What is Gravel Tour?
Gravel Tour started in 1999 when watersports industry legend Herb O'Brien and Performance Ski and Surf CEO Bill Porter came together and envisioned the future of the wakeboarding industry. Around this time, the Orlando Watersports Complex, more commonly known as "OWC," was under construction. As it was being built, Herb and Bill formulated plans for a grassroots wakeboarding competition to bring out local talent at the new wakeboarding park. Bringing more riders into the sport and onto the water was their mutual goal and together they helped shape and grow the industry for the future. Since Gravel Tour's inception, it has become one of the world's leading grassroots wakeboarding competitions with riders traveling to compete from all over the world to win the coveted series title.
Not only has the Gravel Tour fostered growth of the wakeboarding industry, but it also has paved the way for many of the USA's best Professional Wakeboarding Athletes who now compete worldwide. For many of the big-named athletes you see today leading in the industry, Gravel Tour was their first wakeboarding competition that helped shape their riding careers.
"Gravel tour was a huge factor on my career in wakeboarding, not only did it allow me to understand the pressure of a contest at a young age, but it also gave me the chance to shine in front of an audience and potential sponsors."
Gravel Tour is a 5-event competition split into age brackets for wakeboarding competitors to come out and show off their best and latest tricks. The events take place in Orlando, Florida at the Orlando Watersports complex.
"My favorite part about hosting the Gravel Tour is seeing the progress of the riders. When I look at the historical photos of the riders who have grown up at our events and gone on to be the world's elite riders, I take a great deal of pride in knowing that they started with us. Beyond that, Gravel Tour is a family friendly event so getting to see families come out together and celebrate being outside and on the water with their friends and kids is really rewarding."
-Bill Porter, CEO Performance Ski and Surf