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The third annual Personal Best Contest was held on Saturday, September 24. There is not a better way wrap up the wakeboarding season at Lake of the Ozarks. This is a very special event we host. It is here that we give our customers an opportunity to wakeboard/wakesurf for a cause. All proceeds went towards supporting the continued recoveries of professional wakeboarder, Brad Smeele and professional wake skater, Matt Manzari.

Why We Ride for a Cause

Both Matt and Brad suffered life changing injuries in 2014. Matt Manzari was electrocuted by 14,000 volts while trimming trees for one of his local churches. Brad Smeele shattered his C4 vertebrae attempting to land a double tantrum to blind on the mega ramp at Lake Ronix. They hype goes away after awhile, but these men are still left with tests, therapy, and bills. We are so blessed to be able to continue to support their recoveries.

The Contest Format

The contest features Kirby’s signature contest format. Riders are judged on how close they get to accomplishing their predetermined, personal best runs. The contestant that gets the closest to accomplishing their personal best is crowed the winner of each division. Registration is all online making it simple to sign up. Practice pulls are offered the morning of the contest which allow participants to work with Kirby to prepare their contest runs.

The Perfect Day for a Contest

This year, ten participants came to wakeboard for a cause. The day is based out of Wake Effects, the local pro shop, and the contest is held in the State Park Cove at the Lake of the Ozarks. Each year we encourage families to cove out for the day and watch the contest. We love that it creates community and connects our wakeboarding customers together. It’s really special seeing everyone coming together…chatting and hanging out on a warm fall lake day.

Participants and their families were able to enter to win raffles whose proceeds went to supporting Matt and Brad. This year there were two raffles. The first was a BEAUTIFUL gift basket bursting with Starbucks goodies, generously donated by Nancy Siemer and won by Mrs. Paulette Spriggs. The second was a Ronix Spaceblanket Wakeboard, donated by Wake Effects. The wakeboard will continue to be raffled with the winner announced at the 2017 Personal Best Contest. Please email Sydney Liesmann at sydney@kirbysschoolofwake for information on how you can enter to win.

Contest Results

After a gorgeous day on the water, everyone met back at Wake Effects for a barbecue and awards. The winners of each division were as follows:

Wake Surfing Division:

  1. Kelcey Lueck
  2. Jake Lueck
  3. Brody Spriggs

Wakeboard Beginner Division

  1. Brody Spriggs
  2. Nolan Chamberlain
  3. Nathan Chamberlain

Wakeboard Expert Division

  1. Aidan Siemer
  2. Kirby Liesmann

Thank You for Making a Difference

Thank you to all of our participants and everyone who made generous contributions. Each one matters. We were able to raise $680.38 total for Brad and Matt this year. We are extremely grateful to have such generous clients. You all have such big hearts! Thank you for being a part of this special event. You made a difference.

If you would like to donate to Matt Manzari or Brad Smeele, you can give online at the following websites: