The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Local entering World Wake Surfing Championship


September 7, 2018

Courtesy photo

Makayla Drake grabs her board while performing a wakesurfing trick in Ogden, Utah, on Thursday.

OGDEN, Utah — Eastern New Mexico isn't exactly a hotbed for wakesurfing, but don't tell that to Clovis native Makayla Drake.

Makayla, 13, will be riding in the World Wake Surfing Championship in Ogden, Utah, today along with 88 other competitors in the women's amateur surf group, which is pretty much the open category since it's 13 to adult.

She qualified by making top eight in her division at past competitions including Wake the Desert, Tommy's U.S. Wakesurfing Open in Michigan (which Makayla said she won) and the U.S. Arizona Wakesurf Open.

Set to hit the water for her qualifying round today, Makayla said she's expecting a wave of emotions.

"I'm pretty excited right now, but I think I'm going to be really nervous (this) morning, but it will be fun," she said.

Makayla, who attends Gattis Middle School, said if she does her routine right, she will be able to finish in the top two of her group and move onto the final round on Saturday.

"They score about 10 of your tricks. Each run is about a 45-second run. You get two runs for competition," Makayla's father Hank Drake said.

Makayla first started wakesurfing about three years ago and is now in her second year of competition. She said just about every weekend she and her father go to Ute Lake near Logan to practice.

"My dad was just showing me videos on YouTube, and I wanted to try it. I did ocean surfing when I was little, so I thought this would be fun to try. I ended up liking it," Makayla said.

Wakesurfing, like the name suggests, consists of surfing behind a boat and riding its wake. Of course competitors perform a myriad of tricks while doing so.

"I do a lot of different kinds of airs and ollies and I do 360s and jumps and transfers," Makayla said.

Makayla even has her own sponsor that she promotes on Instagram, something she said she never could have imagined when starting out.

Her biggest tip for newcomers is finding their balance on their board.

"Its all about balance; you just have to even out your weight on the board. It's really fun when you learn all the neat tricks and stuff," Makayla said.

Makayla also plays volleyball for Gattis but said her heart is really in wakesurfing.

"It's my favorite sport to do and whenever you get air you feel like you're flying," she said.

— Managing Editor Kevin Wilson contributed to this report.


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