Phil Soven: taking the Malibu WWA Pro Card lead

Phil Soven was the first leader of the newly created World Wakeboard Association Wakeboard World Rankings and Malibu WWA Pro Card concept. After the second season event, Harley Clifford takes first place.

Only two events in to the 2013 World Wakeboard Association (WWA) season, there's already a familiar fight for the top spot that has all the makings of another season-long rivalry, with some budding superstars in the making.

Now, Harley Clifford earned global bragging rights – at least until the next scheduled World Ranking contest – edging out Phil Soven for top spot atop the initial 2013 WWA World Rankings List – a multi-year, cumulative ranking from all major WWA Pro events around the world.

Dean Smith moves up to fifth, with his second-place podium finish behind Clifford at last weekend's Wake Games in Orlando. Making the biggest advancement in the rankings is Tony Carroll, moving six places up to ninth, from fifteenth.

The first, freshly-minted Malibu WWA Pro Card member is Jeff Langley, who earned his pro card at the Freedom Wake Park Malibu Pro Card qualifying event in Orlando on April 11. Langley then used his Pro Card membership to make a run into the finals at Wake Games, charging up the WWA standings to 25th in the World.

Rookie Mike Dowdy had a solid start to his pro career at Wake Games, making him the highest-ranking rookie on the list.

Before the introduction of the Pro Card concept, it was up to the individual rider to choose "pro" or "amateur" status in any competition.

While clearly a benefit to the Amateur to compete in a Pro event, it also allowed riders with less advanced skills to compete against the world elite in the same contest, diluting the talent pool.

The all-new Malibu Boats Pro Card legitimizes elite-level riders and encourages them to set a higher standard of riding at professional contests.

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