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Wake boarders fly over Castaic

Weather perfect for Fourth annual Wake Fest

Posted: July 21, 2008 1:30 a.m.
Updated: September 21, 2008 5:04 a.m.

More than 70 wake boarders showed up to the Fourth Annual Wake Fest at Castaic Lake on Sunday. Competitors raced up and down the lake, flipping in the air, spinning and splashing in the water.

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Fast boats, white water, hot dogs and not a single pair of water skis in sight.

The 4th Annual Wake Fest at Castaic Lake Sunday was all about having as much fun as one could possibly have on a single water board an hour's drive from the ocean.

Chiseled tanned bodies, bikinis, boundless sunshine and the charcoal smell of barbecued burgers and dogs made the perfect summer day for more than 70 wake boarders, their families and friends.

It was on such a perfect summer day 10 years ago - long before the full throttle roar of speed boats and sound of splashing wake boarders - that Clay Friedman and his wife Tiffany strolled along the shores of lower Castaic Lake.

"Our first date was walking on the sand here," Clay Friedman said, reflecting on that day 10 years ago in August.

The two married and quickly transformed their mutual love of wake boarding into a annual Castaic event.

"This is a wake board tournament for grass roots riders," said Clay Friedman, between making microphone announcements to introduce competing wake boards.

What's a wake board?

"It's kind of like a snowboard but on water," he explained, with the mic turned off. "So you're not water-skiing, you're snowboarding behind a boat."

As family and friends relaxed under sponsor tents, comfortable in their folding chairs, competitors raced up and down on the lake in front of them, flipping in the air, spinning and splashing in the water.

Competitors registered this year aged from seven years old to over 40.

Only the ones over 40 breathed any mention of those ancient water recreational devices - water skis.

One of the ones whispering old talk about water skis was Randy Elward.

His sons were the stars of Sunday's splish-splashing event - Travis, 18, and Wesley, 23 - who both compete professionally.

Elward identified himself as the guy who drives the boat while he sons are dragged behind, all on the other side of Castaic Lake.

"They do good and they enjoy what they do," he said. "Travis started when he was three or four, Wesley when he was eight. So, they've been wake boarding a long time."

Have they ever been on water skis?

"You know, they haven't," he said, adding that he had just finished talking to someone on the shore about the old days when water skis were popular.

The Elward brothers were introduced on the microphone by Friedman who reminded listeners: "Coming up next is the open category. This is why you came out today."

When the microphone was turned off and Friedman had a spare moment to look around at everyone having fun, he admitted that more people registered last year, but suspects the high price of gasoline had something to do with keeping patrons away this year.

"The first year we had 95 riders, so it's down a little bit," Friedman said. "I don't know if it's the fuel. We get a lot of people coming out from Bakersfield, Fresno - we have one guy who comes down from Reno. It's got to have an impact."

Some of the event sponsors included: Castaic Boat & Ski Club, The Friends of Castaic Lake, Billy's Board Shop and Babes with Boards.

"It's something we have a lot of fun with. We love the sport," Friedman said.

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