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Sorensen performs well beyond his years

Cole Sorensen performs a trick at the World Wakesurfing Championships in Las Vegas. (Contributed)

Alexandria had four representatives who made the trip to Las Vegas on September 27 and 28 to compete in the World Wakesurfing Championship.

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More than 250 riders from around the globe traveled to compete in the event, one of few season-ending competitions of the up-and-coming sport. Alexandria was well-represented in the competition, considering riders needed to qualify for the event at other competitions around the country.

It was also represented on the podium, as 11-year-old Cole Sorensen won first place in the amateur men’s skim division. First place was even more impressive considering Sorensen was competing against all ages, including adults.

There are two different styles in wake surfing. Surf style looks more like traditional ocean surfing while skim style uses a smaller and thinner board. Sorensen competed in both styles and took first place in skim.

“I had a good run,” Sorensen said. “I was happy with that.”

Other Alexandria representatives at the World Wakesurfing Championship included Jason Lybeck, Mike Jost and 11-year-old Frankie Jost.

Sorensen first learned about wakesurfing from friends while he was on the slopes snowboarding. After trying wakesurfing for the first time and receiving some coaching, including from Mike Jost, he was hooked.

“I tried that for a year and I ended up really liking it,” Sorensen said.

In his first year of competition this summer, Sorensen qualified for the World Wakesurfing Championship by winning events in May in Arizona and August in Minnetonka.

While riders are competing, they are allowed a run that lasts only a minute. Competitors are only allowed up to four falls in every run. Some wakesurfers often try to land easier tricks early and then will progress to tougher moves. But Sorensen has a simpler approach when it comes to doing tricks.

“I just try and have as much fun as possible,” he said.

Lybeck, who had been to the World Wakesurfing Championship in years prior, said this year his strategy was to start simple. He competed in both surf and skim styles in the outlaw division, which is one step lower than the pros.

“You want to get down the tricks you know you can land a majority of the time and lay a foundation before you just start going out there and whipping your hardest tricks,” Lybeck said. “That’s what I did the year prior, and I just fell four times on one trick.”

The riders noted that Minnesota in general was well represented, as 12 percent of the 250 total riders in the competition were from this state.

Sorensen said he enjoyed the competition in Las Vegas, which was much more organized than other ones he had attended earlier in the year.

“Fun,” Sorensen said. “It was a lot better organized than some of the other competitions.”