Grand Rapids Hosts Inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown

Summertime in West Michigan is synonymous with water. And over the years, the state’s countless lakes have produced numerous standout waterskiers and wakeboarders, including Pinckney native and professional rider Mike Dowdy. He will have his hands full protecting his home turf this summer as the best riders in the world converge at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids on Saturday, Aug. 8 for the inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown, part of the World of X Games series on ABC.

Photo credit: Bradley Rutledge/Alliance Multimedia 

 Through a collaboration between MasterCraft Boats and ESPN/World of X Games, the invite-only event showcases the biggest names on the water in head-to-head elimination heats vying for the largest cash purse in competitive watersports. This will be a unique opportunity for West Michigan residents to get an up-close-and-personal look at the best wakeboarders and waterskiers on the planet. (Check out this YouTube video for a sneak peek of what to expect.) The athlete roster is a “who’s who” of watersports with numerous X Games medalists, World Champions and Masters Champions, as well as up-and-comers from around the globe representing Australia, Japan, Italy and Canada. 

More than just a spectator-friendly event, the festival-like atmosphere of the MasterCraft Throwdown is an interactive experience celebrating the energy of action water sports. Gregg Godfrey, founder of Nitro Circus, is producing the event – so in addition to a wakeboarding competition and skiflying world-record attempt by long-distance waterski-jumping legend Freddy Krueger, there will be zany antics such as waterslide “slip ‘n’ fly” stunts, hydroskimming motorcycles, and even flying unicorns.  Wakeboarding legend and action sports superstar Parks Bonifay also will emcee the competition.


As with most events featured on the World of X Games, the star power will spill over from the competition to the stage as country music star Kip Moore (known for hits like “I’m to Blame,” “Hey Pretty Girl” and “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck”) sings a guest performance following the competition.

This may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for amateur wakeboarders and waterskiers in West Michigan to rub shoulders with the world’s best riders.

For further information including how to purchase tickets, visit

If you are unable to attend the MasterCraft Throwdown at Millennium Park, you can also catch the action on ABC’s World of X Games beginning at 2:30pm ET.


Photos courtesy of MasterCraft unless otherwise specified. 

Aarne Clow
Guest Blogger
Aarne is team and event manager for MasterCraft Boats.

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