Points off for drowning

There’s nothing like slamming into a wall of water at 60 miles an hour. So it’s easy to see why someone would take up wakeboarding.

“It is scary. I think it takes a special person to try inverts and stuff like that,” said Summer Young, event coordinator for the upcoming wakeboard tournament at Wildwood Park in Appling. For the uninitiated, inverts are when you slam into a wall of water at 60 miles an hour upside down.
For the fifth year, Neptune Dive and Ski is hosting the amateur wakeboarding competition on Clarks Hill Lake, with riders from all over the Southeast. It’s a casual event with barbecue, blankets, boats and bathing suits — and those are just the spectators. Of course, competitors must wait an hour after indulging in barbecue to go swimming.
Young is ranked fifth in the nation among amateur women wakeboarders. She got into it when she and her husband were dating.
“And I did it pretty much recreationally for a long time. Then we went with some friends of ours to Orlando and went to a wakeboard tournament and I saw some girls that were competing,” she said. So she got serious and trained for two years, eventually reaching second place in the world in 2003.
Now she’s coordinating other amateurs in this competition for cash prizes. They’re judged by composition, execution and difficulty on a 100-point scale — although Metro Spirit arts editors are judged separately on a scale of “drowning vs. not-drowning.”
Last year, much of the crowd was comprised of boaters who rode over to the site and watched from their floating lawn chairs, cooled by the Red Bull taste team delivering samples via jet ski.
“It was July, but they hung out there with us,” Young said.
They were probably waiting to resuscitate someone.
Wakeboard Tournament
Saturday, July 7
Wildwood Park, Appling
$5 per vehicle
706-541-0586
Neptunediveandski.com
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