B A T T L E | B A C K

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A couple of weeks ago I went down to Heron Lake (a Disabled Waterski Facility in Wraysbury) to coach the guys and girls who were involved in Battle Back.  Battle Back is an organisation that was set up by Ash Clare, Recreational Adventure Therapist (RAT) at the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court.  He was there with budding adventurists who were ready to get on the water.  Its amazing what Ash has created and developed, he takes the guys away skiing, kayaking, you name it, they’ve done it or are working on doing it.

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photo 3-3I have never coached anyone with any kind of disability before so I was pretty nervous but luckily I had Owen Pick there to introduce me to everyone.  He started wakeboarding because of Ash and Battle Back, so he knew everyone.  The types of injuries these guys have suffered are all extremely different but they all managed to get on the water.  Honestly, its amazing to witness.  One girl I coached had been in a wheelchair for two years and had only started walking again in January, and she was up and riding on the Little Bro and on boat!  Another guy was kneeboarding behind the boat who is a triple amputee, (who surfs as well I might add).  It was really interesting and very different to what I usually do.  I was fascinated to find out about everyone and to see how they got on the water, and how long it had been since they had done anything like this and had this kind of excitement and joy from sport. 

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photo 2-2Ash took me out on a sit-ski.  I’m not going to lie, I was pretty scared because you don’t have the use of your legs, they are tucked into a footstrap and you are sitting in a little seat with a bar underneath your knees for support.  It was a very strange feeling but I figured I’d just watched these guys do it, so I had to give it a go.  Once the boat got going we were off!  Ash was teaching me how to jump the wake, have sit-ski fights (where you try and push the other one off) and we even cranked the boat speed right up; what a rush! It was only then I really understood the reason of Battle Back.  The smiles and excitement that shine through after a set on the water for these guys, who possibly haven’t had that kind of rush for two or more years, would feel incredible.  At the end of the day, what better feeling is there than skimming across a lake… and Battle Back is about giving that chance to people.

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I love my latest piece of artwork from Wall Art Surfboards.  The creation is made from an old surfboard which has been carved out, painted and then glossed into something amazing.  Its a beautiful piece and what really makes it special is that you can see the stringer right throughout the middle of it, just to give you that little extra bit of surf vibe. Its currently residing in my hallway so that every time I walk through the door, I am briefly whisked away to beach days with plenty of waves… 


Thanks Wall Art Surfboards, I love it!  

Check them out on instagram HERE

Girl Talk | Julia Rick

I recently caught up with Julia Rick.  This girl is storming the world of cable wakeboarding and has some hefty results to prove it.  She is the current Pro Women’s World Champion of the WWA, IWWF European Champion and ranked number one in the World.  Read on….


| Hey Julia, what’s happening? 

Hey Lex, I’m fine but very busy right now 🙂 I’m preparing for lots of competitions coming up this season and I also study at the University of Cologne.

Sounds hectic! Give us the low down…

P16005961| How did you get into wakeboarding and how long have you been riding now?

I firstly began wakeboarding in 2009, however did not spend much time at the cable as I was professionally engaged in the “Second German Football League” in Cologne (1.FC Köln). The decision to end my football career was made in April 2012, where I decided to engage myself fully into professional wakeboarding. It was the same year, where I commenced my first participation in wakeboarding competitions. Wakeboarding is my passion, I simply love it and try to spend as much time as possible on the water.

| Where do you mainly ride and who do you ride with?

I mainly ride at my home cable, “Wasserski Bleibtreusee” near to Cologne. It’s a nice little cable in a natural lake with a great atmosphere and nice people who I can ride with. When I’m not riding at my home cable I’m riding on different cables traveling around the world meeting new people.

| Is it just cable or do you dabble with straight-line cables and/or boat? 

I ride only cable 🙂 In Germany we have lots of cable parks that are really good so I enjoy it pretty much! Also I really like the air tricks you can do only at the cable.

| What kit are you on this year? How’s it working for you?

Since this year I’ve been riding for Ronix Wake and I’m part of the new International Cable Team.  My riding setup consists of the Ronix Bill Board 135 and the Ronix Frank Boots and I’m loving it! It works great for both air tricks and obstacle riding! I’m wearing ION wetsuits and FOX clothes, these clothes are awesome, appreciate the support!


So what’s in store for you this year…

20131111_jrick_bwiedenhofer-80071| What comps are you doing and which comps are you really excited to do? 

I’m looking forward to a lot of competitions this year! I’ve won my first comp this season in Israel at Lake TLV and I’m pretty happy about it, it was a nice event! This year there are the German Nationals, the European Championships and the World Championships of the IWWF and the WWA. Furthermore there are other stops of the IWWF world tour and WWA events. I’m really excited to do all of them, but most important are the World Championships in Norway and the World Cup in Beijing this year!

| With comps comes plenty of travel, where will you be heading this year? 

That’s right, I will be heading to different countries all over the world this season. There are different stops in Europe as Germany, Vienna, Bratislava, Poland or Norway but also there are events in Beijing, Abu Dhabi, Australia and the USA.

| Any fun trips just because you want to? 

I was thinking about a kite trip to somewhere in the world but I think this year I have not enough time 😉


You have some crazy tricks under your belt that not a lot of girls are doing…

| What’s your favorite trick right now? 

One of my favorite tricks is a simple front flip to blind with a nice tail grab or a big frontmobe 🙂

| What was the most rewarding trick to land? 

I would mention three tricks: Frontmobe, Switch Mobe 5 and the KGB.

(You can see Julia’s KGB HERE)

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| Any tricks your working on at the moment you can fill us in on? 

I’m working on different air tricks but also on my kicker tricks. I would like to land another 540 invert or to add new spins over the kicker to my trick pocket. I also try to improve my style in every session and to add different grabs to my riding, that’s quite important I think.

| How do you manage to keep your invert, kicker and rail work all at such a high level?  

I spend a lot of time on the water and train every day. But I have fun every time I ride and I think that’s the main thing. The feeling to land a new trick keeps me motivated and I just want to be a balanced rider with invert, kicker and rail skills on a high level!


| What do you do when you’re not wakeboarding?

I also like to do Kiteboarding but unfortunately I have not enough time to do it at the moment. I also do cardio and fitness training to keep my body fit. As I mentioned before I study at the University of Cologne Business Administration so there is a lot of work to do besides Wakeboarding. In addition I love to spend time with my friends and my family!

| Are you into health and fitness?  Or do you just ride and eat whatever you like? 🙂

For me it’s really important to have a good fitness and to eat healthy. A good “all-around” fitness is essentially to prevent injuries so I try to keep fit and work out quite hard. For me to stay healthy is the most important thing in the life of an athlete. 

Thanks Julia, its been a pleasure catching up!

Thank You for the interview! 🙂


Photo credits: Black Mountain, Wilfried Rick, Benjamin Wiedenhofer.

Julia’s FB – https://www.facebook.com/JuliaRickOfficial

Julia’s latest edit – https://vimeo.com/92939672