Why are there so many surfer bros in Utah? They’re the ones asking, “Dude, we’re cruising overnight to San Diego to catch some tasty waves. You in?” We get that a long winter means, by the time spring rolls around, some people are simply “over it, man.” But if your barometer of happiness rises when getting pitted, we can name of a number of substantially less landlocked places you could live, and many of them even have nearby skiing if you enjoy lining up your activities with the planet’s patterned tilt.
Go see the World Championships
The World’s best waves and wake surfers will be showcased at the 2019 Centurion World Wakesurfing Championship September 5-7, 2019 in Ogden Valley.
Perhaps it’s because inside every ski bum is a surf bum trying to get out—a fitter, healthier, far-less-pale version of yourself who gets to wear flip flops instead of those plastic foot vises. Plus, it’s far easier to open a beverage when not wearing mittens. Thankfully, humankind’s endless ingenuity has brought perpetual swell to Utah’s lakes and reservoirs with the rise of wakesurfing.
What on Earth is Wakesurfing? For those who haven’t heard of wakesurfing’s unique niche, it’s essentially a cross between surfing and wakeboarding. Like wakeboarding, you use a rope to stand up while being pulled behind a boat, and then you get the low-impact, untethered freedom of surfing the wake just like you would a wave. Except the wave lasts as long as there’s gas in the tank and there are fewer sharks here than in most coastal areas.
Sounds Impossible. And I don’t have a boat. It’s not, and that won’t be a problem. There are plenty of people in Utah who are more than happy to help you out. Utah Boat Rentals has everything you need to take up to 18 people wakesurfing, even if nobody in the group has ever done it before. You can reserve a boat and a full outfit of wakesurfing gear from Utah Boat Rentals and pick up from any of their locations in St. George, Orem, Heber City or Ogden. For an additional charge, they’ll deliver and pick up the boat from any lake in Utah—if you want the convenience of having a boat on the water when you show up.
Utah Boat Rental: 801-413-9602, utahboatrental.com
The Wake Shop: thewakeshop.com
If you need a little encouragement and instruction, you can book lessons through Utah Boat Rentals as well. All of their instructors are trained in extensive boat operation and in teaching a variety of water sports. “Anyone can wakesurf, from age 5 to 85,” says Jason Williams of Utah boat Rentals. “It’s pretty easy to learn with the right instruction. All our instructors are safe, professional and make sure everyone has a great time learning.” Whether you opt for lessons or to go it alone, Utah Boat Rentals will hook it up with a premier MasterCraft boat and top-of-the-line wakesurfing gear. Prices start around $1,500, so round up a group that’s ready for shreddy and hit the water.
If you’ve already convinced your wealthy, boat-owning friend to lend you the keys so you can give wakesurfing a try on your own, head to The Wake Shop for the largest selection of wakesurfing gear in Utah. The Wake Shop is stocked with brands like Soulcraft, Phase 5, Hyperlite O’Brien and more, with locations in South Jordan and Vineyard. Venture over the border to Page, Arizona, and The Wake Shop becomes your full-service provider for boat and gear rentals on Lake Powell.
Are there any Kelly Slater analogs in this sport? There sure are. And if you want to catch those incredibly talented athletes in action, surprisingly, Utah is the place to do it. The Pineview Reservoir in Huntsville is home to the 2018 Rocky Mountain Wakesurf Open (RMWSO) on July 27 and 28. “The location will have great beachside visibility for passing competitor runs and will also include live video feed, music, a vendor village and other activities, like a Slip n’ Slide,” says event organizer Tony Duffy. World Champions Cole Sorensen and Ashley Kidd as well as defending RMWSO amateur champion, Maggie Phipps will be competing against some of the best wakesurf competitors from around the globe. The RMWSO will run from 9:00 a.m. to dusk both days and is free to attend, but standard parking fees at the reservoir apply.
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