Leaving others in the wake

Wakeboarding 2:Senior marketing major Mitch DeAngelis boards at practice March 24.:Robert Linggi State Hornet

Wakeboarding 2:Senior marketing major Mitch DeAngelis boards at practice March 24.:Robert Linggi State Hornet

Marshall Hampson

While most Sacramento State students are in class getting lectured, some students are spending three days a week wakeboarding at Folsom Lake. The wakeboarding club experience makes joining feel like ditching a class.

The Sac State Wakeboard Club was founded in 2005 by adviser Chad McInnis, who leads the club with president Dan Bright. Both members want to share their passion for with Sac State students.

“We just hope that people get to come out and have a good time in the sun,” Bright said.”We have riders from expert and all the way to beginners, so it’s just as long as everybody is having a good time.”

Bright also made it to the semifinals of the 2009 Wakeboarding Collegiate National Championships before losing to Hank Carter of the University of Texas. Carter went onto win the National Championship.

The wakeboarding club will compete at the 2010 Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals May 14 in San Diego, as it sends the top four men, top two women and a wake skater to compete for the national title.

The club welcomes students who have no wakeboarding experience but are interested in it.

Jenni Quincy, a recreation, parks and tourism administration major and member of the club, has been wakeboarding for less than year and said she got into the sport because she wanted to try something new.

“I’ve been on a boat since I was a little kid and I was waterskiing and knee-boarding,” Quincy said. “So I finally decided to try the wakeboard and stick with it. I get to have a lot of fun and a lot of fun face-planting and falling.”

Quincy said by the end of this year she hopes to land a half-turn in air.

Like skiing and snowboarding, doing tricks on the wakeboard involves grabs and flips while in the air. The major difference is wakeboarders go outside of the wake the boat creates and uses the wake as a ramp to get air.

Beth Hamilton, a marketing major at Sac State, has wakeboarded for three years and said she continues to work on getting better, even if it results in pain.

“You gotta take a couple face plants to learn to get used to them,” Hamilton said. “You gotta listen to learn what people are saying. They definitely push you to do better.”

It is not unusual to see wakeboarders catch the side of their board as they face plant in the water.

Senior biology major Trevor Fewins is entering his 13th year of wakeboarding and said he loves the opportunity to go to Folsom Lake during school.

“This is my first semester doing this and I’ve made a bunch of good friends already,” Fewins said. “It’s awesome to get out here three days a week and wakeboard. We’re out here on a lake in the sun … can’t really argue about that.”

Fewins said every aspect of wakeboarding is difficult to learn, especially since the water plays a big role in a person’s performance.

With the music blaring from the boat speakers, everybody in the boat yells and cheers at the other members as they land tricks, stand up on the board for the first time or fall hard.

Getting up on the water is the first step of advancing at wakeboarding. As the boat pulls the rope that the riders grab onto, the riders must get their board positioned to stand up and ride on the water.

“Getting up is obviously the first hardest part, but after that it’s learning,” Fewins said. “(It’s) trying new stuff and willing to fall and get hurt. It’s all challenging.”

Most of the club members participate for recreation. However, the club does participate in two events per year. In the fall, the club participates in the Western Collegiate Wakeboard Regionals. In the spring they compete at the Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals.

The club placed second in the 2008 Wakeboard Collegiate Nationals, along with a fifth-place finish in 2006.

Bright became the 2008 Collegiate National Champion by putting up the best freestyle score in the finals and is now sponsored by the wakeboard company Hyperlite.

Bright said he wants the campus to be informed that the school has a wakeboarding club. Besides handing out fliers, the club sets up a wakeboard course at school, showcasing the club’s talent. On May 4, the club will host Rail Jam.

“We do an annual Rail Jam every year right in the quad, right in the center campus,” Bright said. “It just kind of tells people that don’t really know that we’re there or didn’t know what kind of stuff that we do or how (awesome) we are and get them excited about it.”

The club meets Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Folsom Point at Folsom Lake from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The club’s entry fee is $345 per semester, and any student can join.

Marshall Hampson can be reached at [email protected]