Summer of Wakeboarding in the UK

We’ve had a great summer in 2022! The UK opened up and it opened up good. Real good. And I loved it. The weather showed up gracing us with many a heat wave and then I even managed to get abroad for the first time in three and a half years… THREE AND A HALF YEARS!!!? But that’s for another time.

This summer has been filled with as much lake time as I could fit in. I’ve said this before, but my wakeboarding time usually runs from when the lakes open around March / April and runs through to July. And then I seem to get crazy busy and pick it back up again in September, through until the lakes close for winter. (Holler at me lakes that stay open through the winter!)

Kit wise I’ve been on the Hyperlite Soul Mate which I absolutely love, System Low Backs and Gooey Boots. I then ride in Mystic boardies, the Luna Shorty or the Jayde 3/2mm full suit. Paired with the Star Impact Vest and the MK8 X Helmet for safety.

I have had some epic lines this summer too! I’ve been working on tricks that I had solid way back when before I had children… 10years ago. As you can imagine I have been pretty stoked this summer to get them dialled in again! Now its the big leap of learning new things – things that start to hurt again haha!

Wish me luck.

Board Review: Hyperlite Soul Mate

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.

 

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.