After an amazing 3-month season, the 2012 Carbon FLOW (Flowboarding League Of the World) Tour found itself on the east coast where it would host the best flowboarders in the nation at the Tour Finals. The Finals event is the most prestigious event on the tour awarding $5200 in cash prize money and AAA points up for grabs along with loads of other prizes, bringing the events total prize purse to over $10,000. The Finals event had a record breaking 110 riders with over 160 entries across the 11 competing divisions who would compete over a two day period.
Day #1’s agenda had all the divisions first round heats starting, with the youngest of them all, the Youth. Both the Youth Bodyboard and Flowboard divisions started from a semi-final round and proved that the future of our sport is in good hands. The flowboard winner was newcomer Dallas Nash who also had a third place finish in the bodyboard division behind Alexa Perez, and taking the gold was the unstoppable Keaton Moore.
From the young guns to the old bullets! Next up would be the Masters division, where the over 35 yr old riders would show these kids that sometimes, experience does count for something. With a heated rivalry in the bodyboard division between Cathy Seabert and Tracy Carroll, this event was sure to be interesting. Unfortunately Tracy had some uncharacteristic faults in the semi-final round, which opened the door for Cathy Seabert. The Flowboard division was as competitive as ever and with Jason Moore leading the charge. Easing into the finals were Jason Moore, Jonathon Root, Rob Chalfant and Mike Pappalardo. The semi finals were intense and paved the way for an awesome day 2 of competition.
The Junior and Open Men’s divisions had the deepest rider pools of the event. These riders had to really bring it if they wanted to make it to the final day. With the Open division accepting riders from both the Juniors and Masters, it was no surprise that this division had the most competitors. The Open Men’s Bodyboard had a long line of skilled riders and this led to an exciting first day of competition as well. The one stand out was Chanler Lee who made it to the final day along with Brad Spencer, Austin Kraus and junior rider Cameron Lodge. Cameron also managed to make it through the quarter and semi final rounds in the Junior Bodyboard division along with Christian Duffy, Ian Olsen and youth rider Joe Chapa. The Open Men’s Flowboard division had a fierce pool of competition but emerging out of the first 2 rounds was FLOW Tour resident Justin Collins along with newbie’s Gilberto Hurtado, Jaxson Moore and Utah local Carter Wood. Another double division competitor, Jaxson Moore, was again leading the charge in the Junior Flowboard division and would live to ride another day with fellow riders, Nick Sanchez, Bubby Koby and the lone female rider Xana Nash.
The Female Flowboard division was possibly one of the most anticipated divisions of the whole event. These girls of all ages had stepped up their game and brought a level of riding that has never been seen on the tour in the past. With names like Austyn Bynon, Dee Daniels, Xana Nash, Madi Moore and Vanessa Arroyo, the crowd had good reason to be impressed. After some nail biting quarter and semi final rounds, it was Austyn, Dee, Xana and Madi who would get to compete on day 2 in the Finals. The Female Bodyboard had veteran rider Cathy Seabert charging through the pack to secure her spot in the final along with Alyssa Mize and the Clifford sisters, Kara and Caitlin.
Like always, it was the Pro riders who would finish the day off. With a much smaller but incredibly skilled field, there was no room for mistakes. The talk of the town was current champ Sean Silveira, and would he be able to hold down Brad Spencer from taking away the championship crown. After a few rounds of intense competition the cream of the crop emerged and the stage was set to have one of the most exciting finals in FLOW Tour history. Sean and Brad would be going head to head to secure the National Champs title with Chuck Wright and Carter Wood nipping at their heels. Although Nick Nguyen had run away with the National Title, he was closely followed by a pack of youngsters who would take every opportunity to dethrone champ. Andrew O’Conner, Nick Sanchez and Daniel Tarapchak would be the brave soles and would not let this final go down with out a fight.
After an intense day of competition, the field of 150 was narrowed down to a mere 40. These 40 riders were the best of the best and had the chance to get a good night sleep and refuel for final day of competition!
Day 2 had all the right ingredients for a great day of competition. The finalists had rested and had a chance to re-charge their batteries. There were no excuses, the time to step up was now, which is exactly what they did.
The day kicked off with the bodyboard division. First up was the Open Female Bodyboard. With Cathy Seabert coming in the number 1 spot, the only competition left was for 2nd place. Younger sister Kara Clifford would beat her older sibling, Caitlin into 3rd place with Alyssa Mize coming in 4th place. Cathy Seabert would secure her Open Female National Title.
The Open Female Flowboard division had the crowd on their feet as any one of these girls could take the title. After an intense final it was local rider Austyn Bynon who would take gold, followed by Dee Daniels, Xana Nash and Madi Moore. Even though Xana come in 3rd, her event consistency took her to the top and would win the Open Female Flowboard season Championship title on her first year on tour.
Following the girls was the Masters divisions. Eager to get on the wave was Canadian Jason Moore. Jason had already secured the National Title, so the pressure was off, but this didn’t stop him from giving it his best effort, especially with riders like Jonathan Root, Rob Chalfant and Mike Pappalardo. Once again it proved that local knowledge was key as Jonathan Root took the gold with Jason coming in a close second followed by Mike P and Rob Chalfant. Cathy Seabert was once again fortunate to go into the Bodyboard Final with no pressure, as she had secured the National Championship title. With one gold medal on her neck Cathy was eager to get another, which is exactly what she did.
The Junior Division is our future of the sport, and so far the future looks like it’s in good hands. With riders like Jaxson Moore, who dominated the 2012 FLOW Tour by making both the Junior and Open Men’s Flowboard finals and collecting the gold in the both, the level of riding is progressing at a phenomenal rate. This helped Jaxson secure the USA National Title for both divisions, which is a first for a junior rider. Also making double division finals was young Cameron Lodge. Cameron was able to ride himself to the top of the podium in the Junior Bodyboard but got bounced to second by Chanler Lee in the Open Men’s Bodyboard. This consistency gave Cameron Lodge the National Title for Junior Bodyboard and with Brad Spencer clinching the National Title for the Open Men’s Bodyboard division.
We always say, save the best for last, which is exactly what we did. The Pro Bodyboard finals was intense, to say the least. “That was one of the most difficult finals I have ever had to judge” said head judge Greg Lazarus. “Every rider in that final deserved to win”. In the end it was Nick Nguyen, who rode seamlessly changing from regular to switch without a glitch. Nick has had a phenomenal season and ended off the tour with yet another championship. Not forgetting about the rest of the field, these youngsters have a lot of time ahead of them and I am sure Nick is looking forward to next year. Coming in a close 2nd was Andrew O’Conner, followed by to of his juniors companions, Nick Sanchez and Daniel Tarapchek.
The Pro Flowboard division was the finale. With Sean Silveira and Brad Spencer stepping into the ride tied in points, they both knew that who-ever emerged the winner would be the USA National Champion. Run after run these two gave it all they had but in the end it was Sean who dealt with the pressure the best. With few faults, Sean rode his way to his 5th USA National Title, which I am sure he would agree, did not come easily. Chuck Wright, by far one of the standouts of the season came in 2nd, followed by Brad in 3rd and Pro division rookie, Carter Wood coming in 4th.
This years Carbon FLOW Tour was by far the best yet. Every division has progressed in both numbers and skill level. We would like to say thank you to all the venues that allowed us into their space. We would like to thank all the staff that helped us make it happen. Most of all we would like to thank our sponsors. Carbon for being the 2012 title sponsor and VGT, Duece Brand, Overload, Reeflex, Super Duper Surf, FLOW and of course the riders.
SEE YOU NEXT YEAR ☺