Pueblo, CO - Traditional surfers, both casual and professional alike, travel the world looking for the best waves they can find.
In the sport of wakesurfing, a bit of an offshoot of traditional surfing in which surfers ride artificial waves created by specialized wake boats, the body of water is just as important.
It's no wonder that one of the world's top wakesurfers, Camille Goodwin, 18, honed her craft on one of the most beautiful bodies of water in the United States, nearby Lake Pueblo.
Goodwin is currently the third-ranked girls wakesurfer in the world, and she got her start at age 11 in the pristine waters of Lake Pueblo.
"I've always said I think I was supposed to be born by the ocean, but I was meant to be here and (train) on Lake Pueblo," Goodwin said. "I appreciate this lake so much, and it's so accessible."
Lake Pueblo sits just east of the Rocky Mountain front range, its reservoir of mountain runoff along the Arkansas River and providing water to municipalities throughout Colorado. Nearby Pueblo benefits from the reservoir's repository, resulting in the city's water being feted as one of the nation's best-tasting tap water sources in the nation by the American Water Works Association.
Beyond its clean waters, the Lake Pueblo State Park is also the home of some of the best inland water recreation in the western United States, boasting 4,611 surface acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline. Marinas, diverse fishing waters, trails, and more dot the park.
It's the perfect place for Goodwin to hone her craft, allowing her to bond in an almost spiritual way as she trains.
"I'm so fortunate," Goodwin said. "We have some of the cleanest water, the prettiest sunrises and sunsets, awesome waters and fish, I'm super thankful for it."
Goodwin should know good water as she travels throughout the country participating in wakesurfing competitions, constantly improving her skill set as she strives for the top spot in the world.
In doing so, Goodwin takes to the top lakes in the nation, attempting to put together her best "run," which is a 45-60 second display of her finest moves. A run is judged mostly on quality and difficulty, consisting of moves and tricks with such names as shuvits, varials, bigspins and the gumby shove.
Since taking to wakesurfing on Lake Pueblo for the first time at age 9, progressing to the amateur competitive level at 14, Goodwin has progressed quickly. She would skip her final year of high school to focus more on wakesurfing as she became one of the world's best.
Her pro career has resulted in sponsorships with Supra Boats, a wakeboard boat manufacturer, and Phase 5 Wakesurf Boards. Through these partnerships, Goodwin has become an Instagram influencer (@thecamillegoodwin) in the wakesurf community.
She also works sales for the Rocky Mountain Boat Company, also known as RoMoBoCo, which is the dominant boat dealer and supply store in Southern Colorado. In that role, she also has created a wakesurf lesson business that is thriving.
The accessibility to Lake Pueblo that she enjoyed is sparking her future ambitions. She has dreams of expanding toward a wakeboarding "academy" where she can teach kids how to wakeboard, without the burden of having to buy expensive boats or struggle with accessibility.
"I wish everybody could be out on the water," Goodwin said. "The sport could then have so much more money, and be so much more competitive, if everyone could do this."
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Enjoy Our Wakesurfing Video at: https://www.facebook.com/100129481485585/videos/299043934724560