When you think of surfing destinations there’s a pretty fair chance that Chattanooga Tennessee isn’t going to pop into your mind any time soon. However, a marine store on Lake Chickamauga is hoping to change that.
Erwin Marine Sales is hosting the area’s first surfing competition on June 2nd. The shores of Lake Chickamauga certainly don’t have the kind of breaking waves needed to host an event, so the surfers competing in this competition will need to create their own. That’s where the sport of wake surfing comes in.
The source of the waves will be the Heyday WT-Surf boat, which will use a heavy stern to create wake that’s comparable to some of the best waves you’ll find at some of the hottest surfing spots around the world. Heyday is sponsoring the competition and the winners will receive a new surfboard, which is also a bit different than traditional surfboards.
The boards that are used for wake surfing are a good bit shorter than traditional boards; a necessity when it comes to surfing the shorter waves generated by the surf boats that will be used in the competition.
The great thing about this event is that it really isn’t designed for professional surfers. Beginning and intermediate wake surfers will be competing, which will hopefully spark an interest in the sport around the Chickamauga area. More people are taking an interest in wake surfing because it’s much easier, physically than traditional wakeboarding. Wakeboarding puts a pretty decent toll on the upper body because riders are required to hold onto a rope while being towed behind the boat. With wake surfing, the rope is eliminated and it’s more like traditional surfing.
While some traditionalists may turn a cold shoulder toward wake surfing, they really shouldn’t. Malibu regulars probably won’t see a lot of wake surfers invading their favorite breaks. What they will see is an interest in the sport growing in areas of the world where surfing hasn’t traditionally been on folks’ minds.