U.S. Wakeboarding athletes Dallas Friday and Cathy Williams and Wakeboarding official Janifer Ellis will be formally enshrined into the International Waterski & Wakeboard Hall of Fame during the USA Water Ski & Wake Sports Foundation Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on Saturday, April 6, 2024.
The IWWF International Hall of Fame recognizes, appreciates, and understands the incredible contribution each recipient has made to their discipline, community, clubs, federations, confederations, the world, and the IWWF.
The IWWF Hall of Fame can be seen in its entirety in our museum in Davenport, Florida, or online at https://iwwf.sport/international-hall-of-fame/
Dallas Friday is the "winningest female wakeboarder in history," according to ESPN.
Dallas' trophy case includes the ESPY award for Best Female Action Sports Athlete, Four-time X-Games Gold medalist, and numerous World Titles. Dallas was also a featured character in the video game "Wakeboarding Unleashed" and a cartoon character in Disney's popular show "Kim Possible."
Dallas began wakeboarding at 13 years old and began competing at a professional level in her first year of wakeboarding. In her rookie season, she captured the prestigious Americas Cup title and won silver at the 2000 X Games, where she was the youngest competitor. At 14, Dallas captured the Gold at the ESPN X-Games and the NBC Gravity Games. In 2001, Dallas won the World Cup at age 15. She also captured first-place finishes in the 2001 Malibu Open, the first two Pro tour stops, the Vans Triple Crown Ford Ranger Pro, Cable Wakeboarding Nationals, and the X-cup. In the 2003-2004 season, Dallas won every pro event but one. In 2005, she accomplished a three-peat in winning Gold at the X-Games.
Dallas was awarded the "Born to Lead Award" by Cosmo Magazine in 2005. In 2006, she won the World, Nationals, Masters, and Pro Tour Championships and was awarded the coveted ArbVs Action Sports Award for Best Female Athlete. In 2007, Dallas dominated the overseas Wakeboarding World Cup events by remaining undefeated. In the 2008-2009 season, Dallas dominated the podium, winning the coveted "Queen of Wake" Title, as well as the World Title after a fantastic year. In 2009, Dallas placed 1st in the World Games in Taiwan and 2nd in the China World Cup. She was named in the "Top 25 Celebrities" in Central Florida and "Best Name" by Orlando Weekly Magazine.
Dallas was voted ten years in a row the fan favorite in Wakeboarding Magazine readers’ poll. In 2010, Dallas suffered severe injuries that required two years of rehab, causing her to miss the 2011 season. In 2012, she returned to the sport she loved and won the 2013 World Championships. In 2014, Dallas won the Malibu Cancun Pro, WakeStock Canada, and WakeFest Tennessee. In 2015, she saw the podium at every event, winning the Australian Moomba Masters, WakeFest, and The Tokyo Pro.
Janifer Ellis has been an Official in the 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019 IWWF Wakeboard World Championships. 1995 through to 2017, she was an Executive Board Member for USA and IWWF Wakeboard. She was also a Board Member on the PanAm Council and the Wakeboarding Team Selection Committee.
Janifer was a scorer and Judge at the PanAm Games for Cable Wakeboarding, USA Wakeboarding, USA Wakeboard Nationals, and USA Wakeboard Collegiate National Championships. Some of Janifer’s accomplishments include Raising funds for US Wakeboard teams and creating the first Wakeboard Scoring System.
Cathy Williams has been a solid member of the IWWF Wakeboard Community and has developed the sport to where it is today. 1994 would start the first glimpse into the water sports world for Cathy, working at Performance Ski & Surf. In 1998, a little late into the game, at 27 years old, she started competing on the European Pro Tour and training at Waterski Club Ravenna in Cervia, Italy, with the support and guidance of Thomas Gustafson.
Cathy made the tough decision in 2000 to compete in the first IWWF (then IWSF events) World Wakeboard Event. This was at a time when there was another commercial organization promoting wakeboarding under its banner and its own ‘World’ Championships. She faced much scrutiny and heavy criticism from the wakeboard community in the USA, including the industry. However, she endured and paved the way for professional wakeboarders to compete in IWWF events. Not to mention, she was the IWWF World Open Women’s Champion in 2001 in South Africa.
The following ten years would take Cathy worldwide, competing on many world stages; midway through her career, she was sidelined with a Torn ACL. Determined not to be landlocked, she created the first woman-owned and operated Wakeboard Clinic Road Tour, Live2Ride Wakeboard Lifestyle. Cathy was the first woman to have her own Wakeboard Road Tour. She drove her sponsored Chevy Avalanche towing her 24-foot Tige Boat with all the toys, wakeboards, surfboards, snowboards, dirt bikes, and mountain bikes. She negotiated sponsor deals, managed the road tour, and scheduled and facilitated clinics—a one-woman show driving all over the USA and Canada, sharing her passion for wakeboarding. Cathy continued to focus more on promoting the sport. She enjoyed being involved in growing the grassroots by hosting clinics, writing articles for magazines, and filming for shows.
Cathy continues to teach wakeboarding and is the current President of USA Wakeboard. She also sits on the board of USA Water Ski & Wakes Sports and the IWWF World Wakeboard Council (WWC).
We are so happy to celebrate this honor with these three incredible wakeboarding legends! We hope you will join us! To buy tickets or find hotels visit https://www.usa-wwf.org/2024-hall-of-fame