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At the World Wake Surfing Centurion in Kelowna, B.C., Canada, last September, wake surfer Jake Caster, then a rising junior at Westford Academy, competed among the other top 10 surfers in his division for the world title. After landing a trick of his own, the “Hail Mary” spin, he won the World Champion title for the Men’s Pro Surf and Skim Division.
“I had landed that trick a few times at home, and no one has ever landed it on film or in a contest, so I thought, ‘here’s my chance to take home the win.’ I threw it, and I landed it,” Caster said. [Continue below]
At 18, Caster has not only discovered what it is he wants to do with his life, but has already succeeded in building a career around it. While other students prepare for their futures, Caster’s has already begun.
He first began surfing three years ago when Caster’s close friend, Ian Scott, took him and their mutual friend Westford Academy senior Gareth Owens to his lake house in Maine. There, Scott, now a Westford Academy alumnus, introduced them both to the world of surfing.
According to Owens, it was that weekend when Caster’s passion and natural talent for wake surfing first emerged.
“He [Scott] took us out there, and showed us this new sport he was trying out…I tried it, and I was pretty shaky, but then Jake hopped on, and I could tell that he felt pretty comfortable…he was definitely a natural,” Owens said.
Caster was first attracted to the sport, he said, because its similarity to skateboarding made it easier for him to perform tricks.
“I’ve been skateboarding all of my life, and we have a lake house at Nabnasset Lake, so I’ve also always been into watersports…I fell in love with it [wake surfing] because all my skateboard tricks translated over a little bit onto the water,” Caster said.
From that point forward, Caster’s view of wake surfing evolved from being a fun hobby, to a profession, and finally, to an entire way of life. In the past three years, he has successfully launched his own wake surfing website and limited liability corporation, Live-Wicked.com, that includes video guides for novice surfers, along with a mobile app and even a line of clothing.
Caster launched the Live-Wicked mobile app less than three months ago, and ever since, Caster claims the app has been downloaded 250 times. The Live-Wicked mobile app, he said, was created to provide a convenient gateway to the sport for beginner surfers.
“I know a lot if people who want to get into it [wake surfing] but just need help, so I wanted to create an app where they could just go right in and click on it,” Caster said.
With sponsorships from Brigade Wake Surf Company of Boise, Idaho, as well as Nashua, New Hampshire’s indoor surf park, Surf’s Up, Caster now competes almost every weekend during the summer, and practices every chance he gets. Even though he plans on going to college after high school, Caster does not intend to let his wake surfing career end here.
“I’m probably going to go to college, but I will definitely continue pursuing a career. If the opportunity presents itself, and something comes my way, maybe I’ll even keep going after college,” he said.
According to Owens, it has been a rewarding ride to watch Caster’s athletic career unfold from that first surf, years ago — especially since, Owens said, Caster is not one to boast or brag.
“I am so proud of all his accomplishments and very honored to see Jake skyrocket into the person he has become. He’s so down-to-earth, and so humble with all that he’s won… I think he’s got a great career ahead of him if that’s what he chooses to do,” Owens said.
Anthony Cammalleri is a Westford Academy senior completing his capstone project as a WestfordCAT interning news reporter.