June 22, 2005
The first Let's Ride Kneeboard Series event was held June 18-19 at Keller Regional Park in Maplewood, Minnesota. The weather could not have been better with temperatures in the upper 80's to lower 90's, bright sunshine, calm waters and virtually no wind!
Ten riders took to the warm northern waters on Saturday to sharpen up their skills at the Riders Clinic. Erik Takkunen, from Minnesota, set his goal to successfully complete a backroll. In the early afternoon, he did just that. Tyler Woltjer, also from Minnesota, took his spinning skills to the next level by successfully completing the Ole'(line overhead 360) on his first and all other attempts.
Sunday's excitement consisted of a team tricks event followed by a freestyle and flipout competition. For the tricks event, all of the riders were split into three teams. The team format was well received by the riders and provided for the opportunity to cheer on teammates. Each rider was given two runs with two passes each. Team points were earned on a scale from 12 to 1. The rider that scored the highest trick points received 12 team points. The second best trick rider received 11 team points and so on. Using the team points to determine the winners instead of the trick points allowed for a more fair and a closer competition.
Team Ole' took home the first place ribbons with team captain Dan Henning and riders Dan Kelsey and Tyler Woltjer. Team DMC took home the second place ribbons with team captain Chad Beery and riders Mitch Beery and David Miscisin. Team Shredded Wheat took home the third place ribbons with team captain Brett Naglreider and riders Kurt Schmelzer, Eric Schmelzer and Eric Takkunen.
Erik Takkunen received the best trick award for the weekend after completing his first ever backroll. Chad Beery, from Minnesota, received the best crash award since he performed more crashes than tricks during the trick event. Chad did, however, pull out the stops for the freestyle event and took home the first place ribbon. Brett Naglreider snatched up the first in the flipout event to take home to his home state of Florida. He also performed a nationally qualifying run in Men II tricks. Dan Henning nationally qualified in Men II tricks as well.
Many prizes were also given away including a new kneeboard, a rope and handle set, towels, gift certificates, t-shirts and stickers.
Several of the Northern Boarders team members also worked on their Driver, Scorer and Judge certifications with the gracious help of Doris Rohner, George Rohner and Chuck Purdy. All three veterans of these events were on hand to help everything run smoothly. They were absolutely invaluable.
A very special thank you to all of the Northern Boarders sponsors: Minnesota Inboard Water Sports, Lake Elmo Sports, Marine Dock and Lift, KneeboardPlanet.com, PHP4Hosting.com, Spectra Images and Pinewskis Ski and Board Shop.
For more information on the next Let's Ride Kneeboard event, August 13-14, go to www.northernboarders.com.
View all of the pictures from the first Let's Ride event at www.northernboarders.com