Almanac Wake-boarding: I Can Jump Wake Waves

by Matilda Dohle

I love wake-boarding.

Twelve months ago I set myself a target.

It was a goal I wasn’t sure I could master, but I knew what it would feel like if I did. So I set my sights on making it happen.

I sank my energy into knowing how I needed to move, where I needed my legs, the angle of my knees, the speed to reach coming in to the wake, the lean I needed to land…

I watched and rewatched clips from Youtube. I watched the pros. I enlisted the help of an Aussie champ, Greg ‘Marbs’ Cummins from Yarrawonga. He’s a champ on anything you can throw in the water, even the air chair.

We did runs up and down the Murray until the boat broke down and we had to paddle back to the ramp with oars.

I begged Dad to knock off work early to run me out again, and again, and again.

It literally, took a year to get to this moment.

A year of hard stacks, yes, even though the water is a ‘soft landing.’ At speed that water smashes you up like concrete, just that there’s no skin off! It can literally turn your eyelids inside out and bust your zipper off your wetsuit.

So, the day I nailed it did arrive.

I suited up, I slipped on those gloves, tightened my boot laces, and fell backwards off the back of our boat into the mighty Murray River.

Dad took the slack up in the rope. Mum had the iPhone out, camera ready. I bobbed in the water, took a breath, and called ‘ready’. And I was.

Within seconds I was up on the wakeboard and shot out across the wake for my run up. The speed was perfect; the wake was breaking clean. Perfect backflip conditions.

I took the run back at the wake, legs bent, breath held. I hit the wake and knew this was going to work. The speed was right. The angle was right. Today I would not wipeout!

I pushed off the water, brought my knees up and backflipped in the air, and – I landed with precision.

I had nailed my wakeboarding backflip. And it felt as good as I knew it would too!

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