• Tanner Thomas Wins World Championship! | Pro Rider Watercraft Magazine

    Tanner Thomas Wins World Championship!

    Tanner Thomas Wins World Championship!

    Story & Photos: Tanner Thomas

    Without a doubt I knew that this email would be longer than the previous season update emails I have sent. With my smiles a mile long the amount of pride and thanks to express to you all indescribable.

    After the Blowsion Surf Slam event, the TC Freeride Rickter Crew teamed up with Antoine Mortoire to film the amazing new Rickter RRP video.

    Rickter RRP Video

    From there it was a mad rush to assemble all the new parts and pieces of my new Rickter XFS Competition build for world finals at the TC Freeride shop.

    With the hard work and help from Rick Roy of RRP, Tom at Hot Products, Mark Gomez, Kyle at Dasa Racing, Glen at Skat Trak, Vikrom at Rickter and Taylor of TC Freeride all the components of this special build came together in just the right time for a day and a half complete build!

    Taylor Curtis worked hard all weekend with me to finish this ski in time to leave for Havasu training. Jherico Kaiser also came and pitched in at the TC Freeride shop in the efforts of building the ski. Mitch Toevs of Toevs Welding even gave a hand in making this ski as light and perfect as possible.

    This was the 3rd Rickter XFS build of the year for me and they continually improved every single time. With the knowledge and support of Hiro “Ninja”, Rick Roy, Taylor Curtis, Kyle Kennedy, and Glen Perry our equipment has reached a whole new level. I am very proud to pilot such equipment.

    To get a taste of how my busy builds start check out this video of the Rickter Factory!!

    With a quick test at the TC Freeride test pond we were all very excited about the results of everyones hard work. Minimal tuning and testing, mainly just riding! After that it was time to pack up and start driving to Las Vegas.

    In Vegas I picked up my good friend and mechanic from Japan, Hiroyuki Ogino. The “Ninja” and I made it down to Havasu that same evening with a big load of some amazing skis and race gas! Hiro came so prepared to help me it was unreal. Hiro is known as one of the best if not the best mechanic in freestyle jetskis. The way he thinks is much different from myself and together we make a great team.

    Lake Havasu is one of my most favorite places I’ve ever been. NOTHING like riding in refreshing water that just seems like the perfect temperature but it being nice and hot to get out of the water to.

    Even though Hiro and I put up with some cooler weather and a bit of rain, the week training by ourselves went very well and Hiro was able to dial in my ski to its true full potential. Such a pleasure to get to work with Hiro and have his support preparing for the ultimate goal. Thank you Hiro.

    Soon Taylor Curtis and Jherico Kaiser of TC Freeride arrived in Havasu as well as Rick Roy, Yves Carignan and Jose Leger of RRP arrived. We have a great area of condos all together that allow us to stick together as a team and be as best prepared for world finals as we can.

    It was also great to have a friend and riding partner of mine Chris Anyzeski stopping by and working on his equipment as well as riding hard burnin race gas with me!

    Soon after my boy Mark Gomez got into town to juggle his racing schedule along with helping me train and ride.

    Time really flies by when your trying to improve yourself. Before I knew it it was the morning of competition and I didn’t feel completely ready. I had a wonderful morning ride with Rick Roy there to coach me. We had a great talk and decided that I was capable of great riding and that even though I personally didn’t feel prepared, I was as prepared as I could be and it was time to have some fun and ride my own ride.

    That afternoon that is exactly what I did. I went out and even though I had a few small bobbles in my run that changed the trick plans, I prevailed on through and rode my own ride.

    With 4 more riders to go I was in the lead.

    Waiting anxiously for the other riders to go I felt as though I could have done better and I was a little hard on myself, being nervous. But as the other riders went through my hopes strengthened. “and your 2015 Amateur Freestyle World Champion is…. Tann..” WAHOOO!!!!! everyone around me picked me up and cheered and wow it was an indescribable experience to say the least. Every single person that helped me this season, starting from even my broken ankle, every person had a big or small role in that moment and it truly was magical. Dreams really do come true

    Here is a very special video made by Dasher to captures all of this whole story.

    Thanks to some amazing people this year, family, friends and sponsors.

    My Mom and Dad for always being there and enjoying my success with me and helping me through my failures.

    Mark Gomez for putting up with me at my worst and partying with me at my best.

    Taylor Curtis for helping with so many jetski projects and also being such a good friend

    Hiro Ogino for helping make my equipment next level and being a great friend

    Rick Roy for helping with my riding and believing in me enough to help with 3 skis

    Dasher for a wonderful video made up super fast at world finals

    Jherico Kaiser for being a great friend and helping with race fuel

    Jo Rosa #shefeedsme

    Mark Johnson for supporting me in person and being there for the big win

    Dawn and Dave of KMG for always supporting the smile and having a good time

    Rickter for working so hard and making the best quality skis on the planet

    BAM for amazing local Alaska support that has been such a key ingredient in getting me here

    Tyler Rental for believing in my dreams just as much as I did and supporting me to reach them

    Dasa Racing for working so hard on engines all year to raise the bar and get back on top

    TC Freeride for building skis, good advice, and a friendship that I honored to have

    Alaska Diesel Power for supporting my dreams and giving me words of wisdom to charge through life by

    Skat Trak for working so hard to make sure I have the best products in my hands as fast as possible

    Alaska Marine Lines for getting my equipment to and from Alaska, what a huge deal that is for my program

    Dawson Construction for allowing me to leave work and supporting me achieve my incredible dreams

    JetLift for helping my journey through this amazing life with the ease and style of your products

    Sign Pro for supporting in the very important decal, business cards, logos and poster side of my promotions

    JetPilot for always getting me the slick new gear to match my skis and make me dressed to impress on the water

    KMG Racing for being a racing family that adopted a freestyle rider and supporting me all season

    Mystik Lubricants for developing and supplying such a top notch quality product I enjoy using

    K-H2O for believing in my dream and making the effort to support it

    Hoyt Enterprises for helping me through tough times and giving me the support to not give up

    Sourdough Tactical for being great stop after work and supporting my dreams

    So many people to thank. This has been my biggest season of jetskiing yet, with the biggest accomplishments of my life. I work construction to make dreams like this come true and for me this is like receiving a bachelors degree. This is what I worked hard to achieve and now know that ANYTHING I set my sights on is possible. Thank you to all my sponsors for making what I could not have done myself possible. Thank you for being a part of my life

    -Tanner “Tanman” Thomas



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