BY LAURA MCCANDLESS – STAFF WRITER
Throughout the past season, senior Woody White has amassed many national and international titles for his wake boarding career. Besides being a Centre student, he is the current United States National Champion in wake boarding and recently won the world championships in Portugal.
Wake boarding, which consists of performing acrobatic maneuvers on a board while being towed by a motorboat, has become increasingly popular in recent years, and White is at the front of it.
“The first thing that I remember about wake boarding is sitting in the boat with my sister, watching my dad ride on Dale Hollow Lake when we were little,” White said. “That gave us our first experience; however, we really didn’t start to ride until we got our houseboat on Lake Cumberland and made friends down there. Once we began to ride with each other and compete on who could land the next trick fastest, there was no turning back.”
Lake Cumberland, which is only about an hour and twenty minutes away from Centre College, has been an important place for White in his wake boarding career.
“It’s an amazing lake to ride on. but what really makes it for me is all the support that I get from our neighbors on our dock—especially the people that we have known since I was little,” White said. “Both the owners of our dock and the people that live on it always give me amazing support when it comes to my wake boarding career.”
Friend and fellow Sigma Chi fraternity brother Matt Kircher has joined White on the lake more than a few times.
“When I first saw him wake boarding on Lake Cumberland it was a surreal experience because I’d never witnessed anyone wake board before, let alone do a double backflip behind a boat,” Kircher said.
White couldn’t be farther away from Lake Cumberland currently, however, since he’s spending the semester in Florida before returning for CentreTerm.
“Spending a semester in Florida is really just making my dreams come true,” White said. “Whenever I go to competitions, I am competing against kids that live in Florida or California or other places where they can practice year-round whereas I am only able to practice about 5 months out of the year before it gets cold again. Having this opportunity has really allowed me to progress my riding so much already, and it’s already got me excited about next season.”
White is the 2014 National Champion for Mens Division I as well as 2015 champion at both Southern Regionals and Lally’s Board Bash (Outlaw Division). His most impressive achievement, however, is his most recent “insane experience”—winning world championships in Portugal.
“This was my first time traveling to Europe so it was amazing just to be there at all, it kind of took the place of my study abroad,” White said. “I only competed for two days and we were there for almost a week, so we were able to spend some time traveling around the beautiful country of Portugal.”
White’s mother and a friend he trains with at Lake Cumberland, who took third in the championships, were able to make the trek with him.
“It’s always a lot more fun, as well as a lot more comforting while in another county, to have a close friend competing with you,” White said. “The lake also so closely resembled Lake Cumberland that it really did feel like I was just training back home, which made for a very relaxed feeling at such a nervous time.”
So what’s next for Centre’s own wake boarding champion?
“As far as future wake boarding goes it really just depends on the next couple years,” White said. “My dream would be to continue with this sport as long as I can; however, it is a hard sport to make a living with. My plan is to return to Florida for grad school so that I can continue my training and then see where the sport takes me from there.”