2015 was a life-changing year for me, not only did I turn 40, but I learned about wakesurfing! Once my husband bought our family a surf boat and hooked me up with a wakesurfing lesson, I was hooked. This sport should come with a warning because this stuff is addictive! Within a few months, I started competing and ended the 2015 season with a 3rd place win at the World Wakesurfing competition. A year and a half later, I finished number one in the Outlaw division (2016) and I’m entering at the pro level for 2017. As a mom to four kiddos, I have a busy lifestyle, but I make time to get out on the water as much as I can – to practice and to keep my sanity! Wakesurfing is such an exciting and challenging sport and we often joke, “Can you believe there are people out there who don’t wakesurf?!” This sport has brought many new experiences and friends into my life and I’m so blessed to have incredible support from my family, friends, and my sponsors, Soulcraft Wakesurf Boards and Nuff Grip.
Rylee Steffen (AKA Smiley Rylee)
I’ll never forget the first time I was able to let go of the rope… it was October, 2015, and I had been trying for a few weeks to even get up on the surfboard — it’s a lot harder than it looks like! Anyhow, I was behind the boat and staying in the wave, but I was so scared to throw the rope. My mom and my sister were encouraging me and yelling for me to throw the rope and finally, I just dropped it. As soon as I realized I was still staying in the wave, I started screaming and freaking out, I couldn’t believe I was finally wakesurfing, I was actually doing it! From that moment forward, wakesurfing turned into a passion. Every moment I’m able to, I want to be on the water, and every moment I’m not on the water, I’m thinking about wakesurfing. 2016 was filled with competitions that took me all over the U.S. I placed first at the five competitions I did and qualified to go to the World Wakesurfing Championship where I finished second in the juniors division for 2016. This year, I hope to continue to learn new tricks, make more friends, and have lots of dance parties behind the boat!