Arguably 2002’s breakout junior rider is Tino Santori
from Colorado. Tino won the Vans Triple Crown Junior National title
in Ft. Worth, TX and then went on to win the prestigious and
coveted U.S. OPEN Wakeboard crown in Altamonte Springs, FL against
the world’s best 18 riders. Tino went head to head with
veteran tour winner Darin Shapiro and had an amazing final round
throwing two wake-to-wake 720’s and a wake-to-wake 900.
What makes Tino’s first pro event win even more amazing is
the fact that this was his first pro event he ever entered.
Tino failed to make it through the challenge round but won
the LCQ to make the final spot in the main draw.
Tino, 18 years old, hails from Greenwood Village in Denver
and has grown up riding with his family at Empire reservoir in
Wiggins, Colorado where his family camped every weekend.
Tino’s dad has been an active boater all his life and
the Santori family take annual houseboat trips to Lake Powell, Utah
as well as an annual summer vacation to Pearl Lake, Wisconsin, home
state of World Champion Erik Ruck.
Tino has cut his riding teeth training in Colorado
behind a Tigé 21v Riders Edition. He formed a close
friendship with Tige’s Colorado dealer, Bill and Donna
Bistline from Waterski Specialty, Tigé’s number five
dealer worldwide in 2002. “Tino has always been
special, and a rider we really wanted to grow with Tigé, so
we are especially excited he has been invited to ride for
Tigé and join the elite ranks of Team Tigé”
commented Bill Bistline owner of Wakeboard/Waterski
Specialty. “It’s especially fun having a hometown
boy making a name amongst the best riders in the world. Tino
joining the Tigé team has really been a natural progression
as he has really developed his riding ability and style behind a
Tigé, by choice, for the majority of his amateur career.
Tino and his family really fit in well with our family
atmosphere and customers, we are so proud to have him part of the
Tigé family” said Donna Bistline.
Tino has a strong snowboard background, instructing
snowboarding in the Winter Park ski area. He has flipped
burgers at Mc Donald’s which taught him what he does not want
to do with his life. Tino has taught skiing and riding at his
local water ski lake and honed his skills in the INT league going
on to INT Nationals. Tino finished the 2002 Junior year
ranked fourth and then stomped the Triple Crown event to
“Tino winning the U.S. OPEN was amazing. We
had signed Tino a month earlier based on his relationship with
Waterski Specialty and after long conversations with his family
about Tino’s long term goals and family support” said
Brett Thurley, Vice President of Tige Boats. “The fact
that Tino trained behind a Tigé in his formative years of
riding was key to a long term future with us, but even more
importantly is the fact that our team unanimously wanted Tino on
board. Every now and then riders come along that really fit
our team concept and goals and choose Tigé boats to bank the
rest of their riding career on. This has been the case with
Erik, Keith and now Tino and I see we have the future of the sport
together under one roof. It’s very exciting from a
riding standpoint but also from design and input to have the
hottest new riders working with Tige.
Tino’s next event will be the IWSF World Wakeboard
Championships in Rio de Janeiro December 5-8 where Tigé is
the Official Towboat.