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.

Hyperlite 2019 Scandal Wakeboard & Defacto Bindings

2019 is right around the corner and then there are only three(ish) chillier months to power through until our little island starts to perk up around April time.  The lakes will still be a bit cold but with the days getting longer and warmer, people that haven’t braved (or fled) the winter riding, come out of the woodwork… and what will you be riding?

I got my new stick back in October at the Watersports World Dealer Days. (Actually  I took a few boards out for a spin, its always good to get the vibes of other rides). So I am on the 2019 Hyperlite Scandal with Defacto Bindings.  And it is a sick setup.

The board is from the same mould as the Wishbone, but the flex has been tailored to suit a womans riding.  The graphics are the best they’ve ever been! This is the third year for this board: the first year it was fresh and glossy, last year was a bit more punky, and cruising into 2019 it is super super chic.  Just look at it!  Business on top, party on the base.

It rides as smooth as butter over the park toys, gets great pop off kickers and holds a solid edge for air tricks, if you’re into that kinda thing.

All round great womens specific board that I am stoked to be riding for the third year in a row!  #iridehyperlite

Now onto the bindings… the Defactos.  Deeeee-fac-toooooooos.  Defacto000s. These are ridiculously comfortable, they have a walk-in liner (GREAT for winter!!) and are supportive but super flexible.  They have a duel lace system and strap to keep you snug.  They are from the mens binding line, but go down to a womens UK size 5.  A great binding all round.  AND, bonus, they look amazing on the Scandal.

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?