Wakesurfing is so much a part of Brent and Tammy Wall‘s family life that they named their dog Surfer. And for the last five years, they’ve made a Christmas tradition from their favorite sport, too.
Last weekend, the Walls loaded up their family boat, along with Surfer and sons Wesley, 19, and Noah, 17, invited some brave friends and headed out to Jordan Lake for their annual Santa Run. Along with wet suits to protect against the cold, they all wore North Pole-themed costumes of elves and old St. Nick himself. As traffic on nearby Highway 64 honked horns and slowed to watch, Santa and his helpers caught waves off the bow and put in some turns.
The tradition, Brent says, started as a mid-summer challenge in 2013. During a warm family day on the lake, someone dared the others to commit to returning when the weather was cold, just before Christmas. And every year since, when Jordan’s water level has allowed, they’ve been back.
“Every year we kinda up the game on costumes,” Brent says. “Now you’re going to have to wear an elf outfit if you want a turn.”
Christy O’Hara, who owns Steel Roots Home Decor near Briar Chapel on Highway 15-501, and her daughter, Grace, were among those who took the plunge. Chatham Magazine Associate Editor Heather Johnson tagged along for some great live video on the Chatham Magazine Facebook page.
Brent said the family hopes to raise awareness of – and perhaps one day turn the Santa Run into a fundraiser for – Wake the World, an Asheboro-based charitable ministry that connects boat owners with families of limited resources.