Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Competitors wakesurf at Ute Lake


September 5, 2018

Courtesy photo: Laurie Strebeck

Clay Roberts of Logan and his son Kalijah, 7, compete in the 2-to-1 Division, in which two people ride on one surfboard, of Sunday's Beck's Boats Wakesurf Competition at Ute Lake.

LOGAN - More than 50 surfers tested their skills in Quay County, and they didn't even need an ocean to do it.

Ute Lake on Sunday hosted its first wake-surfing event on a cove near the 12 Shores Golf Club. The lake itself didn't make big waves, but specially made boats create a wake a surfboarder can ride for up to hundreds of feet behind the boat.

Laurie Strebeck, co-owner of Beck's Boats in Logan with her husband Layne, said she was hoping for 20 participants for the inaugural event.

Instead, it drew 44, including participants from Texas and Colorado.

She plans to make it an annual competition, likely during Labor Day weekend again.

"We love the lake, and we love surfing," she said. "A lot of people around here love it, and there's a lot of interest. So we thought, 'Why not bring it to Ute Lake?'"

Surfers hold a tow line behind the boat until it reaches about 11 mph, when turbulence settles and riders can ride the wake for long distances. During Sunday's competition, competitors were given two 60-second runs in which surfers had to ride without a tow rope for at least 45 seconds. Two judges on the boat evaluated the competitors.

Clay Roberts of Logan was one of those competing, along with his children Kalijah, 7, and Javidah, 11. He said he never has surfed the ocean, but he's been wakesurfing with his kids two to three times a week on Ute Lake since March.

Roberts felt confident enough in his abilities to enter Sunday's competition.

"It takes balance and lots of practice," he said.

Participants on Sunday ranged in age from 5 to the mid-30s. Brylee Burgin won the Kids 12 and Under Division, and Kassidy Furrow and Savannah Hamilton won the 2-to-1 division (two people on one board). Makayla Drake won the women's division, and Scott Bidegain captured the men's division.

Dozens of boats lined the edges of the cove to watch the competition during a sunny and warm day. Winners got their entry fee back and various prizes. But prize money wasn't motivation for many to participate.

"Surfing is a game-changer," Roberts said. "It's so much fun."


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