Just when you thought stand-up jet skiing was gone and buried in the 1980s, it turns out there are still professional competitions. The nation’s largest, the 33rd annual International Jet Sport Boating Association’s World Finals, takes place Oct 11.
Still going strong after all these years, the event features massive spectacles of flips, tricks, spouts and spraying water, also a decent amount of showboating and incredible thrills all in the shadow of London Bridge at Lake Havasu along the Arizona-California border.
Since 1982, the IJSBA World Finals has happened each October. It’s a 10-day event. The event attracts nearly 6,000 spectators and hundreds of the world’s best personal watercraft racers from more than 50 nations. The association likes to boast that “only the Olympic Games have more individual nations represented at a single venue.”
The World Finals kick off Sunday, Oct. 11, with an exhibition show of the sports finest stunt tricksters.
The Finals include closed-course racing with a starting line of personal water craft dashing towards a first-turn buoy and navigating several laps through a buoy course. There is also a freestyle competition, where athletes demonstrate tricks and stunts during short routines, with a panel of judges rendering scores.
It’s like figure skating, except with Metallica two stroke smoke, ripping loudness and aerial acrobatics that can only be possible with pure musclebound jetboat behavior. For those watersport speed-o-philes among us, there can be no better place to be.
It’s kind of a thing.
The event is so prestigious, at least within the circles, that only invited competitors can participate. Of course also the event takes place in the party central of Arizona: the notorious Lake Havasu City.
So get out there, get ready, and prepare to be amazed.