While more and more professional female riders are participating in extreme sports competition such as X-Games, Gravity Games and different national championships and events, newcomers find their own advantages and adrenalin filled rides in this sport, as well as maintaining their fitness and meeting other women who share the same interest in wakeboarding.
“My first experience of cable wakeboarding was unforgettable: water around me, water in my nose, mouth and ears, but amazing emotions from the riding and pleasant fatigue afterwards which encouraged colorful dreams at night. In the morning I was feeling the intense pain in my whole body and could not even laugh. Despite this, all my thoughts were about wakeboarding.
Truly, wakeboarding, as an active sport, leaves a great impact on the fitness and stamina levels and all the beginners feel the pain in arms, legs, back and buttocks. Practically all of the major muscles groups are exercised effectively. Through continuous balancing and rope pull, the back muscles, which are not so easy to exercise, are used extensively during the activity (especially cucullaris and latissimus dorsi). Also legs and the all important glutus maximus are trained intensively and in time get a nice shape. Do not believe the myth that through having a strong passion for wakeboarding you end up looking like one of the bodybuilders with the “round biceps”. However, the loss of excess body fat and calories is guaranteed. Around 450 kilocalories are burnt in one hour which can be compared with a two hour training program in the gym.
Saying that, would you really prefer exercising in the gym to doing active water sport on a sunny day surrounded by the same passionate and dedicated people? The answer is obvious.
Good news for female beginners: 75% of women get to go on a wakeboard in the first lesson. Some of the most popular questions before the start are: “What happens if I fall? Am I going to be in a lot of pain?” Clearly not every beginner can avoid the falling but falling shouldn’t scare you away. All you have to do is swim to the shore and start again.
In answering the second question I would say that one of the main advantages of wakeboarding is its low injury risk. Of course, it does not mean that you can neglect safety measures because hitting the water can cause some sensitivity in certain parts of the body, therefore, using the protective equipment provided is mandatory.
Obviously, the higher the level of the rider, the higher the desire for tricks. The bigger the air tricks, the higher the risk of getting injured. The most common injury among the professional wakeboarder is to sprain the anterior cruciate ligament (a part of the knee-joint) which can occur after a hard landing on the water. A sprained ligament is an overstretched or torn ligament. A ligament can stretch to about 6% of its length before it snaps. In order to keep your knees as safe as possible you can use the special knee brace which can easily be rented or bought in all cable wake-parks.
There is nothing more exciting than the female rider doing big air tricks in bright beams of the summer sun, surrounded by swirling water. It usually doesn’t take too long to go from the first attempt of getting on to the wakeboard to the first simple but beautifully and properly performed trick. Moreover, the effect on the shape will undoubtedly be visible rather fast.
“Now, I am absolutely sure that wakeboarding is not only for fun, but also for health. I compare myself with 2 years ago and realize that the muscles have become stronger and the body is toned. Besides, the emotions, wellbeing and self confidence gathered from riding are much more important to me than achieving competitive goals in sport.” (Elena Gorodnova).
Wakeboarding, like all extreme sport, is a lifestyle, not only a type of sport. It will continue to grow and involve more and more people regardless of their preferences, whether they want to relax on the lakeshore or learn new tricks. So, every summer take a break from your indoor fitness program, go to the nearest cable park and allow wakeboarding to tickle your soul.
Article researched and written by Arseny Veber, MHMK Master Student. For any questions please email him directly on firstname.lastname@example.org
Fearless Women in Sport