Wakesurf Orlando has coached hundreds of people wakesurfing for the first time and even had the honor of working with some of the most talented wakesurfers on the pro tour but the most rewarding part of building our business has been the opportunity to give back to the water sports community. Above the Wake is a non-profit focused on introducing children with autism and other cognitive delays to the world of towed water sports. Above the Wake was founded by Michiganite, Tom Hart, who operates a specialized around the clock care home for disabled adults. Tom began working with children in 1991 coaching multiple youth sports programs and discovered there were many children who needed extra attention. Through his experience working with special needs, this fostered the creation of Above the Wake in 2014.
We first met Tom Hart in 2015 and quickly joined the ranks of contributing sponsors including Ann’s Angels, Gator Wake, Michigan State Wakeboard Club, Ninjoga Standup Paddleboarding, Regal and Nautique of Orlando, Tommy’s Clermont, Wake’nd Warriors, Wake the World, Wootown Wakefest, and Zup Board. Above the Wake hosts several Day at the Lake events every year providing autistic kids the opportunity to wakesurf, wakeboard, Zup board, and even enjoy some good old fashioned tubing behind the boat. For many of the children, it is their first experience on a wakeboat or behind one. The motto of Above the Wake is to, “Leave your fear at the dock”. Countless times, we have witnessed children initially fearful of getting in the water conquer that fear. Watching their successes and the smiles that follow are the pinnacle of our day. The events always include paddleboarding, a barbecue, games on the shoreline, and a charity raffle of donations from various companies.
Tom is one of the most lovable people you will ever encounter. He is a jovial, well-spoken business owner, coach, father, husband, and has become one of our closest friends. His mission to work with kids has become our own and we are grateful to be a part of his vision. We volunteer our boat and coaching services for every Above the Wake event as well as donate products from our sponsors for the charity raffle. We encourage everyone to join the cause by participating in Above the Wake Day at the Lake events or by contributing financial donations through their website. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. We look forward to seeing you at their next event!
And a special thanks to John Lipscomb of JD Diamond Photography for always being there to capture the magic.