Guest post written and submitted by Mary Pryor –
Take a 15 year old who has a passion for being out on the water, mix it with adventure and athleticism, and you end up with a very determined kid named Tyler Brooks.
Growing up as a lake rat on Grand Lake with his grandparents out on Hines Point in Tia Juana, Brooks found himself intrigued very early on by watching wakeboarders.
By age 10, the precocious and well-mannered athlete taught himself how to wakeboard – surprisingly by watching YouTube videos, “I started watching the videos and it taught me a lot about how to get up on the board and how to do surface 180 and 360 tricks,” said Brooks.
If ever the term ‘practice makes perfect’ comes into play, Tyler is certainly trying to perfect his sport as he practices nearly 365 days a year between Lake Skiatook and Grand Lake.
He has participated in over 70 tournaments all over the country and has gained sponsorships along the way from the likes of Go Pro, Monster Energy, Ronix Wakeboards, SpyOptics, Malibu Boats, Axis Wake Research and even picked up a few local Grand Lake sponsors this year.
He credits his ability to the endless hours that his father, Todd, has put in towing him around; along with family friend, Stan Kent.
“If it weren’t for my dad and Stan, I wouldn’t be able to practice as much as I’ve been able to and practicing is the key to perfecting stunts,” Tyler said.
He tries to forget about some of the injuries that have come with trying to flip himself up in the air or while practicing not just a 360 flip, but a 720 flip, “It comes with a price, I’ve had some shoulder and elbow sprains,” he laughed.
His mother, Jan, tries to forget about the couple of times he knocked himself out.
Yet, it doesn’t stop Tyler from forging on, “It’s just part of it,” he said.
From front flips to back flips, spins and catching big air, Brooks works hard to perfect the areas of which he’s usually judged which include: amplitude; technical difficulty of the trick; and how well the run is put together.
Already competing in National and World Competitions, the self-proclaimed science nerd is already thinking ahead to the future; saving prize money for college tuition.
“I hope to get into a college that has a wake team, that would be ideal,” he said.
For father, Todd Brooks, he hopes that the sponsorship companies keep his son in mind for employment after he graduates from college.
Coming in third place at Worlds in 2012 and fifth place at Nationals, he will be competing in the Outlaw division next year.
Tyler’s goal is to eventually turn pro, which looks like could well be the case for the lake bum who never gets tired of his passion.
“I never get sick of it, I can do every trick but about two of them,” he said.
After spending some time with Tyler, you start to get the idea that it won’t be too much longer before he can do the other two.
While having his dad as his coach for five years, the father/son team decided that to further Tyler’s goal of turning pro, they hired Coach Brian Sasser to help him continue on to the next level.
While he also has a love of the newer fad of wake surfing, it doesn’t matter which he attempts, he just loves being on the water.
“It’s so relaxing and peaceful out there. I love hanging with my friends and taking them out on the boat and showing them what I do,” he said thoughtfully.
He is serious about his education as well and making good grades is something he takes pride in.
As for the competitive nature that lies within the talented teen, he simply does not like to be beat.
Yet, if he does get beat- it’s not stopping him any time soon.
He’s thankful for his family, friends and sponsors for which he is glad to have in his life. “There are a lot of good people who have helped me get where I am today and I don’t ever forget it,” he said.
Tyler will be teaching wake boarding and surf lessons this summer on Grand Lake and Lake Skiatook.
To keep up with Tyler Brooks competitions and his progress over the summer, check out his Facebook page.
For more information on how you can take lessons from Tyler the summer at Grand Lake contact Todd Brooks at (918) 606-7070.
Photos by Mary Pryor and Todd Brooks.