YOUNGSTERS on Lake Albert killed the school holiday boredom with wakeboarding lessons from reigning Australian national men’s champion Tony Iacconi.
Some had never stood up before, others were keen to refine their technique, and one boy came close to landing a flip on Thursday.
“I’m trying to teach them as much as they want to learn, if they need help with anything I usually know what they need to do to land it or fix it up,” Iacconi said.
Three kids who had never been wakeboarding were standing up by the end of the 30 minute session with Iacconi.
“That was really good to see,” he said.
Iacconi is always pushing his limits to pick up new tricks, and he has found that some things come more naturally than others.
“It took me eight months to land my first flip, but then once I learnt that I went out the next day and landed a different flip straight away,” he said.
Unfortunately a broken foot prevented Iacconi from giving demonstrations, but organisers have assured participants they can come and watch him tear up Lake Albert next time he’s in Wagga.
Seven year-old Wagga boy Will Miotti reckons the hardest thing about wakeboarding is standing up; when he first took up the sport it took him about an hour to get up.
But now he’s mastered the toughest part, he’s keen to pick up some tricks from Iacconi.
“I want to do a jump,” Will said.
Though he missed out on a live demonstration, he was amazed when he saw Tony in action on YouTube.
“He’s great. I don’t know how he doesn’t get tangled in the rope when he spins around,” he said.
Iacconi has a message for future champions of the sport.
“Always have fun with it, that’s the main thing, if you’re not having fun there’s no reason to be out there.”
It’s Iacconi’s third visit to Lake Albert in three years; initially he ran an expression session with a few other pro riders and followed it up with a coaching clinic.
“We just put on a good show,” Iacconi said.
“Wagga’s awesome, you have a good lake down here, and then you have a couple of dams an hour away.”
Iaconni will be back in the US soon as the pro circuit resumes in April, where he competes every weekend.
“I’ve been living over there for the past four years now chasing the summer, wakeboarding as much as I can,” he said.
He loves low-key atmosphere of the sport.
“With wakeboarding everyone’s friends and it’s always a good time going to competitions.”