Flying high through the air on a wakeboard with a painful landing to come if it all goes wrong is not for the faint-hearted.

But 14-year-old Brooke Wilson loves doing it more than anything.

The Tauranga Girls' College Year 10 student placed third at the Asia Oceanic Wakeboard junior champs held at Lake Karapiro in February.

It was the first time the event had been held in New Zealand and Brooke was the first Kiwi to make the podium.

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Wakeboarder Brooke Wilson, 14. Photo / Andrew Warner
Wakeboarder Brooke Wilson, 14. Photo / Andrew Warner

In February she won the North Island Wakeboarding championships and last week she won her third national junior title in Mangakino.

Now her biggest test awaits her in September.

Brooke has been selected for the New Zealand team to contest the World Junior Championships in Spain where she would be up against the best under-18 wakeboarders in the world.

The jump in age group means even tougher competition but Brooke is sure she can do more than just compete.

The confidence she gained at the Asia Oceania champs to do inverted spins and flips in the air had changed her mindset on what she can achieve.

"I think my ultimate goal would be to make finals cause I am going up a category to under-18s so even semifinals I would be so happy to make or quarter-finals," she said.

Being an elite wakeboarder required a combination of skills and the ability to successfully pull off a range of tricks and moves while towed behind a boat - like gymnastics on water.

The key indicators judges look for are intensity, composition and execution.

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"Intensity is about how intense your tricks are, like a back flip gets higher points than a 180 because it is more intense and harder to do," Brooke said.

"Composition is the flow of your ride when you go in and do a trick, ride away and then transition into another. Execution is how well you land those tricks so if you land sketchily compared to someone who is landing clean."

Most competitors had a planned run and do their tricks in order but Brooke does not stick to a set routine.

"I decide a few tricks before I start but sometimes I do different stuff in the middle. If you repeat a trick you can't get any points."

A wakeboarder needs to have plenty of courage. Hitting the water at the speed and height they operate at can have painful consequences.

A few years ago Brooke feared getting hurt but her run of success this year means any negative thoughts were far from her mind when she was competing.

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Next up she has a financial challenge to overcome.

Brooke needs to find up to $30,000 to fund the trip before leaving for the pre-worlds training camp in Florida.

While most of her opponents had national funding for travel and coaching she has to fund everything through her own means and does not have a coach.

Tauranga-based company CWB Board NZ has been a loyal supporter of her campaign and a sponsorship package is going out to Western Bay businesses this month to help drive her campaign to the worlds.