Waterski & Wakesports club team make it into Division 1


Courtesy of Natalie Gaharan

The team posed for a group photo at Nationals in Sacremento.

by Sofia Longo, Staff Writer

The club participates in wakeboarding, waterskiing and wake surfing.

If you stop by the Mission Bay Aquatic Center, chances are you’ll spot the San Diego State Waterski & Wakesports club team practicing on the bay. The club practices and competes in a variety of water sports, including waterskiing, wakeboarding and wakesurfing. 

The club’s biggest season is in the fall semester when the two biggest tournaments take place. Regionals begin in the third week of September and nationals start in October. This year, the team made the Division I level at nationals and took 11th place, as well as taking home the runner-up spirit award. 

Kinesiology junior Natalie Gaharan, vice president of ski, said how much of an accomplishment it was for the team to get into the Division I bracket because most of the teams in the bracket are schools that give scholarships for people to ski. SDSU is a non-scholarship school. 

Several team members described their spring semester as the“fun” season, which consists of five to six tournaments hosted by schools in the Western region. This includes competing against schools such as the University of California Los Angeles, the University of San Diego, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and Arizona State University. 

As vice president, Gaharan enjoys her role organizing tournaments for the club and recruiting new members. Gaharan has been water skiing since she was five.

“We’ve had people join who have had no experience at all water skiing and they just want to come for the experience of learning how to ski,” Gaharan said. “We’re welcome to all types of levels and it’s a good way to bond with people who like being out on the water.” 

Business marketing freshman Rebecca King had never water skied in her life, yet joined last fall and has found a family being a part of the water sports club. 

“I had no experience going into it, and it’s been so fun,” King said. “I’ve gone to tournaments, I’ve done all this stuff (with the club), and I had no experience before, so there’s no reason (any future member) has to have any experience.” 

Even though joining a water sports club can sound scary, King said to go for it anyway. 

“Don’t be intimidated,” King said. “Don’t be afraid to try new things because I’ve found a new love for a sport that I didn’t even know was possible before the team.” 

For kinesiology sophomore Allison Gurnett, water skiing has always been in her life. 

“The club was the reason why I came to SDSU. I only applied to ski schools because I’ve been doing it my whole life,” Gurnett said. “I grew up on a water ski complex, so I was competing all my life … I joined right away when I got here.”

The transition into college was seamless for Gurnett because she found her community in the club right away. 

“When I got here, it was like family,” Gurnett said. “The water ski community is so small and I felt right at home, because that’s what I was used to … I just felt so at home. I didn’t have any problem transitioning here at all.”

The girls grab a photo.