Sylvan Lake’s Julie Vasselin is enjoying success in her first year of competitive wakesurfing

Wakesurfer Vasselin to compete among world’s best

To say Julie Vasselin’s first year of competitive wakesurfing has gone well would be a colossal understatement

To say Julie Vasselin’s first year of competitive wakesurfing has gone well would be a colossal understatement, as the 23-year-old Sylvan Laker prepares to compete among the world’s best at the World Wakesurfing Championships in Lake Las Vegas next week.

Surfers qualified for the event through competitions all around the world. Vasselin herself will be competing as a result of solid showings at competitions around the United States this summer, which included fourth-place finishes in Georgia and Texas, and a second-place finish in Minnesota.

Competing against some of the world’s top surfers, she admits placing will be an immense challenge for her. But it’s one she’s relishing, along with the opportunity to compete at the highest level of a sport she truly loves.

“I didn’t get involved in competing just for the reward of placing,” she said.

Rather, her involvement in the sport — in which surfers ride a wave created by a boat — began three years ago during a lake outing with friends and family.

After that, she quickly became hooked.

“I went behind a family friend’s boat, and they just put me on a surfboard and said have fun,” she said. “From there, I was hooked.”

Since then, she’s been “practicing like crazy” on Sylvan Lake, and on other water bodies around the continent when temperatures begin to cool locally — all in the midst of studying for, and writing, her chartered accountancy exams.

“This summer, I had a lot of practice time, so I tried to practice as much as I could here, and when the weather wasn’t good in Sylvan, I would either head down to Koocanusa or Chestermere,” she said. “People in Florida, they can surf year round and they don’t know what snow is, but … our season isn’t really considered a year.”

Surfers at the World Championships are given two minutes to prove their ability. They’re judged on the intensity of their ride, as well as the difficulty and variety of tricks they perform — which may include everything from 360-degree spins to riding the board switch, or in reverse.

Vasselin is planning on arriving in Las Vegas a few days early to get a feel for the wave she’ll be riding. And regardless of how she fares in the competition, she’s happy to continue doing what she loves, and is even planning on offering lessons in Sylvan Lake next summer.

“It’s taken a lot of work to become good at it, but I just enjoy it,” she said. “I find it relaxing, and I find it stress-free. It’s just fun and it’s something that anybody can do.”

 

Just Posted

Let the Games begin!

Team Alberta takes home gold and silver in speed skating on day one

WATCH: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

Athletes’ medals unveiled at the official kick-off of 2019 Canada Winter Games

Medals depict Central Alberta landscape and pay tribute to First Nations

Sylvan Lake looks to add an adopt-a-road program

A policy for the newly proposed program will come forward to council at a later date

WATCH: Canada Winter Games are finally here

Final leg of torch relay kicked off at Fort Normandeau

Fashion Fridays: Up your beauty game

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Team Alberta adds nine medals on day two of competition at Canada Winter Games

Team Alberta had a solid day at the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

PHOTOS: Canada Games action from the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Wheelchair basketball, short-track speedskating draw large crowds

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Jason Kenney pledges education revamp if UCP wins power in Alberta

Kenney has said the full United Conservative platform will be rolled out during the campaign

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

‘Mitts don’t just warm hands. They warm hearts’: Mitts for Many Program launches

Donate new or lightly used mittens to bin in the Great Hall of the Gary W. Harris Centre

Most Read