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 protect your wetsuit

Hey all you fellow wetsuit lovers!  Its blog time!  So in my last blog I filled you in on about how to store your wetsuit, now I’m going to give you some helpful hints on how to protect your wetsuit!

You know the drill, you’ve used your wetsuit either at the lake or at the beach and you’re hanging around for a cold beverage (beer).  And some snacks.  And to catch up with your mates.  What do you do with your wetsuit?  I usually drape mine across a railing, a bush, rock, bench, car, just about anything but the floor.  And usually in prime position of the sun (if there is any) so that it dries quicker.

We all know that the sun damages our skin (sniff sniff, wear sunscreen.  All the time.), but if you ever read the care labels (usually printed on the inside of your wetsuit, so its idiot proof), it will say a whole list of things to avoid, and one being drying in the sun.  Why?  Because like the sun damages our skin, it damages our neoprene.  And neoprene ain’t cheap, and if it is, its usually not worth wearing.

What is the answer I hear you ask.. well, a Dry Bag of course!  Hang your baby (your wetsuit, I mean, not your actual baby, although one of my kids is bound to try and climb in at some point), and it’ll be three times more protected from the rays than if it were just thrown over a bench, therefore it’ll last longer. Cha-Chiiing.

If we have been blessed with sun, then you can hang your wettie up in a Dry Bag in full sunlight, knowing its not going to be damaged, and it’ll dry quicker because of the suns warmth.  Bonus is that it won’t have that crusty feel to it that can scratch over your skin.  Ahhhh soft neoprene…

Also, instead of throwing your wetsuit over a bush (I know this sounds weird but there is usually some sort of shrubbery in sand dunes that keep my suit off the sand), or an old wooden splintery bench, protect your precious cargo in a Dry Bag so that it doesn’t snag.  Same goes for when you travel… no, I’ve definitely never shut part of my wetsuit in the car door before… no way.  Not me.

All in all, if you love your wetsuit, show it some love by treating it to a Dry Bag and give it some protection.

What are your wetsuit hacks?  Get in touch!