Cole Sorensen, 11, competed in two events at the World Wakesurfing Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sept. 28-29. Cole took first place in the Men’s Amateur Skim Style Division and second place in the Surf Style Division.
Cole lives in Alexandria, Minn. and is the son of Crookston natives Marc and Jeni Sorensen. He is the grandson of Larry and Sandy Smith, Crookston and Doug and Pam Sorensen, Mentor.
According to Cole’s parents, wakesurfing is an exciting sport that has been emerging as the fastest growing water sport of the last decade. Unlike waterskiing or wakeboarding, wakesurfing is different in that the rider does not hang onto a rope. What makes this possible? The answer is the boat. Heavily weighted, specialized inboard boats create a monstrous wake large enough that a person can perpetually ride and “surf” the wave. Riders compete on short surfboards ranging from about 4 to 5 ½ feet in length. There are two types of boards, a “skim” board that has a very small fin (or no fin at all) and a traditional “surf” board design that has large, dagger type fins that are typically associated with a ocean surfboards. The types of tricks that competitors perform differ with the board type. Typical tricks are jumps, ollies, 360 spins, 180 body rotations, board releases, riding forward/backward, hang 5, etc. Riders score points based on trick difficulty and execution as well as overall style.
Cole’s most difficult tricks are called a “360 Shove-It” and a “Back Big Spin.” Both tricks involve launching off of the wake, jumping from the board (a release) and spinning the board or the body or both and then landing back on the board.
“Many of the tricks are inspired by snowboarding and skateboarding in addition to traditional surfing,” Cole said. “I land the shove it about 80 percent of the time; consistency is the key in competition."
Cole qualified for the World Championships by winning events in Phoenix in May and Minneapolis in early August. Other qualifying events were held in Europe, Russia, Mexico, Canada and the United States. There were 250 individuals that qualified worldwide and the seeding process yielded 100 of the world’s best to be invited to Las Vegas, where $100,000 in prize money was awarded in the pro division.
Sorensen moved up from Juniors to Amateur this year and will move to the Semi-pro division for the 2014 season on the heels of his podium finishes.
“I hope to compete in the Pro division within about four years, but we’ll have to wait and see,” Cole said.
Page 2 of 2 - The sport is so new and is advancing at such a fast pace, no one can predict what the sport will look like in five years.
If you would like to see Cole in action, type his name into YouTube and search his various videos. Or follow Cole on Facebook or Instagram (cole_slaw_ shreds).
As for now, Cole is shifting gears to compete in snowboarding this winter, where he is also enjoying success, placing third at the 2013 USASA National Snowboarding Championship in Colorado last winter.
Cole is sponsored by Brigade Wakesurfing Co. and the Faction Board Shop.