2018

As 2018 comes to a close, I am looking back at the year to see what I can take away from it to move forward into 2019.

Over last Christmas, my Nana at the ripe old age of 96, decided it was her time to go, and she sadly passed away on New Years Eve.  Not the best start.

February brought my birthday where Jon and I got head to the coast for a childfree weekend!  We stayed in a swanky hotel, had loads of good food and surfed some decent waves!  Great times!  Same again next year?  Yeah?

March/April:  I was Portugal bound for an epic family holiday!  Fun times as we all hit the beach, ate, drank, golfed and surfed.  Winter sun is ALWAYS welcome.

     

      

May: saw the first of the Wake Daze events and it was so so hot, we could not have wished for more epic weather!  And it was the same day as the Royal Wedding so of course we had to stop to see ‘the dress’.  The warm weather was just epic for wakeboarding… all summer long in skins!  Literally the best summer riding!

June: We held a big party at our house for my husbands birthday.  This was pretty nerve racking as there were a lot of people to hold!  We got a hog roast which was the highlight and went down like a dream.  And we cannot possibly continue without mentioning the epic weather again can we?  Hands down, the best summer that I can remember.  We had the paddling pool out everyday, garden, park, forests, outdoor pools, wakeboarding, camping, surfing…. you name it we were into it.  This is also when I decided that I would start doing yoga every day.  I literally just decided one night that I would get up 30mins before the kids and do yoga, and I just carried on.  I’m still doing between 10-25mins of yoga everyday and I can’t believe I didn’t put this habit into place sooner.  But thats for another blog.

July: I chopped 13inches of hair off for Cancer Research UK and donated the hair to The Little Princess Trust.

August: Portugal bound for more surf!  Although we had never been at that time of year before but we are now locked into the doom of the school holidays. Our local holiday spot was crowded to the max, 1000’s of people on the beaches that we are usually the only people on.  The waves were pretty shitty as well apart from a couple of days. Gotta love them summer waves.

Photo Credit: Janni @ Club Wake Park
Credit: Nik Green

September: saw the last Wake Daze event (four in total). And they were all amazing!  So many new faces, some familiar faces and a whole lotta good times!  And did I mention it was a summer full of wakeboarding?!

October: I loved hanging out with Watersports World for the dealer days and even more so that I got my 2019 ride (Hyperlite Scandal & Defacto Bindings)! And half term also took us down to Newquay for a week of surf, beach and family time.

And as the cold creeps in and the nights get darker, is the time when I work away getting ready for the exciting year to come.  As my year comes to an end, I’m happy with everything that has happened, the people I’ve met, the friends I’ve spent my time with, the fun family times I’ve had and generally a bloody brilliant year! Christmas was warm and cozy spent with my family.

What I feel I can take away from this year…. I have had friends who have had their worlds turned upside down.  If theres any way to appreciate what you have, put yourself in their shoes.  Don’t become stagnant – never stop improving on yourself through diet, exercise, work, learning, questioning and exploring.  People will question what you’re doing. Let their questions drive you forward.

And I’ve just ended the year surfing!

Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all have a good one and enjoy your time with the people you love. xx

How to wakeboard through the winter in England

 

Lets be honest, we’ve had the most epic summer that I can remember, and so far, winter has not really been that bad yet.  Can you believe that we’d had a foot of snow this time last year?

I know its colder now, but think of all the good things about the lakes this time of year…

You are with like minded people.  I know technically you you could say this is the case all year round because you are all there to wakeboard.  But for those of you who ride through the winter (and actually ride in England), you will know what I mean.  No bad vibes, no attitudes, no queues… its all good!  There is a different kind of breed down on the dock between the months of October through to April.  A friendly bunch of water folk that just want to ride because they love it.  And you will see the same faces over the winter months, and you will be surrounded by people who will strive to have just 20mins of freezing water time, to make their week. 

If you hadn’t guessed, I actually quite like riding this time of year.

So here are my top tips on how to get on the water this winter! 

  1. Stating the obvious but its not always available to everyone.  Go abroad.  Get on a plane and go ride somewhere hotter than here, preferably for the season and you’ll come back all tanned and smug because you’ve got a whole new bag of tricks.
  2. If you’re going to ride in the UK, get a decent wetsuit.  Invest.  It’ll be worth it.  Honest.  I’m in the new Mystic Diva 5.3mm and its toastie warm.
  3. If you’re rocking the open toe bindings, grab some neoprene socks. Otherwise get your hands on some Walk-In bindings because you’re basically walking around in a snug bootie – toastie tootsies! I’m in the Hyperlite Defactos
  4. I know the glove look isn’t the best.. but I wouldn’t be able to ride through the freezing days without my wetsuit gloves.  So I’m wearing the gloves.
  5.  If you’re landing new tricks in the winter in the UK – give yourself a huge pat on the back.  Otherwise, just maintain what you can already do, maybe add on some smaller tricks, so that you come into the next season ready to go.
  6. Keep active.  You cannot sit around doing nothing all winter and then expect to be able to shred your nuts off come April.  Keep those muscles active and work out in other ways, whether it be gym work, cycling, running, yoga… just keep moving.
  7. Take your mates.  Its much more fun riding with someone.
  8.  Invest in a flask and fill it to the brim with hot tea / coffee / hot choc… you’ll be grateful post ride.
  9. Leave time for a shower afterwards, or to sit in the hot tub– to warm up obvs.
  10. If theres no shower, take a sleeping bag and drive home wearing it.  Jokes.  Take thermals, sweats, mountain attire; anything to keep you warm until you get home.
  11. Have fun.  Be grateful you’re able to get out there and ride.  Good vibes only.

How to surf after having kids | Top 10 Tips

Hey there!  I recently, or not so recently, wrote a blog to answer one of my lovely instagram followers questions on how to fit in wakeboarding and surfing after having kids… well I managed to write, edit, add photos and publish the wakeboarding one.  So now I’m just getting around to the surf one.

I don’t live by the coast, any coast, in fact, I’m probably the most land locked you could possibly get in England.  So we have to travel in the UK or abroad to get waves.  And no more surf day trips to the coast.  They will be shelved until the kids can surf.  (sob sob).

Surfing has changed, possibly for the better actually (I’m already in denial). Before kids we would surf at dawn if there was surf, eat, tan, surf, then do it all again all day, every day for the entire surf trip.  It was total shit.  (It was awesome.)

Then we tried to do the same thing with a baby.  Which is totally possible.  (It’s just not possible.)  A baby, or a small child (or multiple), is just not going to allow you to hang/bake on a beach all day long.  We’ve had to modify our holidays quite a bit, but they do work for us at the moment, we’re just on the cusp of having to do more kid focussed trips.  The main one being that we can’t really go somewhere in Europe for the waves in winter, no one wants to sit on a cold windy, rainy beach with small children.  And its not fair to ask anyone to go on a surf holiday and stay in the accommodation all day with nothing but internet and a DVD player to entertain them.  So we’re missing out on winter swell, which sucks.  See summer waves in the photo below…. it just ain’t the same.  Enough said.

Surf trips go like this: if the waves are cookin’, one will surf a dawnie one morning while the other parent gets the kids up and fed and makes the lunches for the day, we take it in turns each day to do this.  Then it’s off to the beach so that the other parent can surf.  We play with the kids, take them surfing, have lunch on the beach and then break the day up with some sightseeing, food shop, movie (we take kids DVD’s everywhere, family favs are Surfs Up, Happy Feet and Moana).  Then we’ll head back to the beach for a second surf while one is on the beach playing with the kids, beach walk, ice cream, rock pooling, sea glass hunting…  and then one will surf while the other parent takes the kids home for dinner and a bath, or get them ready to go out for dinner.  We try to stay where we can surf within walking distance of the accommodation as we do rent a car, but the one surfing needs to be able to walk home.  So it’s quite a juggling act, but its good for now.

And as you can imagine, theres loads of quality time with your partner.  (There is no quality time with your partner while on holiday with your kids.)  Actually we’ve started going away with my folks just so that we can have a date night on holiday.  (Love you guys xx)

The reason I say its better? (Its not better, but every cloud…)  Well my surfing was improving quite nicely, but it took a dip after baby number two, (the second was harder to ‘bounce back’ from).  I recently, (as in February) surfed with my husband on a golden weekend away in England, and surfing on my own has changed my surfing.  My husband taught me how to surf (I know, he did well as teaching your other half anything is just disastrous, actually I’m pretty impressed we’re still together, hun remember that time I got concussed by my NSP board and you couldn’t stop laughing?) and I’d only ever surf well with him around.

But surfing on my own for the past six years has taught me how to work my way into the line up and, if need be, hassle for waves on my own rather than him helping me.  And when we surfed together recently, all this newfound confidence went out the window and I just followed him around like a sick puppy!  So I think our setup is pretty sweet for now, and it also means we get some time to ourselves on holiday, when we’re all together 24/7.

Tips for a family surf trip: 

  1. Stay somewhere that you can surf within walking distance of your accommodation.
  2. Watch the wave / weather forecast before you go so you can travel as lightly as possible.  Clothes wise and wetsuit / surfboard wise.  With kids and car seats you don’t want to be taking four surfboards and a million suitcases.
  3. Get in the water.  If its your turn to surf, just go… do not watch the waves for ages (if you know the break that is, otherwise obvs watch it.  Safety first!)  Just run in and spend your hour having fun and taking off on anything.  Big or small.
  4. Teach the kids.  They may not want to surf in the future and thats cool, but while I’m paying for their holidays, they will conform.  (Jokes) Luckily my kids actually beg us to take them surfing and get pissed if they have to wait for one of us to come back in.
  5. Do not attempt to take multiple young children surfing on your own.  One parent to one child ratio.
  6. Appreciate it for what it is.  At this point in time, we cannot go in search of the best, cleanest, warmest waves when the tides are just right (these days will come in time – kids get better so we can go on a Mentawai boat trip. (Thank you please).  You need to just be happy that you are out there.
  7. Surf photos.  Don’t even bother.   You have two little humans to look after on a busy beach with a lot of water.
  8. If you want to get the kids in the water for longer than five minutes and actually enjoy learning to surf, then get them full wetsuits.
  9. Keep fit & flexible.  I train all year round and do yoga every day (I know, total brag alert) but my husband goes into serious training mode when he knows we’ve got a surf trip coming.  He has a training folder with notes and shedules and everything from three months out.  Reason being is that you can get the most from your surf because you’re not surfing as much anymore.
  10. Just go.  Think of all the positives you’ll get from the a holiday with your family and enjoy.  Cheers.

What are your tips from going on a family surf trip?  I love learning new holiday hacks!