Competitive wake surfing makes debut in Chattanooga with 'Heyday Surf Competition'

Image: WTVC

There is a first time for everything. Wake surfing made its debut in Chattanooga on Lake Chickamauga on Saturday.

26 surfers hit the water for the inaugural "Heyday Surf Competition" sponsored by Erwin Marine Sales.

"I want people to fall in love with the sport," said Michael Porter, who organized the competition.

He thinks it brings awareness to the sport and opens a new world of water sports.

"I want people to see what wake surfing is all about and really get involved in it," Porter said.

Ashley Summers has a year of surfing experience.

"It takes hard work and once you get it, it's pretty easy," she said.

Being convinced by her dad and her own desire to hit the waves, she signed up to compete in the youth division.

"I'm doing it for my family and to have fun," she said.

The competition is broken up into three divisions: Youth, Beginner and Intermediate.

"It's going to be judged by style, tricks," Porter said.

"Whatever ticks you can do and just how comfortable you feel on the board."

There are no professionals in this competition. It is a mix of nervous excitement for all competitors.

"I just want to go out, have a good time," said adult beginner competitor Robert Kirby.

"Do what I know how to do. If I win, great. Otherwise, I had a good day on the water."

Kirby has surfed for three years and is impressed with the new intrigue of the sport in Chattanooga. He thinks it appeals to everybody.

"It's a sport that I can take my three-year-old daughter and my 65-year-old dad," he said.

"We can all do it together. It's low impact. It's a lot of fun."

The first place winner in each division will receive a new Phase Five surf board.

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