Letter: In defence of wakesurfing–not so dangerous

Don’t throw an entire group under the bus for all your waterfront ‘problems.’

To the editor:

In response to Boat Surfing: Dangerous Activities On The Lake (Aug. 6 Capital News), if the writer wished to understand this sport, a few minutes of research would have provided the information necessary to realize this letter is inaccurate with no basis on facts.

Discuss legitimate issues, but don’t throw an entire group under the bus for all your waterfront ‘problems.’

You’ve seen something you don’t like; its different from what you grew up with, making assumptions/generalizations that are completely inaccurate and offensive to avid participants of the sport who take responsibility and safety on the water very seriously.

My husband is a ‘retired’ waterskier/wakeboarder, giving them up due to injuries from both. We’ve been wakesurfing for seven years and chose the sport mainly because of the safety factor. We’ve taught hundreds of people to surf with no incidents or injuries. I’m sorry your granddaughter had a bad experience, perhaps there wasn’t proper instruction involved.

You state “dangerously close proximity of propeller contact, constantly driving circles around other boats to use their waves.”

Incorrect. Wakesurfing is not to be done on an outboard. Period. No person with any common sense would ride behind an outboard so lets move on. There will always be stupid people, but that is certainly not exclusive to surfing.

Within a few sessions with good instruction; riders no longer require the rope; just the wave, a board, no bindings, going 10-11 mph. Think surfing.

Only jetskis/tubers want other boats’ waves—surfers do not.  Keeping tabs on others’ behaviour around me is my biggest concern.

I don’t know what boats were like in your waterskiing days, but boats have sealed fuelcaps. If boats lost fuel every time they hit big waves, every boat in rough water would lose fuel.

Your assumption stating “an overall drunken experience to indulge themselves in this so-called sport of boat surfing” and continue with  “I’m sure almost none of these boaters even have licenses.” Really? I have a licence, my husband has a licence, friends on my boat have licenses, and my friends who own boats/wakesurf have licenses. Do you know who doesn’t require a licence? Those those who rent boats. This should be where your concern lies. No experience, skills or licence required.

Drunkenness is not about the sport of wakesurfing. There will always be people behaving irresponsibly on the lake. I would appreciate it if you would not equate a respectable sport with irresponsible and illegal behaviour. Get the RCMP out there to deal with the illegal and dangerous activities, great! This would make my summers a lot less stressful.

Your comment: “In today’s day and age, and past events like Wave Fest and now Center of Gravity promoting such shenanigans” is incorrect as well. Neither promoted/included this sport or I might have considered going.

The only point with validity is all boaters need to keep their distance from the shore. However, the environment is changing, times are a’changin’ too. Not everyone wants to waterski. You should not judge because you don’t understand. It creates a further divide between those who think the elderly just want to complain, warranted or not.

I grew up fearing water. Wakesurfing came along; seemed like something I could try. Took me a long time with some tears, but I mastered it; enjoyment surpassed my fear.

Wakesurfing changed my life. Without wakesurfing, I would’ve never known the feeling of enjoying the lake, teaching friends/family, or overcoming something that gripped me with fear my entire life. Last year we taught a family friend in his 70s to surf. This sport has brought families together; nieces, nephews,  grandparents, etc.

You should think twice before tainting the entire sport based on inaccurate assumptions.

Jennifer Maximuik,

Kelowna

 

Kelowna Capital News