Minnesota Wake Surfing Championship gets creative during COVID-19 pandemic

The Stewart family adapts for this year's Minnesota Wake Surfing Competition amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minnesota Wake Surfing Championship has officially wrapped up after a weekend of a new kind of competition, as COVID-19 restrictions forced organizers to rethink how the riders competed. 

Last year for the Minnesota Wake Surfing Championship, participants would have been at Surfside Park in Mound celebrating with thousands of other people, but this year in light of the pandemic, organizers were forced to get a little creative. 

“We adapted and made sure this event wasn’t cancelled this summer,” said organizer Andy Weigman.

Tyler and Ava Stewart both competed this year, and their family showed FOX 9 just what those adaptations looked like. 

“At a normal contest we have all sorts of people on the boat - we have a driver, judges, people writing down tricks,” Tyler explained. 

But this year, it was family-only on board, equipped with three GoPros to record the tricks from their boat. 

“One shot, and you either make it or you don’t. You get three falls, so you could mess it up in the first 10 seconds if you really try,” he said.

“For the parent, we’re always just sitting there nervously watching, but I guess this year I had to make sure I was going straight, making sure I wasn’t going over shallow water, so I guess it was for me as well,” said Rob, Tyler and Ava’s father.

When they were done, the videos were edited and then sent to the judges. The siblings’ score is based 80% on skill and tricks and 20% on how many views their video gets on Facebook. 

“If the family and their friends and their fans want to reshare their video to help them get a better score, we’ll see what happens,” Weigman said.

The videos of the surfers will be posted to the event’s Facebook page Saturday.