The 20th annual Wake the Desert tournament

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The wakeboarding and wakesurf competition is attracting people from all over the world to the Concho Valley

SAN ANGELO, Texas – Wake the Desert’s 20th anniversary kicked off at Middle Concho Park at Lake Nasworthy. This is the world’s longest running wakeboarding and wakesurf competition.

All three days, the event starts at 8:00 in the morning. On Friday and Saturday, it ends at 6:00 in the evening, however, on Sunday it will end at 3:30 in the afternoon.

“So today we started off the event with the amateur surf divisions, tomorrow we’ll have our amateur wakeboard divisions with the preliminary rounds of the pro wakesurf and outlaw wakeboard. Sunday, we’ve got the finals and it’s the big event where you’re going to see all kinds of action – from the pro wakesurfers and the outlaw wakeboarders. You can expect to see all kinds of spins like 720’s, 900’s and double flips. What these guys are doing is incredible,” elaborated Corrie Wilson, who is the Executive Director of the World Wake Association (WWA).

This year, around 3,000 spectators are estimated to come throughout the weekend and over 100 riders, some from all parts of the world, are expected to enter the tournament.  

“A lot of these kids get super excited when they ride for the first time in front of this huge crowd, with the radio going and the announcer announcing the tricks and what not. That to me, is the most rewarding part of the whole tournament,” stated Steven Harper, who is the General Manager of Family Powersports San Angelo.

All skill levels and ages are welcome to compete in different divisions, for a chance to win trophies and rewards, but the grand prize winner takes home $60,000 dollars.

“Great people, you’ll see all the kids out here. It’s a family sport, from the kids to the elderly. I guess I can be considered an elderly since that I’m 63 years old,” mentioned Scott Leason, who is a Blind Wakeboard Competitor. He was the first competitor in history to participate in WWA’s Western Regional Championships.

This event is free to the public, but it costs $75 dollars for participants. It also includes music, food and vendors selling athletic gear. Most importantly, you can’t put a price on feeling right at home.   

“I just tell everybody that physical fitness is the best medicine out there and being involved with sports, you meet a lot of great people. It’s the one place I can forget about being blind,” expressed Leason.

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