Technically, Reece Hawthorne’s first experience on a wakeboard came when his mom, Jodi, was eight months pregnant with him.
Officially, Hawthorne’s first experience on an actual wakeboard came when he was one and was standing between his dad Rex’s legs.
Since then, there have been many solo efforts behind a boat for the Grade 9 Fulton student, who will compete in wakeboarding and wakeskating at the B.C. Summer Games in Nanaimo July 17-20.
“Wakeskating is wakeboarding without bindings and you’re pretty much doing skateboarding tricks,” said Hawthorne, who turns 14 in September. He prefers to have the bindings on his feet.
“I definitely prefer wakeboarding,” said Hawthorne. “There are more tricks that are easy to do. Wakeskating is more flat tricks instead of jumping the (boat’s) wake. I like getting the air time.”
Hawthorne has been spending his summer vacation preparing for the Games. He’s been working on things like a tantrum, which, in his sport, is a backflip, as well as scarecrows (a front 180 flip) and lots of 180s with grabs (grabbing the board).
“I got a bag of tricks,” he smiled.
Hawthorne, who also plays hockey, soccer, rugby, basketball and volleyball, will leave at 1 a.m. Thursday on a bus with the Okanagan Zone 2 wakeboarding and water ski team for Nanaimo. Once on the Island, he and the other competitors will get a practice run behind the events’ official boat.
Competition begins Friday.