Sylvan Lake is home to the current World Wake Surfing champion.
Sara Tallon, 16, came out on top of the 2018 Centurion World Wake Surfing Championship in the Outlaw Women Skim division.
The competition was held in Ogden Valley, Ut. on Sept. 6 to 8, 2018.
“I’d been having really bad days and then I had a really bad run at the last one and I was really, really scared, like it was really bad, and then it worked out in the end,” said Tallon of her run at the world championship. “It was really fun because we went to Utah for a week and just surfed and stuff, but yeah, it was difficult.”
During competition judges score riders on the diversity, the execution, intensity and the variety of tricks performed during a run that takes about a minute and half to complete.
The St. Joseph’s student has been wake surfing for four years, but has only been competing for three.
Tallon got into the sport through a friend who took her to get a lesson with her.
“… The coach invited me to a competition and then I won it and then I just did a whole bunch more and I kept winning so I just kept doing it,” explained Tallon, who spends a lot of time travelling for the sport.
She says there is a lot to do in Canada, but she also spends a fair bit of time in the United States too, and during the winter months she trains in Phoenix, Ariz.
To teach herself new tricks Tallon will go out for a few hours a day and just practice one trick, but she also has the opportunity to lean on others in the sport for guidance as well.
“The owners [of my board company] live in Calgary, so I just go down there and they just show you different ways to do it, so it’s really helpful,” said the pro level rider. “Everybody’s kind of like family and they all just jump on your boat and we all just teach each other.”
“You just have to spent time doing it and if you do the results will show,” added Tallon.
Tallon added that the competition is growing more and more every year and that it currently has about 1,000 people in it coming from places all over the world like the United States, Canada, Japan, Brazil and Europe.
This was not the 16-year-olds first world championship title.
She also finished at the top of the leaderboard last year when the Wake Surfing Championships took place in Fernie, B.C. last year.
When asked what her favourite part about wake surfing is, Tallon said, “it’s like a self sport. It’s like only you can make yourself better, you’re pushing yourself and it’s your win all to yourself.”
Next for Tallon is to master the art of surfing as she spends next semester in Australia for school.