Wakeboarding enthusiasts will have a chance to see some of the best at the fourth annual Midwestcoast Summerfest wakeboard competition on Saturday and Sunday at the Lake of the Ozarks.
MasterCraft sponsors the event, which has five amateur divisions, one semi-pro division and one professional division. The event has eight confirmed professionals from the MasterCraft Pro Wakeboard Tour, five of which are in the top-10 of the standings. Summerfest will be the last exhibition competition the pro riders have to fine tune their skills before the season ends in Portland on July 21 and 22.
Chad Sharpe who has been on the pro tour for eight years, is coming to Lake of the Ozarks after finishing third in his past four pro events this season.
“It will definitely be good to get out there, and get a good crowd,” Sharpe said in a phone interview on Thursday from his boat in Orlando, Fla. “It is really a good field of riders coming up this time.”
Sharpe is a Canada native who makes his home in Orlando, Fla., as do many of the pro riders coming for this event.
“Orlando is what Hollywood is to actors,” Sharpe said. “Everything (for wakeboarders) is here. You can ride year around ... Yeah it gets cold, but not cold enough.”
Yet because of his upbringing, Sharpe spends his offseason playing hockey three to four days a week and hitting the gym a lot to get ready for the summers. This late in the wakeboarding season, Sharpe will have to work out any problems this weekend if he hopes to get another podium spot in Portland.
“Any contest riding gets your confidence up,” Sharpe said. “I can build some confidence before the last tournament here.”
Camdenton’s Kullen Carlock, 11, an amateur in the 12 and younger division, said he is confident he will perform well on his local water.
“We used to have a house over on that side of the lake,” Carlock said. “So I’m used to the area. I’m sure I’ll do very well.”
Carlock gets a lot of training with his brother Spencer Carlock, 14, and his father Rogie Carlock. His father teaches physical education and coaches basketball during the school year, which leaves more time in the summer to get on the water in the morning and the evening. Kullen Carlock describes his training program as wakeboarding twice a day, playing basketball and doing push-ups and sit-ups.
The big trick that Carlock has been practicing for the competition is called a “roast beef.”
“It’s when you hit the wake, and in the air, instead of grabbing the front side of your board, you have to reach in between your legs and grab the back of your board,” Carlock said.
This will be the second year that the competition is held at Public Beach One. The competition was moved there from at Pa He Tsi State Park, because PB1 is a no wake zone to other boats which might produce interfering wakes for competitors.
“It gives the riders better water, and PB1 is more conducive for spectators,” Rebecca Green of Lake of the Ozarks Tri-County Lodging Association said. “We want people to come and have a comfortable place to sit.”
Green also said that because of the beach, viewers should plan to bring their own chairs and to use sunscreen.