Clovis native claims wakesurfing title
OGDEN, Utah (ENMN) —
Three years ago, Clovis native Makayla Drake started a new hobby — wakesurfing at Ute Lake. Now she’s a world champion.
Makayla left Ogden, Utah, on Saturday with two trophies, $250 and some bragging rights after winning first place in the amateur women’s surf category during the World Wake Surfing Championship held last weekend.
Makayla bested seven other competitors in her division to earn that title.
“I was so happy,” she said. “I was actually kind of shocked that I got first but I was pretty excited.”
Makayla finished in second place out of four during Friday’s quarterfinal run to earn a spot in the finals on Saturday, which she won with a score of 62, edging out the second-place finisher by 1.8 points.
“I landed all the tricks that I wanted to land, I had really good runs I think,” she said.
With hundreds of top wakesurfers from around the globe coming together for the event, Makayla said she appreciated the chance to pick their brains and learn about some of the nuances of the sport.
“I love being around people that are better than me because they can teach me new tricks and stuff. I learned a lot being around them,” she said.
Hailie Drake, Makayla’s mother, told The News that when her daughter first started wakesurfing, she never could have imagined the accolade “world champion” coming just a few years later.
“She has put in a lot of hard work and she’s done really good under pressure. When she’s needed to perform she’s been able to,” Hailie Drake said. “I was just so overwhelmed and excited and proud of her.”
Makayla’s father Hank Drake called it “a proud dad moment,” when his daughter earned yet another first-place trophy, after doing the same at the Tommy's U.S. Wakesurfing Open in Michigan last month.
With her performance Makayla will now move into the outlaw division, or the semi-pro group, for next year’s competitions. Despite living in land-locked Clovis, Makayla has “excelled” at the sport since starting wakesurfing three years ago according to her father, a testament to what can be accomplished with a little hard work.
“She’s just kind of self-taught and it’s all from just kind of watching YouTube videos and pushing herself to get better,” Hank Drake said.