UCHS Student Teacher Raequel Hoffman Rides the Wake
Jun Kim, Staff Writer
May 23, 2012
Filed under Sports
Student Teacher Raequel Hoffman has had a thirst for adventure and excitement ever since she was young. She began wakeboarding often when she was thirteen and became professional when she was only seventeen years old.
She has had many inspirational figures that affected her career in wakeboarding, especially Younger Sister Shawna Hoffman. “We are each other’s coaches,” said Hoffman. When Hoffman was 13, she went to a local contest, and met several other riders who took her out on their boats and helped her excel. She also worked at a wakeboarding camp for a few months where lots of pro-riders coached and inspired her as well.
“I can’t stand being at competitions as a spectator instead of a contestant,” said Hoffman. She would rather be participating in the excitement than simply being a bystander. Wakeboarding has always provided her with opportunities to satisfy the adrenaline rush she needed in her life.
After three years of persistence and hard work, she entered the professional level in wakeboarding. She acquired many generous sponsors such as Epic Boats, CWB Wakeboards, Flojos Shoes, and Bern Helmets. With their help, Hoffman was given the chance to compete internationally. She competed among riders from 25 other countries in Chuncheon City, South Korea (southernskiboats.com). As expected, with her amazing skills, she became a World Champion in 2009 at Wakeboarding Worlds. “Only the highest ranked athletes in the world qualify for the thirtieth stop of the World Cup Series,” according to a website dedicated to wakeboarding (ballofspray.com).
Unfortunately, after the economy went into recession, having a career in wakeboarding proved to be challenging. After having six awesome years of riding professionally, her career as a wake boarder drifted. Nevertheless, she still rides professionally, though not as much as she did in the past. Wakeboarding will always be something she will do, mainly for the fun and excitement of it.
The best experience Hoffman has ever had as a rider was winning the World Championships in South Korea. “Just being able to go there was an awesome experience. I got to ride a moped with my friends through the cloud forests the day after I won,” Hoffman said. She has also had many injuries. Her worst experience was when she had her shoulder out the socket for two whole hours, according to Hoffman. She was also featured on the Tru TV “Most Daring” episode for a wakeboarding ollie gone wrong.
It’s amazing that Hoffman managed to become professional after riding seriously for only four years. Her accomplishment as a World Champion in 2009 is something that she can look back on and be proud of for the rest of her life.