By Joel Willits
Love to surf, but live in the Northwest? No big waves are no problem with wakesurfing, a fast-growing water sport that has made its way to the Pacific Northwest and forged a legion of followers on Lake Sammamish.
Surfing enthusiasts can now hang-ten on area lakes thanks to sport, which requires only the use of a specially-designed wakeboarding boat, loaded with weight on one side. The resulting wake leaves a wave for the wakesurfer to surf, without a rope, once they are able to stand up, which local wakesurfers say is very easy.
“I actually call it the geriatric watersport,” said Allison Goodman, a Bellevue resident and a co-founder of the Northwest Wakesurf Association. “It’s very easy on the body; you can do it and you can’t get hurt. It’s a lot easier than wakeboarding.”
Goodman, 50, got into the sport seven years ago after what she called a “disastrous” ocean surfing experience. She found the process of wakesurfing near her home on Lake Sammamish much easier.
Once a person is able to stand on the surfboard, Goodman said, they can simply stand and ride the wave. Some get bored and try tricks; others, such as some in videos posted on youtube.com, pass drinks from boat to board, quite easy considering the boat only goes 9-11 miles per hour during a wakesurfing ride.
“The beauty of it is when you fall, you just sink into the water,” Goodman said.
Those interested in learning more about wakesurfing or entering the competition can do so at the Northwest Wakesurf Associations Web site, www.nwwsa.org.