Wakeboarding is in the air at the Lake of the Ozarks
By Carissa Biele
Sat, 11 May 2013 14:00:00 GMT — Lake-goers may see more people being pulled behind a motorboat while riding a single board that resembles a snowboard, their feet bound to the board, flying through the air attempting tricks. It's wake boarding, a growing fad in the area. Kirby Liesmann from New Haven, Mo., is a professional wake boarder that currently calls the Lake his home. He ranked 24th on the official pro card list and now lives in the Camdenton area of the Lake. Liesmann accumulated points over three years of competing to earn the title of professional, and now he stays busy balancing competitions, college courses and coaching at his own wakeboarding school. He started coaching in 2007 and opened his own school in 2010. The 24-year-old entrepreneur operates out of Marine Max Marina and said, "What spurred the idea was a class I was taking at State Fair community college. My professor, John McMann, said I should open it up as an LLC and it really opened the doors in the right direction." Liesmann said he started wake boarding when he was 7 years old during a family vacation to the Lake and began to envision his future. "What I wanted to be when I grew up was a professional wake boarder," he said. "I had no idea it'd lead to me coaching and competing, all of this all together so its just been a really awesome experience.â?? According to sierrastar.com , there are more than 3.1 million wake boarders across the globe. Wake boarding has become the fastest-growing water sport, and when it comes to the Lake area Liesmann said, "I have seen wake boarding in general and just overall water sports really take off." Roughly 75 percent of wake boarders are currently men ages 13 to 24, but Kirby said, â??Wake boarding is definitely for anybody. If you have the right person guiding you in how to learn in the beginning, it's very low impact.â?? Liesmann is known to hold down the wakeboarding scene here, but later this season professionals from all over the world will be shredding the wake at the Lake. Aaron Grace from Liquid Force explained the upcoming Brostock event. â??Its June 6 through 9," he said. " We have the top 20 athletes from around the world. You can see the best wakeboarders from around the globe.â?? Liesmann said he is stoked to see the Brostock event come back the Lake for its second year. â??The Brostock event is going to be incredible for wakeboarding here," he said. "For the Midwest in general. It's cool how close spectators can get close by parking their boats right around the action.â??
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