Ence takes wakeboarding to next level
Published: Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, April 18, 2012 12:04
There’s only one place to feel the wind on your face as you glide on the water while being towed behind a boat going side to side on the wake—and that’s when you’re wakeboarding.
For some, it may be side to side across the wake, but for others it’s backflips, air raleys and whirleybirds. And that’s exactly it for Carson Ence.
Ence, a sophomore biology major from Ivins, found his passion for wakeboarding when his uncle Jon took him and his brother Brady out on the lake his freshman year in high school.
“My uncle Jon was really good, and we would watch videos of him,” Ence said. “I was too scared to go and didn’t even wakeboard, but I decided to get into it.”
Ence later found his talent his first time riding with his dad and brother.
“[We] three went to the lake, and my brother got up first and did fine,” Ence said. “Then I went and got up every time. I didn’t believe I’d actually get to that point, but I wanted to do a backflip before I could clear the wake. The first time I cleared the wake, I tried a backflip right after and crashed. I crashed because I had no idea what I was doing in the air.”
Ence would then practice and master his favorite tricks on both the trampoline and in the water.
“The air raley or whirlybird were the hardest for me to learn,” Ence said. “I’ve had back rolls that I’ve landed easily, and I’ve had to try a lot harder for the other ones. It wasn’t the same effort put onto the other tricks and definitely not the same amount of pain. It took the most work to actually get them down.”
The challenge of completing tricks drove Ence to the competition level, where he has been successful in all three competitions.
“One competition was at Sand Hollow here in St. George in 2008, which was right before my mission,” Ence said. “There were boats everywhere, so the water was really rolley, and I had pretty much the best run I’ve ever had. Justin Stevens was there, who is a big shot, does all the films and was one of the sponsors of the event, and because I won they gave me a brand new board and bindings—$1,000 worth of stuff.”
Ence took first place in Advanced in his last two competitions and has been sponsored by Hyperlite.
“I had a friend on the team, and I took first in the last competition,” Ence said. “I talked to Jenacee Jackson, who is on the top team for girls for Hyperlite, and she asked if I won and if I was interested in being on the team. After seeing videos, she sent me a contract a couple days later.”
Ence said his favorite part about wakeboarding is the way it feels when you succeed and do tricks.
“My favorite is just getting better,” Ence said. “The air raleys would get me excited because it feels like you’re flying through the air.”
Chris Brooks, a sophomore physical therapy major from St. George, said Ence helped him develop the talents he never thought he had.
“When I think of Carson as a wakeboarder and a friend, I think of him as a coach,” Brooks said. “You can have someone there telling you what to do and fear takes over, but if you have someone who understands, and they’ve overcome that, then it makes it better and easier to do.”
Brooks said when he accomplished his air raley he knew some credit was given to Ence.
“Normally anyone would feel fear or hesitate to perform, but when Carson is there he acts as a coach to help you overcome the fear, and he gives you the ‘OK now do it’ because when your leader tells you to do it then you do it,” Brooks said.
Brooks also said Ence isn’t just good at coaching, but he is one who has a lot of talent.
“He’s so extremely good and talented at what he does,” Brooks said. “He performs more to increase his levels and challenges himself rather than compete against others to become better than them.”
Ence works on his skills as often as he can by video, trampoline and water, and he knows how to accomplish his goals.
“He’s dang good,” Brooks said. “He’s the one to watch, he’s fun to watch, and he’s one to put on the show.”