Is the phrase “lake rat” still viable in today’s lake language? I don’t have too many “lake” friends anymore and am not sure what the modern terms are for people who live and breathe lake days.
Summer of 1978 at age 7, my parents taught me to water ski. I remember my short pair of kid skis and the little red life jacket that read “peewee” size, complete with leg straps so it wouldn’t go over my head while in the water.
As a family, we visited Medina Lake multiple times a month, but my dad made sure we saw other lakes from time to time and even took us camping.
Sometimes, my older brother and I could bring friends, but it was mostly just our immediate family. We were probably on a lake two to three weekends a month during any warm time of the year.
I recall hundreds of late nights when Dad drove the boat to the launch site, and my brother and I were sleeping, listening to the water lapping on the sides of the boat while it slowly motored along the quiet night waters. It was a way of life for our family.
It was a labor of love for my parents to share this lifestyle with us. Though it was an expensive hobby, it was so worth the time and energy looking back.
While I was in high school, I had an opportunity to try out for the Sea World Ski Team in San Antonio. Because of my years of skiing and watching the team perform, I was able to handle the trick ski and pull off some of the moves the females would need to do while on the team. I ended up being invited to attend the ski team training camp that was to be held at Medina Lake.
Sadly, prior to training camp, the camp moved to Florida. That was the last chance I had to try out due to graduation and moving forward in life. That was in 1986…
Fast forward to 2022, we decided that summer in Austin means KMB could not be complete without a lake day. Wade’s Waves was the perfect fit, and I had visions of getting back on a ski. However, little did I know we would be wake surfing instead!
Upon arrival and parking the car, I walked across the street to Walsh Landing and found the beautiful Mastercraft X24 surf boat complete with certified U.S.C.G. Captain Wade and his first mate, Taylor.
Wade began explaining the time we’d spend together, sharing that I’d be wake surfing. Honestly, at first, I was disappointed because I was excited to ski again. However, I had no idea that wake surfing was so much fun!
I learned that Wade Mitchell grew up on Lake Austin doing water sports. For years, he’s taught many of his friends to wake surf, sharing his passion for the sport. It’s evident there’s nothing Wade loves more than being on the water, and his enthusiasm is contagious. He is a patient and safety-conscious instructor who loves teaching a beginner the basics of wake surfing.
We motored out and when they came to the perfect spot, Wade jumped in to demonstrate wake surfing and my stomach turned slightly as I questioned if I’d be able to stand up. I’ve always been able to get up on skis, and I wasn’t ready to fail.
I’m happy to share that on my second try, thanks to the detailed coaching and instruction of Wade, I stood up and surfed! Once I stood up on the board, I made a conscious effort to stay up and slowly transition to the smooth water area behind the boat, tossing my rope to Wade per his instruction.
Wade and Taylor made this workout special with cheering and encouragement. I felt right at home and thoroughly enjoyed learning my newfound lake skill. Next time I find myself behind a surf boat, I’ll know exactly what to do.
For any of you Austinites looking for new adventures, or maybe you have friends/family coming to visit, be sure to check out www.wadeswaves.com for details on their group sessions, designed for all skill levels. Lessons include all equipment needed with availability from sunup to sundown, weather permitting.
Also, friends, partygoers, lovers — anyone and everyone can book a relaxing cruise on Lake Austin with Captain Wade. Guests are encouraged to pack cheese boards, snacks and beverages to enjoy while admiring the beautiful Texas sunsets in style. And if you’re searching for lakefront property, Wade’s Waves welcomes real estate searches with local agents.
As for getting my butt kicked, I can’t say I was sore anywhere. However, my body was tired, and my brain was completely satisfied learning this new skill.
One thing that was both unexpected and welcomed was unlike skiing where the upper body gets completely taxed, wake surfing works primarily legs and core while the upper body remains more relaxed.
If you have not tried wake surfing yet, I highly recommend you contact Wade and get on his schedule, especially if you live in Austin. Be sure to tell them Mo sent ya!
Until next month, stay fit and love life!