Brock Moody hits the lake rain, shine — or snow. Whatever it takes to become a world champion.
A sophomore at Chestatee High School in Hall County, Brock recently competed against more than 1,000 athletes from around the world, tying for first in the 25th annual World Wake Surfing Championship, held Oct. 7-9 at Lake Conroe in Texas.
The win also secured him the No. 1 spot in the world rankings for the semi-pro division — the outlaw division, as it is otherwise known.
For Brock’s part, the outlaw designation might be more appropriate.
Some people spend Christmas by the fireplace clutching a cup of hot chocolate. Brock prefers to spend the holiday in the 35-degree waters of Lake Lanier, surfing the wake, with a smile on his face and a Santa hat blowing in the prickly wind.
When Brock introspects on his will to win and the reason for his becoming a world champion, he may recall such a moment — of braving the icy waters for 45 minutes before the threat of hypothermia forced him back on land.
But it is more likely that hundreds of more mundane moments form a collage in his mind. If that collage were given a title, it would be called “The Backside Bigspin” — the name of the trick that was very nearly his undoing.
“There was one trick that was holding me back that everyone else in my division had,” Brock said. “I was very close to saying this is probably the end of the road.”
By his account, he had attempted the trick “probably 500 times” before finally landing it.
“I have a really deep competitive edge to me,” he said. “Seeing all my buddies in the surfing world made me motivated. I have a lot of perseverance that runs through me. And so once I saw it, I was like, ‘I’m landing this trick no matter how many tries it takes.’”
Brock has several sponsors and plans to go pro next year, though him and his dad admit that there isn’t much money in the sport. His tenacity and achievements, however, have opened other doors in the boating industry.
Moreover, wake surfing has taught Brock lessons that go beyond sport and career.
“Honestly, it's not even about the surfing,” said Brock’s dad David, who is the executive director for leadership development for the Hall County School District. “Seeing your kid work that hard at something and use the gifts God gave him, and to work through and see it come to fruition, is really fun to watch.”
“We're out here, 35 degrees with the heat on and everyone bundled up, and he's in a wetsuit, sleet hitting his face,” he said. “Whether it’s snowing or sleeting, it doesn’t matter.”