For the last five years, Gerry Nunn has been taking wakeboarders of all abilities out on Lake Hopatcong. A professional wakeboarder for 11 years, Nunn gave clinics on Tuesday and Wednesday out of Lake Hopatcong Marine, where Ryan Sorensen is master of all things wakeboard related. Ryan Sorensen wakeboards in Henderson CoveSorensen (top photo) has arranged for Nunn to host wakeboarding clinics on the lake every summer, and this year four groups of aspiring wakeboarders received direction from the Orlando-based expert. “A lot of it is getting them at the right rope length, in good water, and a nice wake,” Nunn said. “I make all the conditions right for learning, and then all you need is the instruction.” On Wednesday, that instruction came with specifics, as Nunn drove Lake Hopatcong Marine’s demo Malibu Wakesetter and viewed the participants through a giant rear-view mirror. “Don’t try to jump off the top of the wake,” he told one rider. “Think about riding it like a ramp.” To others, he focused on weight balance and where they should place their focus as they attempt to land jumps. “The biggest problems people have are not staying on edge and putting weight on their back foot,” he said. Gerry Nunn on Lake Hopatcong Wednesday’s participants included brothers Jack, Jason, and Thomas Aversa of Hunterdon County and Tom Povanda of Pequannock, whose son participated in a clinic with Nunn on Tuesday. “I first boarded two and a half years ago, and I just couldn’t make it work, until somebody gave me a trick and it completely changed it for me,” Povanda said. “Now, my whole family does it, including my wife and two boys. And I’m always looking for an excuse to get out on the water and get better.” Nunn, who grew up in Ohio, was always a big waterskier, kneeboarder, snowskier, and snowboarder. “Then I started riding” as a teenager, he said, “and I got addicted to the point where I couldn’t quit.” Now he travels the country giving clinics and private lessons—including a stop on Lake Hopatcong every summer. Jack Aversa gets a lesson from Gerry Nunn on Lake Hopatcong.Sorensen, who is a member of the Lake Hopatcong Marine Wakeboarding Team, has been working to build the wakeboarding scene on the lake, through such clinics and by taking people out in the marina's demo boat for rides. He is also organizing the Garden State Wakeoff out of Lake Hopatcong State Park. The second annual event will take place the weekend of September 26 and 27, and feature competitions between North Jersey wakeboarders and South Jersey wakeboarders, with groupings for all ages and abilities. “It’s really a great battle, and a fun time,” Sorensen said. “Hopefully it will keep getting bigger.”

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