How to wakeboard after having kids: Top 10 tips

Someone recently (as in earlier this year) asked me how do I have time to wakeboard and surf with two small children.  I started writing this blog months ago but blogging time is scarce.  Then it was a huge blog about wake and surf.. so I’ve worked on it again to cut it down to wakeboarding and how to generally fit your sport or hobbie into your week after having children.  This is the first blog in a two part series, this one is about fitting in your wakeboarding & fitness, the next one will be focused on how to surf with small children, which is ever changing…..

I would wakeboard multiple times a week and spend entire days at the lake.  I would spend a month every year surfing around the world with my husband in the line up next to me.  We would have date night once a week where we’d just go and eat out, we use to meet friends for drinks, we used to sleep until 8:30am on weekends.  And then we had two kids.

I’m not going to sugar coat it.  All those hobbies and dinners and drinks, or anything spontaneous, like day trips to the coast or a week at CWC, that used to happen pre kids just stop.  They stop for a while actually.

Credit: Nik Green

For me, wakeboarding and surfing were the sports that changed for me/us.  My husband only really used to wakeboard because I did.  After a few test runs to the lake, it became apparent that it was easier for him to stay at home with the new baby, while I went wakeboarding and had some time to myself.  And the husband, well he had a crazy job and commute so on his days off he just wanted to take it easy and was not bothered by not wakeboarding.  This worked for us back then.

Credit: Nik Green

Then we had baby number two.  We had a toddler and new baby, so we didn’t even bother trying to get the whole family to the lake.  The husband gets his time to go play golf (he’s really into golf now, and he’s changed his job so work life balance is amazing), I get my time to go wakeboarding, we get time on our own doing something that we love, yet we can no longer do together.  So there are positives and negatives, but you just focus on the positives that you still get to do your sport.  I am pretty excited about the day when we can all go wakeboarding/surfing/golfing/snowboarding as a family.

So I should get to some top tips really: 

  1. Schedule a weekly time for your sport.  My husband and I give each other two nights a week to do our chosen sports.
  2. Do it.  Even if the weather is totally shit or you can’t be bothered; go!  You’ll feel better.  Also just because you stay home on your ‘night off’ doesn’t mean your partner will stay home the next night…nope, they will still go golfing.
  3. Don’t rely on others to go.  None of my mates wakeboard any more (you alllll suck, btw), if I waited for people to wakeboard with, I would never wakeboard.  You will always find me riding on my own.  True story.
  4. Be organised.  Get your evening schedule lined up so that when your nights come around you know what you’re doing.  If you have no plans, you probably won’t leave the house and crack on with the wine.
  5. Weekends away.  Book in some trips in the UK where you can wakeboard (or whatever your preference is), and make the weekend all about the family and the sport/hobbie.
  6. Holidays.  If you do like to get away, book your holidays to places you can get your sporting/hobbie fix.  I have yet to go on a wakeboarding family holiday, its something that will happen though.  At the moment all our trips revolve around surf (more info in the next blog).
  7. Accept that life will change.  I can’t wakeboard all the time any more, but I have been doing body pump gym classes for a couple of years now (and even my mates have joined in, yay!) to keep my muscles active and strong, and also home workouts thanks to you tube.
  8. Yoga.  (again, love you tube)  I have been longing to get back into the early morning workout routine, which went out the window when I was pregnant with my first.  A few months ago I just decided that it was time.  So I set my alarm for 6:20am and before I knew it I was downstairs on my yoga mat, practicing by 6:30.  I am loving this and have be doing yoga six or seven days a week since June now.  The best thing is that the house is quiet and the kids are still asleep or in their rooms playing.  And the yoga has had such a positive affect on my day, the husband has even joined my morning yoga routine!  Yeeeah, gettin’ flexi with my bestie.
  9. Get your kids used to being around the water.  I do swimming lessons with both my kids as it is crucial that they can save themselves if they get into trouble.
  10. Get them in to wakeboarding, now mine are a bit older, I have taken them on the cable and they love being at the lake now!  I still need my time at the lake on my own, because if I take the kids, its all about them.  So dedicate time for yourself to ride, and then other times to focus on the kids at the lake. I like separating the two. Its hard to focus your brain on trying a new trick when you’re kids are on the bank swinging on all the hand rails.

What are your tips for getting to do the things you love after kids?

 

How to wear a summer wetsuit: the Diva Black Series

Yesterday I finally unwrapped my lady balls from their cotton wool cladding and went wakeboarding in a super short shortie.  I’m not going to lie, its been a while since I’ve ridden in anything but a full 3.2mm or a full 5.4mm suit.  Why?  I hear you ask?  And no its not because I live in England, we’ll thats partly got something to do with it, but the main reason is that I feel it keeps me together, in search of a better word?

See, I used to jump at the chance to ride in a bikini and short shorts (it was below the knee boardies with your arse hanging out before this stage if you remember, not a good look), but since I’ve had kids, I’ve chaaanged.

A number of factors come into play here.  I ride less because I have two small humans to look after, they take up a lot of time; riding time.  I ride less because when I do ride, its for an hour, possibly two hours at a time, I don’t hang out at the lake all day anymore, (yet.. I’m getting the kids into it, I’m dreaming of days where I’ll have to drag them away from the cable).  So because I ride less… I hate to admit it, but I’m less confident on my board than I was pre kids, and with that comes a hint of doubt.. and when you have doubt, you can cock up on tricks.  And if you cock up on a rail, plastic hurts so I like to have some neoprene covering and protecting my entire body.  Also, your body is just different after having kids.  It just is.  Saying all this, I’m pretty calculated with what I try on my wakeboard, so I haven’t messed up to warrant wearing a full suit, for the past six years.

So like I said, I found my lady balls, dusted them off, and got my ass out for a delightful evening wakeboard session down at Club Wake Park.

How to wear the summer wetsuit; well, you order one, wait for the deliver, unwrap it, check it fits, head to the lake, slip it on, zip it up and work the hell out of it and have a great session!

After all that chat, here are some photos of the beautiful Mystic Diva Black series suit that makes you feel like a legit Bond Girl.

Thanks to Janni Saarinen & Keegan Rigby from CWP for the snaps!

How to dry your wetsuit

It only seems a few days ago that I posted about how to protect you’re wetsuit. Time flies when you’re having fun!  And here I am again about to fill you in on how to dry your wetsuit easily and fuss free!

As you know my main sport is wakeboarding, but I had a weekend surf trip at the coast planned and so I thought I’d put my Elite Dry Bag to the test while I was there.  (The Elite Dry Bag has mesh on one side so more air can get in/out, you wouldn’t want it out in the rain!).

How in the world my husband and I lucked out on that particular weekend, I’ll never know, but we did.  First of all, thanks to my folks, we had a child free weekend.  CHILD FREE WEEKEND!!!  Thats two nights, not one, but TWO!  Ok so this was a huge deal as we haven’t had this luxury since baby number two came along.  And he’s nearly three years old.  Enough said.

Second of all, I booked a four star hotel that ended up having breakfast and a two course dinner in the grand restaurant included.  As well as full use of the spa.  To top it off we had a sea view room and a balcony overlooking the waves.

Thirdly.  The weather played ball.  A rare occurrence here in the UK, but it did.  It was baltic but it was bright sunshine, not a cloud in the sky for the two days and we even tanned in the balcony’s sun trap while enjoying a cream tea (room service of course).

Fourthly – I know, last one I promise.  The waves.  The wave gods were with us 100% and we had great waves for the two days.  We seriously couldn’t believe it, and even the tides were right.  It was freezing so there weren’t many surfers out either so we had pretty empty waves as well which was great.

Thank you stars, sun and moon for aligning for this epic weekend.

Anyway, back to the wetsuit drying test.  So as we were staying in a pretty nice hotel, we didn’t want to walk through with sandy wet wetsuits.  I threw them in the Elite Dry Bag and carried them through the swanky place without even leaving a grain of sand on the expensive carpets.

So with the estimated wetsuit drip drying time of between 4-6 hours (geek I know), I knew my suit would be ready to wear the following morning, and I could hang it anywhere in the room and not worry about it dripping on the carpet.  But to give it that extra something something, I hung it above the radiator to make it nice and warm for me… it was needed, we were scraping ice off the car to get to the surf.

So all in all, my little Dry Bag test went pretty well!  I took a second wetsuit as I didn’t want to put on a wet one the second day, but I didn’t even take it out the travel bag.  The Dry Bag works well and is very handy while on the road.  I’ll be using at home as well so I don’t have to hang my suit in the shower all the time.  Win.