restless that caused Harley and I to have bad weather. The last two riders are Phil and Rathy and they go OFF. Too close to call by the American-Canadian naked eye; it turns out that Canada (Rathy) won Wakestock, in Canada, close to Canada day, before Labour day, but after hockey season. I was grateful of my finish, It would have been nice to have beaten my younger-older brother but I have all next season and I beat him that night on the dance floor!

Aaron Rathy, Monster Energy, Wakestock, Wakeboarding, Wakeskating

Aaron Rathy bring home the victory on home soil. Roth photo
    Which brings us to the last Dance Party! I’ll keep this short: Canada’s top two DJs, a local bar, and unlimited drinks. I would have to say not one person left the bar with their sleeves on. I left with a cut over my eye, maybe because more bottles were broken rather than drank. As my weekend could not have got any better I had to go home. I chose a non-direct cheaper flight than everyone else to save a couple bucks. I ended up getting stuck somewhere in New Jersey alone for the night and I cried myself to sleep missing my mommy, just kidding, but really I might have. I ended up getting home, a man, no longer a boy if you know what I mean!

For a full gallery of images go to and check the video below for some more highlights


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