One of his favourite tricks might put him in a spin, but Cambridge’s Luke Runciman is approaching his goals in wakeboarding – and now the wider world of water sports – with an entirely grounded approach.
The 11-year-old Cambridge Middle School student recently won the junior boy’s category of the North Island Wakeboarding Championships – adding the accolade to a long list of other successes in the sport.
And – at the Waikato Regional Water Ski Championships where he competed in ski jumping for the first time, he won the overall event.
Triumphing in water sports runs in the family.
Competing at the same event, his brother Joel, 13, won the trick skiing, while his nine-year-old brother Josh won both his trick and slalom skiing event.
Luke’s dad Neil – a former national champion water skier – says Luke’s latest foray into ski jumping might be making his mum “just a wee bit nervous”.
“Doing tricks,” Luke said when asked about his favourite part of the sport.
“I think my favourite is one called a back-roll somersault.”
On the wakeboarding front, Luke is coached by Anthony East, while Duncan Hancock takes the helm to train Luke when he’s slalom skiing.
The East family and Nick Beale own a wakeboarding boat which they use to help Luke train behind.
The Runciman family live near Lake Karapiro – the ultimate playground for how they like to have fun.
“It’s an amazing place to live – everyone involved in the sport would want to live here,” Neil said.
“It’s an amazing place to live – everyone involved in the sport would want to live here.”
The family are members of both Piarere and Karapiro water ski clubs and try to hit the water about two to three times a week.
Off the water too, the trampoline provides the best place to perfect and fine tune tricks Luke has in his repertoire.
“It’s probably the most realistic place to train off the water,” Luke said.
**This story was penned prior to the country moving to Covid-19 alert level 4**