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Like all things awesome, wakesurfing is heading like a locomotive with no breaks straight to the front of the action sports limelight due to brands like Centurion building boats that make waves to surf. This year’s World Wakesurfing Championship put on by Centurion Boats at Lake Las Vegas was without a doubt a serious case of surfing competition ready to explode. From the beautiful setting, to the wave behind the boat, to the athletes having their game face on. You were in for a treat of progression from all sides and all levels. Which for me is exactly what was rushing through my mind as I was sitting on a plane bound for Vegas.

Could you imagine staying competitive with so much money on the line? It really plays with one’s mental psyche in two ways. You’re either going to nail your job behind the boat or simply fail. Get over it, suck it up, next year. This is exactly how it was for me personally back in the day. This year I was not competing and I was nervous for the athletes. As you must bring your A game. You must stick your run down without a fall. All of which brought the stress of Friday’s qualifying when we arrived, you could feel the tension. Later that night the announcements of which athletes had made it for Saturday’s finals were dropped like a breath of fresh air for those continuing on. This is what I remembered of the 2006 World Wakesurfing Championships, the last time I competed. And that feeling still exists today.

2013, the nail biter. Skim received its 7x Champion Drew Danielo. A father, a business owner, a husband, a man possessed by the bug to win on a wave. Kids take note: it’s all possible. You can have a family and throw hammer tricks. We tip our hat to you Drew, and that’s not without saying his competition was equally fierce and talented. Each just a fall off or were a trick short. They wanted it too…

Next, surf style athlete’s. All of which I’m super proud to say was amazing to watch. When I competed back in the day this is exactly what I hoped the sport would evolve to. Tech surfing, not a lot of arm movement, no hand dragging. Poetic. If top ocean surfers saw Keenan Flegel and his run they would have been just like me, smiling and hooting. His line up of tricks back to back were hammered out, nailed down. Keenan is pushing it, surf style has come into its own with a two time Champion. Way to not buckle under pressure kid. It shows your true grit and skill and your desire to be the best.

This is my personal take, this is my accounting. Wakesurfing has never looked so amazing to watch. Each style, skim or surf, is growing in the right direction. This sport is giving our youth of tomorrow role models we can all be proud to mimic and get psyched on. This is wakesurfing. This is the sport I love. – Josh Sleigh