This is the biggest news in the sport of wakeboarding for quite some time: wakeboarding makes its return to X-Games after an 11 year complete absence. While the 2015 Summer X-Games won’t feature a live wake event, wakeboarding makes it return via the Real Series, made popular by titles such as Real Snow, Real Skate and Real Ski. Real Wake will feature 8 riders teamed up with a filmer attempting to produce the best video with Mastercraft stepping up as the main sponsor. While no names have been released, it’s rumored that Canadian Raph Derome, Aaron Rathy and Rusty Malinoski will be in the mix. Online voting will begin July 15th. Mastercraft have also announced a made for TV event called the Mastercraft Throwdown which will take place on August 8th. Read the full press release on Real Wake and the Mastercraft Throwdown.

Two of the most progressive names in action sports, MasterCraft Boats and ESPN’s X Games, have announced a renewed collaboration providing an entirely new platform to showcase the latest, boundary-pushing athletes in both wakeboarding and waterskiing. MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft will debut as part of the World of X Games series on ABC this summer.

The invitation-only, inaugural MasterCraft Throwdown is set to take place at Millennium Park in Grand Rapids, MI on August 8 with thousands of spectators anticipated to attend and watersports enthusiasts everywhere able to watch live via the telecast on ABC. Upping the ante from traditional event formats, this first-of-its-kind competition will pit the best wakeboard athletes in the world in head-to-head elimination heats with the added pressure of a “one run, fall-and-you’re-done” format forcing riders to pull out their best tricks.

Boasting the largest single event cash purse in the history of competitive wakeboarding, theMasterCraft Throwdown will showcase some of the biggest names on the water today including top-ranked pros, past X Games medalists, Pro Wakeboard Tour Champions and World Champions.

“MasterCraft has long been at the forefront of progression in watersports from the company’s initial roots in competitive waterskiing to its current role reinvigorating the landscape of wakeboarding competitions,” said Terry McNew, President and CEO of MasterCraft Boats. “ESPN and the World of X Games will serve as the perfect platform to showcase the amazing athletes currently pushing the limits of the sport and expose the future of watersports to a global audience.”

Tickets for MasterCraft Throwdown will be available for purchase beginning Wednesday, May 6 at 1 p.m. ET at www.mastercraftthrowdown.com. Additional details on the event including invited athletes, music and entertainment will be announced at a later date.

In anticipation of the August event, World of X Games will add the first-ever Real Wake Driven by MasterCraftcompetition to the previously announced lineup of Real Series competitions. A video-based competition, Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft will feature eight pairs of wakeboarding’s top athletes and filmers producing original videos highlighting their unique styles. All eight videos will drop July 15 on XGames.com/RealWake where fans can view each segment and vote for their favorite. The competition will culminate in a one hour World of X Games program airing July 25 on ABC, highlighting the top five riders.

“We are thrilled to have wakeboarding back as part of the World of X Games,” said Tim Reed, vice president, X Games. “The MasterCraft Throwdown and Real Wake Driven by MasterCraft are both perfect and exciting opportunities for us to work with the leading boat brand to develop a brand new progressive event and compelling video series for the industry and its fans.”

World of X Games is a weekly program on ABC which features a variety of X Games and action sports athlete-focused content. For the most updated telecast schedule and information on World of X Games, go to www.xgames.com. Check local listings for additional details.