A Dallas woman discovered something good when she got turned on to the water sport of wake surfing, and now she's riding a wave of success.
“They flashed the results online for a second, and I was not expecting to medal in skim. It’s my minor sport. It was a warm-up for my surf,” said Holly Allaire as she talked about her performance in the Competitive Wake Surfing Association’s World Wake Surfing Championship in Fort Worth two weeks ago.
She got a bronze medal in the skim category and was fourth-best in the world in the surfing category. Wake surfing is a water sport where the participant trails behind a boat on a special board and rides the boat's wake like a surfer would a wave.
“I dropped the rope. Lightbulbs went off, and I said, ‘This is my new passion’,” Allaire said about her first wake surfing experience a few years ago in Florida. “To me, there’s just no other feeling.”
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She is a lifelong athlete with cycling, skiing and tennis in her past but even she is surprised by her success in wake surfing given that she's new to the sport and she says, her age.
“Mind you, I’ve been only surfing for three years. All these women I’m competing against have been on the board anywhere from three to 10 years,” she said. “I'm 62 years old. This doesn't happen to athletes like this, especially women. I'm a minority and a double minority being 62!”
Allaire is such a hit, she's a brand ambassador for a boat company. She started a wake surfing school and she'll move up to the semi-pros for the 2021 season.
“I’ll be in the outlaw division, and the women I could compete against could be as young as 13,” Allaire said. All that comes on top of her fulltime job as owner of a landscaping company in Dallas.
Allaire is so hooked on the water sport, she is convinced anyone can do it. "I’m a living testament that it can be done,” she said.