Las Vegas middle-school student Zoe Luquette only beganwakeboarding six months ago, but has already earned a place representing her country at this year’s PanAmericanWakeboarding Championships. The competition will be held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Feb.10 – 15. The St. Viator eighth-grader was selected to compete in the championships by USA Wakeboard,the national governing body for wakeboard, wakeskate, wakesurf and cable. USA Wakeboard is a member of the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation and the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Luquette decided to take up wakeboarding because she always loved being around water and wanted to try something new. An honor-roll student who plays soccer and volleyball, researched other activities to pursue, including swimming and water polo, before coming across the Las Vegas Water Sports website. She and her mother reached out to the company to inquire about how to get started, and Luquette was invited by owner Randy Sorensen to try out a few different boards on Lake Mead. She turned out to be a natural and signed up to compete in Nevada’s INT League—the Little League of watersports. Soon, she began traveling regularly to California to work with noted wakeboarders and trainers Andy and Austin Polterock to hone her skills.
The passion and hard work paid off. At the end of her first season, Luquette placed second at Western Regionals and fourth in the nation for her level in the INT League.
Luquette rides a Ronix Vault 128 with Halo Bindings and continues to practice at Lake Mead. She has met some encouraging friends along the way. “I don’t know where I’d be without my water-friends… I have a whole new family since I started this and I wouldn’t trade them for the world!” says Luquette.
Said Coach Andy Polterock about her second-place finish at Western Regionals: “The one boy that beat her has been riding for years. She has shown unreal growth in a very short time. We’re so very proud she’s gotten this far. It’s a great start—and she wants more!”
Shaw O’Keefe, Nevada INT Coordinator said, “Good times, Zoe is a shredder!” after seeing her ride for the firs time.
After a phenomenal first season, Luquette is understandably excited about being invited to represent the United States of America in the Pan-Am Championships.
“This is a life-changing opportunity for me and a chance to really see what I’m made of,” says Luquette. “If given the opportunity to go, I will represent our country to the best of my ability, as well as youth and water lovers everywhere. I am so grateful to be where I am and can’t wait to see what the future holds!” Todd Coons, SoCal INT Coordinator said, “Let’s help Zoe achieve this!”
In order to participate, Luquette needs to raise $6,500 to cover travel and entry fees. A GoFundMe account has been established to help Luquette raise the necessary funds for her expenses. If she competes in the Pan-Am Wakeboard Championships, she needs to be in Buenos Aires by Feb. 10.
See A Video of Her in Action Below this Article...