- Associated Press - Monday, November 3, 2014

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho (AP) - The crystal green and white waters crashed in a constant curl as Marc Sanchez surfed across Lake Coeur d’Alene.

He released the rope and remained within a few feet from the rear of the boat, making the most of its wake and Sunday’s remaining sunlight.

It was 50 degrees in the air and 52 in the water, but the Post Falls wakesurfer and his two friends, clad in wetsuits and thin life vests, were not deterred.

“I’ve had a ton of back problems, so I probably shouldn’t be doing this, but I get out there and it’s just fun,” Sanchez said. “It’s relaxing, fun, but at the same time it’s an adrenaline rush.”

Sanchez, Brooks Goff of Coeur d’Alene and Eduardo Amorim, a study abroad student from Brazil, began their adventures in wakesurfing around the Fourth of July. The sport is a surfing and wakeboarding hybrid; wakesurfers are “dragged” behind the boat until it increases speed (about 11 miles per hour), then they get up on boards that are smaller than ocean surfboards, hold on to a thicker, shorter rope than is used in wakeboarding and let go once they establish balance on the wake.

Who would have thought - people surfing on a lake surrounded by mountains?

“I surfed before when I was a teenager on the ocean, so when I got here in July after going to Brazil for the World Cup, I met (Marc) and we fell in love with this,” Amorim said. “It’s easier, it doesn’t hurt, it’s amazing. It’s as fun as on the ocean.”

“I’ve been wakeboarding a few times with friends, and I like it all right, it’s OK, but then I started wakesurfing this summer at the end of May, beginning of June, with friends, I love it, I have a lot of fun,” Goff said with a grin. “Now it’s only the diehards this time of year.”

Sanchez drives a red, black and white 2006 Mastercraft X30, which he has had for several years. Surf-style, skim-style and hybrid wakesurfing boards poke out of tall mounts along the sides of his watercraft. He and as many as 15 friends piled onto boats this summer to share the wet and wild experience of wakesurfing, an activity he plans to continue the first warm day next year depending on spring runoff and deadhead logs in the lake.

“It’s the funnest thing I’ve done on the water,” he said. Sanchez said he and friends even took the boat in October for night surfing, something that is difficult to do in the summer when the lake is populated with fleets of summer recreators.

Although it is always a sad parting packing away the boat for the winter, Sanchez said he annually makes it a point to stay on the water as long as possible, weather permitting.

Advice for people who want to try wakesurfing?

“Just get out and do it,” Sanchez said.


Information from: Coeur d’Alene Press, https://www.cdapress.com

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