Wakeboarding team readies for upcoming season

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Photographs by Brandon Foster

With eight years of experience under its belt, the Chico State wakeboarding team is primed for another year of shredding the wake.

The team, which was formed in 2006 and won the 2012 Collegiate Wakeboard National Championship, is hard at work this offseason to get back into competition form.

“(The) team has always been really good, in the top five nationally,” said Eric Christensen, one of the original founders of the team.

Competitive wakeboarding includes tournaments held all over the country that decide which schools make it to nationals in their respective leagues. Even though wakeboarding is an individual sport, points ranging from beginner to expert are added together to determine team scores.

The judges are on the boat and score each run based on tricks or on the overall run. The school with the highest total point score wins the tournament.

Advanced wakeboarding involves difficult tricks that can be dangerous.

2012 national champion and Chico State senior Colton Duncan said his favorite trick is the the “Crow Mobe,” a 360-degree spin during a front flip.

The Wildcats’ first tournament of the year is Oct. 4 in Lake Silverado, Washington. The tournament is being hosted by Central Washington University and is an Alt Games tournament.

After Washington, the Wildcats will return for a few weeks of training at Villa Logos in Red Bluff. The second tournament of the year will be held in Sacramento Oct. 25 for the first Empire Wake tournament.

If the Wildcats can place in one of the top three spots in both tournaments, they are guaranteed a spot at nationals.

Colton Duncan is a former 2012 National Champion of the Alt. Games and Empire Wake. Photo credit: Brandon Foster

Recruitment for the wakeboarding team has started and students can find their booth near the Meriam Library until Friday, Sept. 12. The current vice president of the club, Daniel Rueger, encourages newcomers.

“Anyone can come ride, we don’t discriminate based on skill at all,” Rueger said.

The current boat captain, Brandon Mercer, agrees with Rueger’s stance. He added that the team has gear that is available to borrow.

“We try to push people to try and get better, but the main thing is to just have fun and go wakeboard,” Rueger said.

Lars Gustafson can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_sports.