TWIN LAKES - Getting good enough to win at the annual Twin Lakes Wakefest wakeboarding competition takes a mix of talent, time and practice.
For Myles Promes, of Gowrie, that might sting a little since practicing often means falling and that means hitting the water - hard.
"I've had a lot of crashes and a lot of faceplants," he said after a run behind a speedboat to show off his skills.
Austin Kolegraff, 15, of Okoboji, attempts a flip Saturday morning during competition at the annual Wakefest held at Twin Lakes.
He did get hurt once.
"I got a concussion once," he said.
Promes, who is 20, began as a waterskier and then moved onto wakeboarding. He said he gets to practice a couple of times a year at Twin Lakes and during an annual vacation to Minnesota.
He finds watching the high ranked boarders inspirational.
"It makes me want to get better," he said.
Austin Kolegraff, 15, of Okoboji spends a lot of time on the water honing his skills.
"I go three to four times a week," he said. "Each time it's three to four hours."
It's his first year boarding and Wakefest his second competition.
"I thought I'd try it," he said. "It looked fun."
He ended up in the drink on his last trick, a back roll.
"I've done it before," he said. "But not with this board."
He had to compete with an older board he hasn't used for a while.
"I broke my new board," he said.
Conditions on the lake made for some interesting riding, there are several factors that figure into the equation he said.
"The wind makes a difference when it makes waves," he said.
He enjoys the competition.
"It pumps up my adrenaline," he said.
Cameron Kennedy, of Ames, is co-organizer of the event. He said that more than 70 wakeboarders signed up to compete this year from all over Iowa.
The rain that fell - ranging from a drizzle to heavy rain - had an effect on both turnout and the competition.
"If it's too heavy it starts stinging your face and affecting your ability to see," he said.
Of course, as with any sport, there's the Holy Grail of achievement, Kennedy says that for a wakeboard competition, it's the Whirly Bird.
"It's a backflip with a 360 degree turn," he said. "That's what everyone is trying to hit."
The participants are judge on two main criteria.
"Who has the best style and who has the highest altitude," he said.
Of course, it's not everyone there that came to compete.
Kylia Bleam and Tayler Rasch, both of Manson, simply came out to enjoy the day at the lake.
"It's a weekend nobody wants to miss, Bleam said.