A young central Albertan is putting competitive wake surfing on the map in the province through her incredible performances on the world stage.
Lacombe’s Morgan Bateman achieved greatness after winning gold in the World Wake Association’s Nautique Masters Wakesurf Championships in Pine Mountain, Georgia from Sept. 8-11.
The 13-year-old won the medal after collecting the most points in the U13 girl’s amateur event competing against wake surfers from all over the world.
“It felt awesome,” she said. “To be in this sport I really like it and it was awesome to travel and get to know other people.”
To accumulate points during the event they can complete a set of tricks, some are worth more points than others. The competitor who pulls off the tougher tricks will earn more points. During her run, Bateman completed a pair of 360 turns, one of which with the board facing the opposite direction, and received more points due to the degree of difficulty.
Bateman took an interest in wake surfing when she was 11 years old while at her family’s residence in Gull Lake. While there she met two-time world wake surfing champion Bailey Rush who was offering lessons. Once she began learning from Rush, she fell in love with the sport and hasn’t looked back since. Rush is now Bateman’s coach and is someone she looks up to.
“She’s taught me not just tricks and how to surf properly but she’s taught me the mental part of it. Wake surfing it takes a lot of mental strength to calm yourself down before your runs and not get nervous,” Bateman said.
She’s not shy about taking part in other water sports such as wakeboarding, which she did before wake surfing in her free time.
Bateman also competes in the Competitive Wake Surf Association where she’s currently ranked 11th in the world among amateur women.
If she stays within the top 15 she will head to the World Wake Surfing Championship in Mooresville, U.S. from Oct. 6 to 8. On top of that, she also competes in Water Ski and Wakeboard Alberta for the wake surfing team with a bunch of other surfers her age from around the province. The team will practice together but compete against one another during competitions.
Just a year ago Bateman said she won gold during the Canadian junior nationals in Cranbrook, B.C.
The youngster is very passionate about the sport and she said she loves the feeling she gets while wake surfing.
“It’s kind of just my happy place and I love being out on the water,” she said.