The Woollends family represented Quesnel well at the 2018 BC Boat and Cable Wakeboard and Wakeskate Provincials in Abbotsford, B.C. last weekend (Aug 4-5).
Caleb and Noah Woollends are 13-year-old twins who constantly push one another to improve, while their mother Jen is no slouch on a board herself.
Noah placed second in Boys Cable Wakeboard, second in Amateur Boat Wakeskate and fourth in Boys Boat Wakeboard, while Caleb placed third in Boys Cable Wakeboard, third in Boys Boat Wakeboard and fourth in Amateur Wakeskate.
Jen placed second in Open Womens Boat Wakeboard.
While traditional wakeboard involves being pulled behind a boat, the cable events see the riders’ rope and handle attached to an electrically driven cable at speeds of up to 60 kilometres per hour.
Wakeskating also takes place behind a boat, but the rider is not bound to the board in any way, so can attempt skateboarding-style manoeuvres where the board flips underneath the rider.
A highlight for Noah was managing to land a new trick he had just learned.
“In the finals for Cable Wakeboard I did a scarecrow,” he says, referencing a fairly complicated manoeuvre involving a back flip while grabbing the board for style points and landing with the opposite foot forward.
“I learned it the day before and tried it in qualifiers but fell, but I managed to land it the next day in finals.”
Caleb enjoyed seeing a bunch of old friends that he has met in competition over the years.
He says he has improved since last year but jokingly added he got the same medals he usually gets, because Noah constantly beats him.
“If I go out and do my ride and try something new and land it, he goes out and says, ‘He just did that, now I need to do it.’”
The boys have been wakeboarding and wakeskating since they were seven and are members of the Northern Riders Watersports Club.
They practise twice a week on Dragon Lake under the tutelage of Steve Woollends, the boys’ father.
Jen says she participates for the fun of it. “You’re down there to watch the kids anyway, ” she says.
“So I might as well join in.”