NOPE, they're not those with bulky motorbikes. Nor do they go uphill or downhill like mountainbikers do. They are a new breed of riders you won't see on the road.
Meet the Deca Riders Team -- the cool and talented bunch that had just brought honors to Davao City in the 5th National Philippine Wakeboarding Competition held in Camarines Sur recently.
The 10-member Deca Riders Team bagged one gold medal, two silvers and one bronze in the annual CamSur spectacle with barely six months of training at the world-class Deca Wakeboard Park (DWP) in Tacunan, Mintal.
Albert Lehman, 26, topped the men's 2 category for 25 to 28 years old while 27-year-old Hershey "Kisses" Rañeses was second in women's open event and 16-year-old Zech Stephenson also took the runner-up honors in junior 15-18.
The youngest in the team, Celina Cembrano, 13, placed third in the girls 13-below category.
Two other riders Peter Abella and Franco Carabuena finished fourth in men's 2 category and grooms division, respectively.
While Albert and Kisses relied on their years of expertise, Zech and Celina held so much promise.
Albert said, "I have been wakeboarding for the past three years but I still get the nerves whenever I compete in the nationals. The riders from other parts of the country just get stronger every year."
He said in a competition, riders are judged based on their skills, techniques and the degree of difficulty of their stunts.
Albert first learned the sport in Camarines Sur, saying: "It was just one of those days when I had nothing to do. I got addicted to it after my first try (smiles)."
When he heard that DWP was being built by the 8990 Housing Development Corporation in Davao, he came home and got himself a job as a trainer.
"I love being here. I get to wakeboard every day (laughs). Seriously though, everybody else can ride. I've heard of a four-year-old who is already into it. We have a regular rider here who's almost 50. Wakeboarding is really fun. It's not just a sport but a lifestyle," he added.
Kisses, meanwhile, shared she really didn't expect to be second in her event having taken a one-year break from the sport when she worked in Singapore.
She said, "I was fifth in the Asian Women's Championship two years ago. I also finished fifth in the past two nationals I entered. Being second this year is really rewarding."
Kisses made her first ride four years ago at the Lago de Oro in Batangas. She is now with DWP as sales marketing head.
She said, "Wakeboarding is really for everyone. There is no weight, height or age limits. It's also a great sport for women like me."
Zech shared the CamSur event was his first-ever stint in a competition.
"I didn't really expect to even place. I only started six months ago when DWP opened. The experience was great!," Zech told this writer. He comes every two months from Guam to train with Albert and Joboy Tady.
He said his Dad also rides, adding: "I think it's very helpful if one has background on aquatic sport since it will make you learn wakeboarding in just a couple of days. But with aquatic background or not, it is just really easy to learn and master."
He also said riding is safe.
"One only gets very minor injuries in wakeboarding unlike other sports where injuries are serious," he said.
Celina, a sophomore High School student at Southpoint School, said her brother Obi as well as her father got her into riding.
She said, "It was like love at first sight (giggles). I'm so grateful for the rest of my fellow riders who never get tired to teach and train me."
The riders thanked DWP's lawyer Lowell Yu and Deca Homes Resort and Residences (DHRR) owner JJ Atencio for their support.
Atencio, on his part, praised the Deca Riders Team, saying: "We are so proud of what they have achieved. It was a rare feat to win first to fourth placers in a field of almost 300 riders. "
The DHRR chief himself is an avid rider. He started training with ace Albert only in April.
"My first riding experience was fun and challenging. The Davao wakeboarding community is so friendly and positive that you feel everybody wants to learn and improve. They encourage you. wakeboarding teaches discipline, fortitude, patience and dedication in an environment that is both fun, safe and social. For me, it teaches people not to be quitters, to rise up and practice again after falling down," Atencio said.