Baylor’s wake team aims for strong community through competition, events

Baylor Wake member executes an aerial trick off of their boat's waves. Photo courtesy of Tj Short.

By Kassidy Tsikitas | Staff Writer

Founded in 2009, and ranked third nationally, Baylor’s Wake team strives to do more than just competing, they work on building a strong community and create lifelong friendships.

The Woodlands junior Madison Breaux, vice president of the wake team, said her role in the team is to coordinate events. She said Bear Bash is one of the biggest competitions hosted by Baylor Wake at Waco Surf, along with Cactus Classic hosted at Arizona State University and Wake Up hosted by Texas A&M wake team in San Antonio. The competitions are held to bring the wake teams from other schools closer together.

You get to meet friends from other schools and over the years, you see how much they have changed,” Breaux said.

Along with overseeing and hosting events, Breaux also puts together team bonding activities that help the team members trust each other more and have more fun.

“I can’t emphasize enough how much of a family we are,” Breaux said.

Baylor Wake aims to include underclassmen who haven’t found their place at Baylor yet and attempts to show them acceptance and welcoming into their team.

Villa Park, Calif., sophomore Shannon Storer, secretary for Baylor wake said she plans out community service opportunities for the team.

“We helped with Steppin’ Out and cleaned up the Brazos and The Wells Project,” Storer said. “It just feels really great to give back.”

Storer also said the wake team does not only dedicate its time in building a strong community, but also invests it in growing its faith.

“Every Sunday, we would get together and meet for bible study,” Storer said. “It’s nice to have something to do with your friends. We don’t force anyone to do it, we always respect people’s beliefs.”

Mahtomedi, Minn., junior Caroline Mckee said she has been a member of Baylor Wake since fall of 2021.

The community aspect is what I like the most about being in Wake is volunteering together,” Mckee said. “I appreciate how we can all come together by a common interest and improve our community.”

San Diego, Calif., senior and captain of the wake board team Jake Lippe, said there is no required experience wakeboarding to join the team. He said members have core values of treating everyone as equals and keeping awareness they are growing and learning together.

“If you’re out here trying to learn a new trick, don’t give up, believe in yourself, and most importantly have fun with what you are doing,” Lippe said.

Baylor Wake has two tryouts that occur throughout the school year held at the beginning of each semester. Although tryouts don’t evaluate skill, Lippe said they evaluate the amount of effort and positive attitude each person brings. Tryouts are a requirement in the wake team because of the limited number of students the organization can admit at once.

“The support that everyone shows each other while trying new tricks or even just getting off the dock at a competition, is an amazing thing to be a part of,” Lippe said.

Kassidy Tsikitas is a junior journalism major from New Jersey and a minor in film and digital media. In her third semester at the Lariat, she is excited to take on the role of Photo Editor. In her time here, she has learned the written and visual parts of a newspaper. She is most excited to take on a leadership role and learn new things.