Yung guns take the helm in the comeback of LAO’s

The LANGENFELD OPEN presented by Liquid Force 2022 provides the first highlight of the still young season. And everyone agrees: it was more than just a wakeboard contest!

The third edition of the LANGENFELD OPEN presented by Liquid Force is in the books and proofed once again to be a cornerstone of competitive wakeboarding. Riders from 15 countries battled it out on the setup of UNIT hacks combined with wave breakers. Unstoppable was Claudia Pagnini (ITA) and Trent Stuckey (USA), taking the win with jaw dropping riding. 

With the Langenfeld Open, Wasserski Langenfeld as the world’s biggest wakeboard site is once again stepping up the game of wakepark competitions. With 62 riders from all over the world and 10.000$ of prizemoney for grabs, the show was on in front of a crowd of 3800 spectators. 

Already the qualification rounds showcased, that there are some up and coming riders, that are eager to challenge the established world ranked riders this season. The LAO course and judging criteria demanded the highest level in every aspect of riding. From technical rail hits, big kicker tricks to air tricks in the flat section. 

Full house and a fierce setup - we have been waiting for this sight from lane 1 in Langenfeld for the last three years | Photo: Lehnert

In the womens division 16 year old Rivers Hedrick (USA) made her mark, by advancing into the k.o. round with ease and even eliminating Katinka Buiting in the round of 8 to find herself in the superfinal against Anna Nikstad (USA), Claudia Pagnini (ITA) and Salome Le Ly (FRA). 

Throughout the contest the camaraderie, joy and support for one another was always perceptible and showed the essence of wakeboarding together. Nevertheless, the women rode fearless, and creative to put on an ecstatic show for the crowd. 

For the top of the podium, there was no way around Claudia who owned the course of the Langenfeld Open for the entire day. In second place it was Salome Le Ly and Anna Nikstad completed the podium. 

The judges' view of Claudia's action on the water ...
... and the happy Italian at the award ceremony | Photos: Lehnert

The men’s qualification already demanded full commitment and risk of the athletes to have a shot at the k.o. round of the top 16. In the head to head match ups the show was on and the knowledgeable crowd witness some never before seen riding. Creative minds like Konni Lehndorff (GER), and Trent Stuckey (USA) showed, that their trick arsenal is just bottomless. 

Also the young guns Loic Deschaux (FRA) and Nils Ritzmann (GER) put up an incredible show in their battle for the superfinal. In the end it was Loic and Trent who made it to the superfinal. They got joined by Busty Dunn (AUS) and Joe Battleday (GBR). In the superfinal, Trent managed to step up his game and took the win in front of Loic and Joe in third. 

Konni Lehndorff inspires the audience | Photo: Zonne
Trent Stuckey had the most reason to grin on the podium | Photo: Lehnert

If you missed the event or want to experience it again, you should check out the highlight edit now. Steffen Vollert has once again done a great job. MUST WATCH!

And there is also a whole gallery full of pictures by Chris Lehnert, Justine Zonne and Jonas Speck to admire.

The LANGENFELD OPEN presented by Liquid Force was definitely a really strong start into the contest season in Europe. Chapeau to the team of Wasserski Langenfeld and UNIT Parktech, who created a great setup and a top event.

It also seems to be clear that you have to get used to some new names and faces on the podium. The young generation is stepping up the game and challenging the girls and guys who have dominated the action in the past. Exciting!