Fry Street will be shut down for an unexpected sight Oct. 20.
Two tanks filled with 55,000 gallons of water will be connected by rails and a cable system to pull professional wakeboarders from one tank to another.
Wakepoolooza is an event designed to raise awareness for the sport and to let the Denton community know that the University of North Texas has a wakeboarding team.
“A lot of people don’t know about the program,” said Justin Troth, 24, president of the UNT wakeboard team, who will compete with the professionals.
This is his last year on the UNT team because he will be graduating in May with a business degree. He’s been in the sport for 10 years and he rides competitively for CWB Board Co.
“The sport is new and upcoming,” Troth said. “Anybody can enjoy it.”
The first lesson of wakeboarding is getting up, Troth said. From there, a wakeboarder focuses on the fundamentals of jumping, then works up to performing aerial rotations and inverts, he said.
“Everything builds off of another,” he said.
The UNT team, which has 15 to 20 members, practices at Ray Roberts Lake.
The members participate in boat wakeboarding, which is different from the rail-and-cable riding that people can see at the event, Troth said.
The difference, he said, is that a boat makes the wake for the wakeboarders to jump and there is no wake in cable wakeboarding.
Instead, cable wakeboarders use rails and kickers, or jumps, to perform stunts, he said.
Troth has been working with his coach on cable wakeboarding for the past few weeks so he can participate in Wakepoolooza.
There are several wakeboarding facilities in the Fort Worth area, including Cowtown Wakepark, Texas Mastercraft Wake Park, Hydrous Wake Park in Allen, and WakeSport Ranch just outside Fort Worth.
Matt Edmondson, with Synergy Reps, an action sports manufacturer sales and promotion agency, is working with the Fry Street Tavern and UNT team to host the event.
Synergy Reps offers the students discounts on boards.
“It’s an expensive sport,” he said.
After covering the cost of the event from sponsors, the rest of the money will go to the team, Edmondson said.
It will help pay for competition expenses, he said. The trip the team took to nationals cost about $3,000 and the university gave the team $1,000.
The team will have a booth at the event.
Florida-based Step Up Productions will bring the wakeboard facility to Denton.
“They specialize in doing these events,” Edmondson said.
The company does rail jams for boat shows as well as setting up portable rail facilities in different cities, including on Sixth Street in Austin, he said.
It will take about six hours to fill the tanks, he said.
Wakepoolooza will open with a rail jam session and it will be followed by a competition from 7 to 10:30 p.m. There also will be a bikini contest, Edmondson said. About 15 professional wakeboarders will be competing Oct. 20.
Natasha Hume, co-owner of The Fry Street Tavern and APC Events, said she’s grateful to the city for its willingness to close Fry Street for the event.
She encourages people to bring out their families and learn more about the sport.
RACHEL MEHLHAFF can be reached at 940-566-6889. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org .
• When: 3 to 10:30 p.m. Oct. 20
• Where: Fry Street
• Details: Free. For more information on the University of North Texas wakeboarding team, visit http://recsports.unt.edu/sportclubs/wakeboarding .