Bonnyville resident Kyle Kipps wasn't really sure what to expect at the WakeRide 2010 in Saskatoon.
He really wanted to participate in the July 9-11 wakeboard event but there was no division for his passion - wakeskating.
For those unaware of the sport, it's been around for a little under a decade and is very similar to wakeboarding but it also combines a lot of elements of skateboarding. Compared to wakeboarding, a wakeskate board is smaller and unlike a wakeboard, doesn't have bindings. In the place of bindings is a grip tape or stick foam material. As Kipps says, "you're not attached to the board."
Kipps, along with friend Clifford Galloway, decided to bring his wakeskate along with him for the weekend and it seemed to work out well.
"We ended up phoning the organizers and told them about Kyle and how all he does is wake skating," Galloway explained. "They let him ride and do a sort of show of his own. He did very well in his run, the crowd really liked him and he ended up winning some prizes."
Kipps relished the opportunity to perform for the thousands watching along the river.
"I went on right before the advanced wakeboarders and there was so many people watching," he said. "The river was a really unique set-up and I enjoyed being out there, my run felt good."
Kipps also mentioned that a number of spectators seemed interested in the sport and wanted to learn more after his run.
"A lot of people there didn't really know the difference between what I was doing and wakeboarding," he said. "People were definitely interested after my run and were asking me a lot of questions about it."
Kipps pointed out that another main difference between a wakeskate and a wakeboard is that wakeskates are often shorter and fatter in width. They can also be more affordable than wakeboards because the bindings aren't necessary.
The next competition Kipps plans on performing in is the Nationals, which take place in Edmonton in late August. For more information, visit www.wswa.ca.