Rinse And Repeat

This picture is not representative of my experience of wakeboarding, just so you know.

Fortunately, there is no photographic evidence from that evening’s wakeboarding. When I was browsing through our online photo library, all I found was smiling, sun-bleached folk skimming along the waves (with ease) in board shorts. That was what I’d envisioned when I booked a session for my friend Paul and I.

But I did it in Dundee, so even in midsummer we were in full-length wetsuits to stave off the chill.

The crew down at our city docks were fantastic, really positive, and I’d been looking forward to this for weeks. Although I was a bit nervous, the worst case scenario would be that I’d tried something new and knew it wasn’t for me!

Water way to spend time

It didn’t go that badly, but it wasn’t easy. Sitting in the water, there’s an ominous wait until the tow line gets ahead of you enough to put some tension in the rope, then it pulls you up to your feet – slowly up, standing, thinking you’ve got it, then forwards and into the water face first. Then along for a little bit.

I swallowed so much salt water that I could taste it for about four days afterwards, but time and time again I was determined that I would succeed. I think the trick is not to think about it too much – I was told that if your arms were straight and you were pointing the right way, you couldn’t really go wrong. But these instructions were too simple, so my brain was left with time to think – and that’s when it all went south. Over and over again. 15 minutes has never felt so long!

My friend Paul took to it like a natural and was soon carving side to side up and down the docks.

No quitting

I asked our instructor if she’d ever had anyone as bad as me before, and she said only once. A friend of hers had done it with her, but quit after ten minutes and refused to ever do it again. At least I was persistent enough to keep trying, which felt like something to be proud of.

I would do it again, for sure. I don’t like being that bad at something, so if I could just stand up for two whole lengths, I’d be able to cross it off my list. What happened that first night didn’t technically constitute wakeboarding, and being that awful at it was genuinely exhausting!

Next time, our instructor said, she’ll see me standing up for a whole length at least.

And Paul – well, Paul, would be doing something cool by then, skipping off jumps and whatnot. But see me again she shall…I’m determined to have at least one picture of me smiling and looking like the photos online.


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Alex Corlett

Alex is the "Friend's" Features Editor, working with the talented Features Team to bring you everything from cryptic crosswords to financial advice, knitting patterns to international travel and inspirational real life stories. Always on the hunt for a new feature idea, Alex also enjoys cycling and loves a good tea room.