Influence: Drew Danielo
As I look back over the past 11 years and see how far wake surfing has come it makes me smile. There some things that need work but mostly wakesurfing is alive and thriving.
2003, Lake Yosemite in Merced, Ca. about 50 people showed up for the 2003 World Wakesurf Championship. Of these 50 people most had not seen much surfing behind a boat. But we all showed up and competed, had a blast, and made new friends. No one there was a “wakesurfer” there were skim boarders, ocean surfers, wake boarders, and just water enthusiast.
Fast forward 11 years. Now there are numerous companies sponsoring “wakesurfers.” We have a full qualifying tour to get to the big dance at the end of the year. All the boat companies are players now in the game. Board companies have popped up all over and families are spending there summers traveling together to compete. Not just so the kids can compete. A lot of families are all competing. Mom and Dad are out there tearing it up. This brings me to the upside of our sport. Families spending time together on the water. It doesn’t get better than that.
Contest are like big family reunions. Everyone looking forward to showing up and seeing all their friends and riding together. Amatuer riders from 6 year old Zoey Montgomery are out there tearing it up and smiling from ear to ear. Mom’s like Judy Walker are at most events not only beating some of the old guys in the water but giving to help keep events running smoothly. And they do this all while standing side by side with the top riders in the sport. You cannot go to the little league field and hang out with Derek Jeter (not comparing ourselves to Derek Jeter just saying) but I hope you get the picture. Overall the summer season is full of traveling, fun and competition.
This brings me to my biggest hang ups. With all these young up and coming riders hanging out with the top professionals of wakesurfing it’s time these athletes start to act like professionals on and off the water. Now when I say professional I mean, professional riders, team managers, sponsors, and anyone associated in a higher position to push wake surfing. These young kids are our future and they look up to all of us. Whether it is right after a good or bad run on the dock, that evening at a dinner, or what they see on the social network. It’s time to hold ourselves to a higher standard and act like professionals. I challenge everyone to be a better role model for our kids, and the future of our sport. Lets keep it clean and keep it fun so little Johnny’s Mom and Dad want him to be at all these events and in our sport.
We all love to ride rope less. Surf every chance you get, teach every person you can, and never forget why we all started, BECAUSE IT IS FUN!