By Braden Thommarson | Broadcast Intern
Buried in Baylor’s list of NCAA, intramural and club sports is Baylor Wake, Baylor University’s wakeboarding team.
Baylor Wake has been around since 2009 and has grown from a small group of people with a love for the sport to a full-fledged university organization with its own high-performance boat.
Willmar, Minn. junior Grant Duininck is the team captain and provided some insight into this club sport.
“I do believe we are the largest non-Greek student organization on campus,” Duininck said.
Wrightstown, N.J. sophomore Brett Morrow is the scheduling manager for the team and said that the team has grown significantly over the years.
“As of this year, after tryouts, we have about 100 members on our team,” Morrow said.
Baylor Wake competes in competitions year-round against universities across the nation.
“All of the competitions are thrown by other colleges or ourselves,” Duininck said. “In each competition, the team will reach out to different vendors, board companies, glasses companies. They will ask for donations or sponsorship gifts, so people who place at those events will win those prizes.”
Duininck further described his love for this unique sport.
“I compete [at] every opportunity I can get,” Duininck said. “There [are] usually two or three competitions in the fall and around four competitions in the spring.”
One would think that having a wakeboarding team is fairly uncommon for colleges. However, according to Duininck, this is not the case.
“A lot of people come to Baylor and join the team never having heard of college wakeboarding,” Duininck said. “However, colleges such as Arizona State, Michigan State, the University of Central Florida all have teams. There’s even a team at the University of Washington.”
However, competition is not everything for these water-going Bears. The team also has fostered long-lasting friendships amongst its members.
“A lot of my favorite things about the team are not wakeboarding-related, Duininck said.” I can personally say that I have developed really deep relationships with my friends, and I’ve made lifelong friends who are on the team. I actually live with three people who are on the team, so I love the community that the team gives me the opportunity to be a part of.”