A TEENAGER from Ringwood is riding on the crest of a wave after being crowned world champion.

Max Cuckney, who only recently turned 16, took the gold medal for Great Britain at the World Wakeboard Championships, held in Argentina.

And he took top honours despite being one of the youngest competitors in the entire event.

Now Max is hoping he'll get the chance to compete at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, as wakeboarding is one of eight sports currently shortlisted for further review to be considered on the programme.

Proud dad Spencer told the Echo: "He once said 'Dad I am going to be the best in the world within ten years', and he's done it in five and a half. This is an amazing achievement.

"He tried boxing and football when he was ten and didn't really like them.

"But then he tried out a wakeboard when he was 11, at the New Forest Water Park, and has never looked back.

"He has a single focus and has no interest in any other sports of activities, just wakeboarding."

Max, who has a younger sister, lives with his mum and dad at the family home in Christchurch Road.

As he is currently competing in the international championships, he is being home-tutored.

Spencer said: "We do have some sponsorship, which is awesome, but the downside is expense.

"All travel costs must be met by the competitor/family/friends, and these costs can considerable as all the family travelled to support Max."

Wakeboarding is a water sport where participants are either towed on a small board behind a motorboat, or by an electronically-driven cable.

Competitors then attempt tricks.

Max won the junior boys British championships at 11, then the British Cable Wakeboarding Championships at 15 – which earned him selection for the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) championships in Argentina.

He won gold at the IWWF championships last month.