w i n t e r r i d i n g

I was about to start writing about winter riding when I thought that I’d already covered this before.  So I searched and low and behold I found a blog I had written last winter!  I’ve revamp it to share with you xx

Ahhhh its that time of year again.. the time when the trees are bare.  The time when driving gets a bit dodgy because the sun sits in that awkward low position for most of the day.  The time when you never have enough windscreen wash in your jet things.  The time when the only thing you do in the evening is veg out in your pjs with a glass (bottle) of wine.  Basically that time of year when England turns into the shittest place to live.

Theres an up side as well though…   You know those rare bluebird days when theres been a frost and the air is crisp?  Those are my favourite days in the English winter.  Unless it snows… I’m always a fan of snow.

Those crisp days are the best ones to ride on, theres just something slightly magical about them, even if they are bloody freezing.  However, they don’t come about to often, so you just have to suck it up and ride in the miserable grey windy, drizzly weather this beautiful little island attracts.

So, how do we survive riding throughout the winter….?

  1. 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 wettie.  Don’t prat around with some useless piece of rubbish neoprene.  Invest.  I’m in the new Mystic Diva 5.3mm and its toastie warm. 
  3. If you’re rocking the open toe, get some socks.  Otherwise get your hands on some Systems because you’re basically walking around in a snug snowboard style boot – toastie tootsies!
  4. Gloves.  Its a coin toss really.  Do you want frostbite or do you want that unavoidable forearm ache that you only get with gloves.  I go for the arm ache personally.  Saves my manicure. 
  5. Maintenance.  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 so that you come into the next season ready to go.
  6. Take your mates.  Theres no fun in riding alone in the winter.  Fact.  And if theres people with you, you’re more likely to actually ride rather than sit in the cafe with a cuppa. 
  7. Flask.  Invest in a flask and fill it to the brim with hot tea / coffee / hot choc… you’ll be grateful post ride. 
  8. Leave time for a shower afterwards – to warm up obvs.
  9. If theres no shower, take a sleeping bag and drive home wearing it. 
  10. Fun is the word.  Just be grateful you’re able to get out there and ride. 

Whats Social Media got to do with it?

As I sit hear listening to the baby monitor going off signalling its the end of nap time and my (laptop) work comes to an close for another day, I look at my saved ‘Posts’ box on my blog.  There are so many started yet unfinished blog posts from the past year or two.  Wondering why I never posted them, I read some.  Maybe I feel they might not be taken well, perhaps I feel I’m being too honest or sweary, or some I feel that are great memories to me but might bore others.  Why would others care to see a another photo of me: at a lake, at the beach, in a yoga pose, in a gym, in a winter wetsuit, in a bikini… cue the athletic gear lifestyle shot.

But I’ve just remembered that this is the age we live in now.  Its not the same as 10 years ago, or five years ago, or even last year.  I have never relied so much on my phone for work, information, contact, camera or goggling.  Everything is done via an app, I even use pinterest to get new outfit ideas instead of buying a magazine to see whats on-trend.  Apart from the September and March Issues of Vogue.  Obvs.  I like to think that I sit quietly and read it while drinking my vanilla latte in Starbucks.  I never do.

I got to thinking about how social media has changed our lives.  You never switch off because you can access all your work just on your phone.  Where does the work stop and the time off start?  Cue the I’m working in my on-trend office space shot.

After noticing that I spent a ridiculous amount of time on my phone a couple of years ago, I try to leave it until certain times.  Times when it doesn’t affect others, like during nap time.  I try not to ‘play’ (AKA Social Media, but Soc Media is actually part of my work so I shouldn’t call it ‘playing’) on my phone in front of the kids.  Obviously work calls come in and some need to be dealt with immediately, but have you tried to be on a work call with a one and three year old fighting for your attention?

What has social media done for me?  Its allowed me to make quite a smooth transition from being a Pro Wakeboarder into being a Wake Ambassador. Cue the wake lifestyle shot.

After popping out a couple of kids and having all the pregnancy and recovery time off from riding, the wake standard has naturally evolved (to a ridiculous level I might add) and without having the same amount of time to dedicate to riding that I used to, I have not progressed how I’d imagined it to.  I still have fun though.  Cue the riding shot.

Photo: Toby Oliver

Social Media has given me the platform to promote myself and my sponsors.  

How do you do this I hear you ask!  Well first, you must have your own Soc Media channels.  Over time you start to build up your following.  Do this by picking the theme, brand or image you want to portray to people.  I cleaned up my Soc Media outlets about a year ago when I finally realised that mixed photos of my kids, selfies and wakeboarding weren’t really doing it.  Then over time as you get more established, brands, companies or agencies approach you for various things whether its shooting product for them, doing a blog or instagram post, or becoming a Brand Ambassador.  And sometimes it works the other way, if you love a brand you might want to contact them for a collaboration.

There are so many blurred lines now with jobs when it comes to Social Media. People ask me what I do.. I find it hard to give them an answer most of the time.  I do so many different things: I’m full time Mum (to two boys, absolute effing nutters), I’m a Housewife, I’m in Property Management, I’m a Wakeboard Coach, I’m a Wake Ambassador and I work on my Social Media, Blogging and Instagramming.

I guess what I’m trying to get across is that Social Media has helped me develop and still developing where I’m trying to get to.  I have an image or a goal in my mind where I want to be and without Social Media, it would never happen.

And why on earth did I write this blog?  I guess because I’m at a point where I can get back into blogging more regularly again and I didn’t know where to start.  Like I said before, I have so many unfinished or unpublished posts, this one is to blow off the cobwebs. Enjoy xx

CWP Shoot

I recently spent the afternoon shooting down at Club Wake Park.  Now, I hadn’t been over to those parts for a while due to two certain small time consuming beings.  I forgot just how much I love riding there!  The place has such a great vibe about it and if you’ve not tested their waters out yet, I strongly recommend you do!

Here are some photos from the shoot on my new whip, the Scandal…

Photos by Toby Oliver