It didn’t take long for Nakita Schaab to catch the bug.
When she was 10, Schaab took up wakeboarding along with the rest of her family. The same year, Schaab competed in and won her first wakeboarding competition. Now 15, she recently returned to Lacombe after a six-week stay in Orlando, Florida for her first international competition.
She said she loves the sport and enjoys developing as a competitor.
“I think it’s the coolest sport ever,” said Schaab. “And the more you learn more tricks and stuff, the more you want to go; the more you want to learn even more tricks – it just keeps going and going.”
Schaab competes in boat wakeboarding where there are no ramps or obstacles to lift her out of the water. That means the only thing she uses for a lift is the wake of the boat itself. Schaab launches herself into the air using the wake to perform tricks. She is then judged on her performance based on the intensity, height, difficulty and variety of her tricks.
Most recently, she competed in the Nautique Wake Games and placed third in the Junior Women 14-18 division. She said that, no matter the result, she was happy just to be there. “It was definitely an experience, no matter how I did, I was super glad to just be there,” said Schaab. Still, she added she was very happy with how she competed. “I had a very good run, so I was very happy with my run.”
Schaab participated in a training camp as part of the Canadian development team as well as training at Freedom Wake Park in Orlando prior to her competitions.
She said the whole experience was well worth it. “It was super fun just to do something different instead of off-training and waiting for summer.”
Usually when she can’t get into the water to train, Schaab practices on a trampoline. She said that a lot of the tricks and maneuvers she uses when wakeboarding are very similar when performed on the trampoline. In the summertime, Schaab trains with her father pulling her behind the boat nearly every day.
At this point, she isn’t exactly sure where wakeboarding will take her, but she does have a few goals in mind right now.
“I want to do this for as long as I can and I want to go as far as I can,” said Schaab. “One of my goals in the next couple years is to go to worlds, once I get to that level.”
Schaab added that competing and training in Orlando was a good way to test out whether or not she could compete at that level. “It was the biggest thing I’ve ever done,” said Schaab. “It definitely prepared me for the summer.”
Each summer, Schaab participates in a number of competitions throughout Alberta. She said she is also looking forward to competing at the national tournament in Ontario this year.