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Wednesday, August 9, 2006 -- Cheat Lake, WV
A Tale of Two Boards
When snowboarders cross-train, it's wakeboarding time

Story and photos by Julie Black --- Check out the [Photos]

Photo by Julie Black
Mckenzie Waldo, out for a spin
Wakeboarding is a fairly new sport. Though it's said to have been born in Orlando, Florida, it's roots are in an entirely different climate. The similarities between snowboarding and wakeboarding are interesting to say the least.

Boards, bindings, even the trick lingo sounds the same. Tantrums, scarecrows, and 540's, and the list goes on and on. Only wakeboarding needs a boat and water, and snowboarding needs gravity and frozen water. No matter how you look at it the crossover is there, man-power and mountain-power, water and water. Snowboarders seem to cross into wakeboarding with ease, and in this mountain state area that's a huge bonus.

Photo by Julie Black
Corey Snyder, goes for the grab
Mountains and lakes are abundant in West Virginia and western Maryland. Kids growing up around here have their choice of many outdoor sports, and last week I happen to meet a few who do it all.

I was lucky enough to shoot photos from the back of Greg Zerkel's 2005 Malibu Wakesetter VLX, a slick black 21-foot beauty with bullet chrome speakers, sweet. I had the chance to get to know the riders a bit.

Josh Zerkel, Corey Snyder, Judd Waldo, and Mckenzie Waldo go wakeboarding on Cheat Lake about 4 days a week. They all snowboard in the winter, usually at Wisp in nearby Maryland. Each had their own style of boarding, but Josh stands out. Why? Not only does he look older than he is, but he boards like nothing less than a Pro. I had the chance to interview this modest star on the rise and here's what he had to say.


Interview with Josh Zerkel

Photo by Julie Black
Josh Zerkel, 14-years old
iPlayOutside: How long have you been wakeboarding?

Josh: 4 years.

iPlay: What type of board you ride and who makes it?

Josh: I ride a Liquid Force Watson 138.

iPlay: What's your best trick on a board?

Josh: Either a toeside 540 or a shiffty glide.

iPlay: If you could be a sponsored rider, who would you want to sponsor you and why?

Josh: I would love to have Liquid Force as a sponsor because I've been using their gear for 2-years now and I love it. I also really like their team and their outlook on wakeboarding.

iPlay: How often do you compete and have you won any competitions lately?

Photo by Julie Black
Josh Zerkel practices his tricks
Josh: I do a few contests a year, but this year I'm only planning on doing the High Mountain Sports Annual Bust Largness Wakeboard Contest on August 20 in Deep Creek Lake, MD. I'm working on films, photo shoots like this, and learning a lot of new tricks. In the past I have competed at Lake Gaston (3rd), Deep Creek (1st), Sandy Lake (1st), Deep Creek (3rd), and again, Deep Creek (2nd).

iPlay: What other sports do you do and how long have you been doing them?

Josh: In the winter I snowboard a lot. This past season I rode almost one hundred days and filmed a video part for MTR's movie "NO.3". I've been riding for about 4 years. I also dabble in skateboarding.

Catch Josh and company in Deep Creek as he attempts to place at the top, yet again.


Editors note: iPlayOutside usually only covers non-motorized sports, but this article is an exploration in cross training and how the younger generation is taking board sports to levels we've never dreamed of.