I am riding the 2020 Hyperlite Soul Mate this year and so I thought I would fill you in on what I think of it!
I started off on the 2020 Hyperlite Pleasure in October last year, which rides like an absolute dream, and the Soul Mate is its sister board as its women focussed. It is a little lighter and so its great for spins because you won’t get spin-lag. The board has a wood core and also comes with Hyperlites custom Satin Flex so we can get deeper into those presses in the park. With sized-up technology, meaning the technology has advanced so much that the board can be made longer but with no extra weight, it comes in a 142cm which makes it super soft on landings. Its got a sintered base and urethane sidewalls, which means its extremely durable and will hold up for all those park sessions.
Similar to my riding on the Pleasure, its the most snowboardery feel I’ve ever had on a wakeboard. Its narrower profile means the Soul Mate carves through the water just like you would be throwing out big turns through the fresh pow. This alone puts the biggest smile on my face.
The Soul Mate is the most fun I’ve had on a wakeboard in a long time and honestly rides like no other board I’ve ridden before. If you have the chance to get on it… definitely give it a go, you’ll have a smile on your face in seconds.
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.
After over a decade of Nationals, I thought that last year was going to be my last year competing. I massively over cooked it on trying to get a title and I ended up undoing months of physio to try and get an air trick back. It all backfired, I fell on both my laps and came in last.
Losing is weird. You have to look at yourself and figure out what went wrong and how you can change things to get the result you want. I wasn’t annoyed at the result as such, I was more annoyed at how hungry I’d been for it and how I’d pushed myself and consequently injured myself trying. When would it stop? Would it ever stop? When would I just let it go now I’ve got two little kids at home who depend on me? When would I just accept that after over a decade of competing, that a National title was just not going to happen.
I was deflated and had to learn that I needed to train my body harder to build myself up to prevent from injury. I knew this but I started a new routine to push me further. To become stronger. I had to work harder post kids and post 30. Sucks doesn’t it.
I thought I was over it, until the announcement came through that the Nationals were being held at Liquid Leisure, hands down, a ridiculous cable park, and one that favours park riding rather than air tricks.
My mind started racing. My heart rate started increasing. I started to sweat. My mind went through all the scenarios over and over again, I was in a trance like state visualising winning. And this was with months to go.
I didn’t enter the comp for a while but then I thought, fuck it. Just do it and if you don’t want to ride, then don’t do it, but at least you have the option.
The Masters Women had to ride their qualifiers on the Friday, which I qualified 1st. I have done this before, years ago, and then cocked up in the finals so I wasn’t that confident.
Finals day came and I was nervous. So nervous. Multiple times over Champ, Steph Caller had given me a pep talk, and a super healthy breakfast to get me on my way. I went through the nervous toilet situation, followed by getting into my wetsuit, then another nervous toilet situ. Then it was time.
I was last out as I’d qualified first so I got to see what the other women were throwing down. I put in a solid lap and was still in first. Phew. Only one more lap from everyone to go before it was all over. The other women went and all the results came in… I had done it! None of the scores beat my first laps score! This was a brand new feeling to me, I had to double check that I’d won. I had a victory lap, my very first victory lap. Ever!! I cried on the way round.. what a dick.
Winning is very different to losing. Winning is easier to deal with. Winning the Nationals this year was like a massive relief, a huge weight off my shoulders. I had finally done it, finally got a title. After all the years I’d been wakeboarding, competing, filming, all the photoshoots, demo days, sponsors events, ladies mornings, girls days, GB development camps, coaching qualifications. I had finally achieved the one thing that I had wanted the most. And it felt great.
I called my husband to let him know my big news. The first thing he said was “Well done baby, I’m so proud of you!” The second thing he said was “Great, so that means you can stop wakeboarding now then.” Haha if only.. I might not do another Nationals, but I sure as hell am not going to stop wakeboarding.