LANGLEY — Katrina van Haastrecht, of North Augusta, is very proud of her 20-year-old son, Taylor. He’s a student who studies biology at Georgia Regents University. He has a job at a GNC store. He’s also a pretty awesome wakeboarder.


“It’s kind of scary sometimes, but it’s very impressive to watch what he can do on the water,” said Katrina on Sunday afternoon. “He has no fear. He goes as big and hard as he can go.”


Taylor was among the approximately 60 athletes participating in the South Carolina INT League slalom, wakeboard, wake skate and kneeboard competitions on Saturday and Sunday at Langley Pond Park.


“Taylor taught himself,” Katrina said. “When he wanted to progress, we got a trampoline. He tied an old ski rope to our deck, and he would go out there and nearly kill himself until he could land a trick. Then he would get on the water and keep doing it until he could land it.”


Taylor didn’t get really interested in wakeboarding until he was in the ninth grade.


“It started as a hobby, and then it kind of picked up,” he said. “I got invited to a competition. Then I got invited to a league and started progressing.”


Taylor was a state champion in 2011, 2012 and 2013. He also has competed at the national level.


Wakeboarding is “kind of like being on a snowboard behind a boat,” Taylor said. “It’s fun because you can have your own style. You don’t have to do tricks a certain way. Everybody can put their own spin on it.”


But what pleases Katrina the most is how Taylor handles the pressure on the water.


“When he doesn’t win, he doesn’t pout or complain,” she said. “He wins well, and he loses well. He’s very levelheaded.”


The youngest participants during the Langley Pond competitions were kneeboarder Harper Havnaer, of Tega Cay, and kneeboarder and wakeboarder Addison Yane, of Myrtle Beach. Both girls are 5 years old.


Havnaer started kneeboarding last year, and she made her competitive debut at Langley Pond. Yane, who is a state champion, became a competitive kneeboarder in 2013, and she added wakeboarding to her competitive repertoire this year.


“In the summers when she was 2 and 3, she would put her feet between the bindings on my board and ride,” said Addison’s father, Barry Yane. “She would just stand there and not really do anything herself. But last year, she told me, ‘I want to ride on a board by myself.’ I didn’t have a wakeboard her size, so I put her on a kneeboard. Then I found a wakeboard that would fit her.”


Barry believes wakeboarding and kneeboarding are good activities for his daughter because they provide plenty of exercise. They also give the father and daughter the opportunity to spend more time together having fun.


“Addison does gymnastics as well,” Barry said.


Dede Biles is a general assignment reporter for the Aiken Standard.