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2018 #PassTheHandle Day: Get Involved


Now in its fifth year, #PassTheHandle will continue to inspire first-timers to experience the thrill of towed water sports on July 22, 2018.

Founded by industry icons Zane Schwenk and Shaun Murray, #PassTheHandle is rooted in their passion for gliding across the water, with the mission of sharing this with others. The concept has quickly grown into the largest participation movement in our industry through social media, word of mouth, and several key promoters.


Last year, Jimmy Lariche pulled over 100 riders throughout the Northeast before continuing his journey to Nashville for more demos and #PassTheHandle opportunities.


One key individual who makes a huge difference through the #PassTheHandle movement is Robby Maschhaupt, recipient of the #PassTheHandle Award at the 2017 Wake Awards. For years, Robby has been teaching hundreds of people how to wakesurf, and this year he also has huge plans to continue sharing this sport with others. With the support of Southtown Watersports, Robby has 75 #PassTheHandle events scheduled for this season with an average of six riders signed up for each event. Quick math: That’s 450 people. Knowing Robby though, he’ll probably sneak in an extra 100 or so on his “days off.”


Some newcomers showing their stoke after a #PassTheHandle event, hosted by Robby Maschhaupt and Tanner Lawson.


With all of that boat time, you can well imagine that Robby is a busy man. However, he did find a minute to hop on the phone with us (post-#PassTheHandle event of course). For Robby, #PassTheHandle feels like it has given him a unique purpose. He not only teaches hundreds of people how to get up on a board each and every year, but he also finds importance in “teaching those people how to pay it forward and #PassTheHandle to others as well.”


Trevor Hansen snapped this photo of his daughter and her friend last year on #PassTheHandle Day, saying, “It’s amazing for me to see my love for wakeboarding and the water being absorbed by my daughters and them passing it along to there friends. Watching the excitement of people being towed behind the boat for the first time is why I love coaching so much. That smile and joy is what #PassTheHandle is all about. If you love our sport, don’t forget to share your passion with others.”


Robby firmly believes that the #PassTheHandle concept is all about bringing smiles to peoples’ faces and introducing them to something new and exciting, but he also thinks it’s important for industry leaders and athletes to remember that this movement was really introduced as a way to grow our sports. “That’s why it’s so crucial for riders and companies to get involved and go out of their way to #PassTheHandle,” Robby says. “At the end of the day, this initiative is helping preserve their livelihood and all of our sports that we love so much.”


For 2017 #PassTheHandle, Shawn Watson spend his day with the Wake For Warriors crew. He had the special privilege of teaching these wounded vets and heroes about our sports. “It was a humbling experience being around these guys with everything they’ve been through and seeing how stoked they were to get out behind the boat!”


The Water Sports Industry Association highly encourages everyone who can to get involved, even if it’s just teaching a single person to get up on a board or ride on a tube. Sharing the love of towed water sports is very rewarding, and those involved look forward to it each year. If you have any questions regarding #PassTheHandle, e-mail ten.aisw@ofni.


The crew at Cobra Wake Park in Asunción, Paraguay took it upon themselves to #PassTheHandle with a slew of new riders last year.


Words: Emily Dale


Teach one or more first-timers (to ride, ski, tube, etc.) on July 22, 2018 and share your photos and videos on social media with the hashtag: #PassTheHandle


Obrien Watersports showing us how #PassTheHandle is done in style!


DEALERS, WAKE PARKS, SCHOOLS (and other ambitious individuals):

Take it to the next level and create your own #PassTheHandle event. Be sure to use our member benefits including WAIVERS and valuable advice found in WSIA’s EVENT MANAGEMENT RESOURCE GUIDE.



WSIA is able to grant seed money to wake parks and schools to fuel #PassTheHandle events where first-timers learn for free! Help us continue to grow our annual participation drive with a donation to the #PassTheHandle initiative!

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