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    Getting ready to go pro

    water fest joey gurr 2

    Joey Gurr, 15, placed second in the Chestermere Water Fest on July 28. Gurr has been training for wake boarding season since May, by training in the early morning and in the evening after school every day. Photo by Emily Rogers

    Fifteen-year-old Joey Gurr can chalk up another successful competition after he came second at the annual Wake Board competition at Water Fest July 28.

    Gurr, who has been competing for four years, had a successful year competing in his home town of Chestermere.

    “I feel like it was pretty good,” Gurr said, “I landed everything I planned to and for the most part I was proud of my tricks.”

    Gurr said that although he was proud of his performance during the competition, he would have added a variety of difficult tricks rather than the tricks he was doing.

    “A few unexpected riders showed up at the contest. You just have to plan your tricks to compete with the riders that you know will be there,” Gurr added, “You need to go all out and be ready for that kind of situation.”

    For Gurr, training for the wake board season begins as soon as Chestermere Lake opens and consists of early morning training sessions on the water before school, and evening practices after school every day.

    “This year I’m hoping to place top 10 at nationals and hopefully I can go pro by the time I’m 18,” Gurr added, “Right now competing is for fun, hopefully in the future can get paid to compete.”

    Participating in the Wake Board Competition at Water Fest is something that Gurr looks forward to every year as it is so unique compared to other competitions he has been a part of.

    “It teaches me skills because it’s different than any other contest.

    “There’s a huge crowd and the pressure is really on with so many friends and family watching, so dealing with that pressure definitely helps prepare me for going pro,” Gurr added.

    Gurr’s dedication to wake boarding is like no other 15-year-olds, after suffering from multiple injuries over the previous four years, Gurr is more determined than ever to keep pushing himself to perform the best he possible can.

    Throughout the years of competing Gurr has sustained multiple concussions, a broken ankle, which took over a month to fully heal, and a broken verterbrea in his back.

    “When I broke my back, I was lucky that they could help me out, and I was able to compete two weeks after,” Gurr said.

    “If I fall on a trick, I’ll get back up and make sure I land it three more times,” said Gurr, “What I do is just ride as much as I can until I get the kinks out.”

    He added that the support he was received from his coaches, and the community helps him to ensure he is mentally strong, and that his mind is in the right place prior to every ride.

    “Everyone likes to wake surf because it’s gentle, but they don’t understand how much fun wake boarding can be once you understand and get better at it,” Gurr added, “I just want everyone to start having fun on a board.”