Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

November 1, 2012

Crossville teen takes second in wake surfing championship


CROSSVILLE — Fourteen-year-old Raya Walker of Crossville finished second at the World Wake Surfing Championship held Sept. 27-28 in Parker, AZ.

Wake surfing is a water sport in which a surfer trails behind a wakeboard boat, surfing the boat's wake without being directly attached to the boat. The wake from the boat mimics the look and feel of an actual ocean wave.

The prestigious championship is by invitation only, and competitors must qualify in the World Wake Surf Series. Walker competed in nationals in June and placed third in amateur women's surf and fourth in amateur women's skim, which qualified her to compete for the world title against wake surfers from around the globe. The world championship included top wake surfers from Switzerland, Germany, Russia, Canada and the United States.

This is Walker's first year competing in Wake Surf and, in addition to the world championship and qualifying tournaments, she also won three local tournaments and is the Tennessee INT League State Champion. Her goal is to be invited back to the world championship next year to compete in Outlaw Women's Surf and Outlaw Women's Skim at Lake Las Vegas.

Wake surfing is not a new sport, but is a fast growing one. After using a tow rope to get on the wave created by the boat, wake surfers drop the rope and ride the steep face below to the wave's peak in a fashion reminiscent of ocean surfing.

Walker would like to thank Honu Sandals, Roxy Style Squad, Breathe Boardwear and all her friends and family for all their support.

To watch her ride, visit YouTube and search "Raya's Wakesurfing 360' Mix" and "Raya Walker-Wakesurfing-Pro Skim Female" or "Raya Wakesurfing."