Suter Tan is undoubtedly Singapore’s number 1 wakeboarding instructor.
He is the only instructor with an extensive competitive track record AND he has groomed champions. No other instructor can make such a claim. No wonder he is Team Singapore’s wakeboard coach.
Suter has also coached Singapore’s best – ex Red Bull riders, Guy Tanaka and Sasha Christian. He is currently grooming Singapore’s next talent, Gooi Jiayi (aka Meimei).
The highlight of Suter’s coaching career is to have been able to groom a world champion, Guy Tanaka. Guy won the junior world title at 14 yrs old, twice! One for boat and one for cable.
Suter had the privilege of getting a head start in the sport.
His father, Bernatt Tan, was a national waterskier back in the day. Bernatt also owned a waterski centre in Punggol. Suter started waterskiing at 7 years old. He got up on his first pull and never fell. He loved it!
Suter followed his father’s footsteps in competing. At 10 years old, Suter competed in his first competition – trick ski in the adults event.
He made it to the national team, competing in all 3 disciplines of water ski – slalom, trick and jump.
At the age of 16, Suter started coaching others for waterski.
When wakeboarding came to Singapore in 1995, Suter took the opportunity to make the switch. He is considered part of the pioneering batch, with the likes of Kevin Tan, Yunus and Roger Koa. They watched videos, tried a lot and crashed a lot. And they became the best riders in the region.
Suter competed in multiple competitions internationally. Here are some of Suter’s highlights of his competitive career:
- Multiple 1st and 2nd place at National level from 1997 to 2000
- 8th place at the 1998 Asian X Games Qualifier
- 2nd place at the Hong Kong Open 2001
Growing up with the sea and boats, Suter’s knowledge is extensive unlike any other instructor.
Driving the boat and instructing is no easy feat. One must understand the sea with its currents and tides. Then there is the wind. And the boat – not only the mechanics of it but how to load it, drive it at the right speed and drive it for the perfect peak. With the valuable knowledge he has, he always tries to get the best wake for his riders.
Wakeboarding is an extreme sport. In order to excel in this sport, Suter says you have to be mentally prepared to take a lot of beating.
He adds, “You need to have good physique/core strength, good board sense and must have courage to attempt tricks even though you know you are going to crash.”
Young at heart, Suter still gets behind the boat regularly. He could be wakefoiling, wakesurfing or wakeboarding. He keeps himself up to date with the toys.
It’s not just about wakeboarding, but the wakelife.