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In the local wakeboarding community, St Andrews College Grade 8 student, Ryan Allen needs little introduction.

Ryan, or Ryno as he is widely known, has already competed at both national and international levels for the sport he loves so much. Ryno first hopped on a wakeboard in 2014, as an adventurous 7-year-old. Admittedly, life on the water was not uncommon to the young ‘grom’, who had spent many weekends of his relatively short life waterskiing with his family at Tinaroo Dam.

“I always loved water skiing, so when I had my first go on a wakeboard, I already knew how to balance, and it came fairly naturally,” Ryno explains.

He took to the new sport like the proverbial duck to water, but his appetite for wakeboarding became more than his family could accommodate in trips up the Kuranda range.

“I was heading into grade 2 and my parents had been asking what sport I wanted to get into that year.

About the same time, we were heading past the Cairns Wake Park and Dad said maybe we should call in and check it out as an option for me… So that week I went to 3 school holiday sessions of Kids Club, using my big sister’s wakeboard and boots (you can’t hit the obstacles without boots!) and I loved it!”

On Ryno’s first session at the waterpark, he “hit the kickers” – a phrase I quickly learned meant using the jumps to get aerial. The staff at the park immediately paid attention and watched on in awe as this young child attempted tricks riders twice his age were apprehensive of.

So this was the sport Ryan was now looking at – and mum and dad needed to quickly find a second-hand board and boots (that looked a bit more suitable for a 7-year-old boy, rather than his 18-year-old sister!).

“We just wanted him to be active, not attached to a screen, and if this is what he was interested in, then it suited our family just fine, he could turn up and ride whenever it fitted in with our schedule.”

The boy took no time to fit in.

At the end of 2014, he was participating at his first competition, BoardStock at the Sunshine Coast. One year later, he successfully attempted a half cab roll at the 2015 Hyperlite Grom Nationals in Penrith, a trick that saw him announced as the winner of the Australian Under 10 Boys division.

The medal count continued, with two firsts places at the 2016 Australian National Championships in Sydney, and another double trip to the podium at the 2017 Australian National Championships in Brisbane. Also in 2017, Ryno gained further experience when he competed at the World Championships in the Philippines. As a 10-year-old competing against 14-year-olds in his division, the odds were stacked against him, but Ryno learned valuable lessons and his hunger for the sport grew further.

Ryno is also making waves commercially. Two National wakeboarding industry stalwarts, Elevated Clothing Australia and Ronix Australia have snapped the young boarder up, and have secured him as a brand ambassador, meaning he gets to test the clothing and equipment on a regular basis. And it seems Ronix Wakeboards know they are onto something special, even when their star ambassador keeps cracking the wakeboarding boots they supply him. After viewing video footage of why the equipment they were supplying kept getting damaged, they realised this 13-year-old grom was a melting pot of awesomeness, and that his talent needed attention. Ryno is now the newest recruit to the Ronix Wakeboards national Research and Development squad.

Due to his sporting achievements, Ryan was nominated by his school (Trinity Beach State School) to be their representative baton bearer for the GC Commonwealth Games Queens Baton Relay in 2018. He missed out on an international wakeboarding comp to do this, and although he was reluctant at having the spotlight on him and was very nervous about the responsibility, realised once he’d completed his leg, what an absolute honour it was and how incredible (and lucky) it really was to have had such an amazing opportunity.

When asked what suggestions he has for kids who are so passionate about their sport, Ryno has some fairly simple advice.

“Just go for it. Don’t let anything hold you back. And have fun.”

Wise words, indeed. We can’t wait to see you continue on this journey, Ryno!


Written by Jules Steer

Jules Steer is the Publisher of Oasis Magazine. With a career in Business Development spanning three decades, she's stressed, #blessed, and coffee obsessed ☕

A solo mum of four "determined", "focussed" and "energetic" young kids, she is often found with her head in her hands, lamenting her latest parenting fail.

A cricket-loving hip-hop tragic, very ordinary triathlete and champion cheerleader of all things #Cairns, Jules is easily recharged with Shiraz and Vodka - sometimes in the same glass.

Warning: Most situations get sweary quickly.