Colden Thompson spends his summer days training at nearby Tie Lake.

Colden Thompson spends his summer days training at nearby Tie Lake.

Lake-born labour of love

Cranbrook wakeboarder chases glory at national championships in Ontario.

Taylor Rocca

Colden Thompson is off to the Canadian National Wakeboard Championships in Bala, Ont. where he will represent Cranbrook and the Waterski and Wakeboard Association of Alberta (WSWA).

“It’s awesome [to be representing Cranbrook and WSWA at nationals],” Thompson said over the phone Wednesday afternoon. “I’m really excited to see what will happen and see what’s out there.

“But I’m a little nervous because there’s a lot of riders, but I’m going to try my best.”

Thompson’s competitive wakeboard career has been short, but full of promise thus far. The 17-year-old has only been riding competitively for one year, taking home first place in the Outlaw Division at the 2013 WSWA Provincial Championships.

The Outlaw Division requires athletes to perform four to five inverts and/or spins over the course of their ride.

The wakeboarder continued his winning ways at WSWA’s first event this season, Alberta Wake Tour Stop #1, taking top spot in open competition June 14 at Chestermere, Alta. Most recently, Thompson finished third in open competition at Alberta Wake Tour Stop #4, back in Chestermere July 26.

Tie Lake, approximately 50 km southeast of Cranbrook, is where Thompson started teaching himself seven years ago. He continues to train there now.

“I’ve been riding as much as I can when I’m off work,” Thompson said. “Weekends, I get up early and ride lots.

“It’s what I love doing.”

The Canadian National Wakeboard Championships begin Aug. 14 and run through Aug. 17 at Bush’s Watersports Park in Bala.

Following the nationals, Thompson will head to Alix Lake, approximately 55 km northeast of Red Deer, for the 2014 WSWA Provincial Championships.