Ride the wave

Pro wakesurfer works in Osseo

by Neil Salminen

Murphy News Service

 

Area pro wakesurfer Brandon “Tollie” Tolliver took third place on the Endless Wave Pro Tour which wrapped for the summer at the Texas Surf Showdown finals in mid September.

Wakesurfing is a sport in which a surfer rides the wake created by a specialized boat. Surfing this wake is similar to surfing an actual ocean wave. After a surfer gets up on the wave with the help of a tow rope, the surfer drops the rope and rides the steep face of the wave. Wakesurfers will then preform various tricks. Some of these tricks can be spins, jumps, or anything else the surfer can dream up.

Brandon “Tollie” Tolliver, left, joins fellow wakesurfers Aaron Witherell and Domonic Lagace as champs of the Endless Wave Pro Tour. Tolliver works in Osseo and is a pro wakesurfer.

Brandon “Tollie” Tolliver, left, joins fellow wakesurfers Aaron Witherell and Domonic Lagace as champs of the Endless Wave Pro Tour. Tolliver works in Osseo and is a pro wakesurfer.

Tolliver, who works at Heinen’s Motorsports in Osseo, started wakesurfing eight years ago out on Lake Minnetonka.

“It started with a couple of guys, a boat and a rope,” Tolliver said. “It snowballed to no rope and riding the wave behind the boat. People would stop to watch what we were doing.”

The Endless Wave Pro Tour is a wakesurfing competition that awards points to competitors in each of its five weekend competitions. Points are awarded to wakesurfers based on the tricks they preform through a run. Judges look for difficulty, intensity, variety and execution of a wavesurfers tricks.

The Endless Wave Tour wrapped up its 2013 season with it finale at the Texas. Tolliver finished the summer-long competition in third place overall and also took third place in the pro-skim division.

“This year has been a real good year for me,” Tolliver said.

Tolliver has been competing on the wakesurfing tour for three years now. His first year he toured as an amateur and these last two years he toured as a professional.

Brandon “Tollie” Tolliver catches some air while wakesurfing, a sport in which a surfer rides the wake created by a specialized boat.

Brandon “Tollie” Tolliver catches some air while wakesurfing, a sport in which a surfer rides the wake created by a specialized boat.

“I had my best performance at the Summer Shred Fest in Denver,” Tolliver said. “I completed 90 percent of my tricks through the run, which is very difficult to do.”

Tolliver plans to compete on the tour again next year. “I figure I’ve got another four or five years to compete in the sport,” Tolliver said.

Today Tolliver and friend Nate Melek own and operate a business called Surf Tonka. Tolliver and Melek use their business to teach the sport of wakesurfing to people who have an interest and want to learn.

Idol Surf is a Twin Cities business that specializes in creating hand-made, fresh water surfboards. Tolliver said he is working with Idol to create his own model of wakeboard.

Heinen’s sells Tige boats, a sponsor for Tolliver, and which is one of the specialized boats that creates the wave on which the wavesurfers ride.

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