2020-2021 Youth Writing Contest Winner – Senior Category – Maine (Grades 9–12)
Why I Love Wakesurfing
by Carly Turgeon, Grade 10, Sanford High School
My name is Carly. I am 16 years old, and my family has owned a cottage on Mousam Lake in southern York County for the past 10 years. Recently I have discovered my love for wakesurfing.
Wakesurfing is similar to wakeboarding, except you are not hanging onto a rope. Rather, you are surfing on the wake at the back of the boat.
Two summers ago, our neighbors invited me to go wakesurfing with them at 6 a.m. You should know that I am not an early riser, but I was so eager about the opportunity to learn something new that I got up bright and early and joined them!
That morning my alarm went off and I threw on my suit and hurried my way down the dock, where they were already waiting for me. The sun was still rising, and the lake was as smooth as glass. Fog floated across the surface of the lake – a whisper of new beginnings.
That morning was the beginning of a whole new life for me. I have never been athletic – my mom may say I have the worst aim she’s ever seen – but when I stood on that board for the first time, I knew I had found my sport.
I fell many times before I could actually pull myself up on the surfboard. My friends kept encouraging me and patiently gave me helpful tips until I finally stood up.
At first I still had to hold onto the rope, but I was able to keep my balance. Eventually, towards the end of the summer, I was able to let go of the rope for the first time. The feeling was exhilarating – I was being propelled by the wave.
August, 2019 soon came. I was sad that summer was coming to an end and that I had to wait a long winter to get back out on the water again. I watched a lot of videos and researched wakesurfing all winter to get myself more knowledgeable.
As soon as summer, 2020 arrived, I borrowed my neighbor’s old surfboard and told my family to all sit on the same side of our boat to make the wake bigger. I remember the first time out that summer was the best I had ever felt. I finally got back to my favorite thing to do, and getting up again was just like riding a bike.
By midsummer, my dad and I had become addicted to this new lifestyle – we’d both go to work during the daytime, and come home to go surfing after dinner for a few hours every single night.
Eventually I got bored of just riding the wake and swishing back and forth, so I started to teach myself to do a 360 spin. The friends who had taught me how to surf eventually asked me to teach them how to do the new trick. The student had become the teacher. I had also taught many of my own school friends how to surf as well, and they fell in love with it just as much as I had.
I am very excited to get back up on the board again this summer! I look forward to mastering the 360 and finding new tricks to learn.