Fields Johnson of AF Wake claimed his first national title at his first major competition at the World Wake Association’s National Championship at Lake Tye Park in Monroe, Wash., last weekend. Johnson took first place in the Men’s 2 division.
Johnson has been wakeboarding for 20 years and learned most of what he knows from his cousin, Adam Fields, a world champion wakeboarder. Johnson, Fields, and other riders from the AF Wake school spent months leading up to the championship event practicing, typically early in the morning.
“That’s when the water is the best,” said Johnson.
The riders are given a specific distance they can cover during the competition, and each run is long enough for five or six tricks. Fields helped Johnson plan his run full of tricks he was confident he could land without falling. Johnson practiced the planned routine over and over again until he didn’t have to think about it anymore.
“You do what you can do and don’t worry about the other riders,” said Johnson. “I did exactly what I planned.”
Fields said that the school itself did really well at the competition; other riders that have been affiliated claimed seven to 10 spots on the podium. Fields himself took second in the Men’s Masters division.
Johnson and Fields aren’t letting up on practice yet. They are both competing in the world championships near Cancun, Mexico, in October.
In preparation for the world championships, Johnson plans to learn more tricks and create a more difficult run.
AF Wake trains other riders through camps and lessons to take with them to competitions. “AF Wake had the most placed finishes,” said Johnson, “but we want more riders to come to these events with us.”