Britt Fletcher, Jen GilanFarr, Mikaela from Sweden, Lizzie Williams, Cassandra Scott
by Lacey Menkin
I am having an identity crisis because of a small pair of brightly colored boardshorts – the short kind. You know, the really short ones that don’t cover a whole hell of a lot more than a bathing suit and whose sole purpose is to keep water out of certain orifices of the body into which it’s not welcome. Said board shorts used to be my favorite until I noticed a trend among my female peers toward only wearing guys boardies. Thanks to a ton of hand-me-downs from my best friend, I was able to follow suit. But “why?” I wondered. Let’s face it, the effects of wakesports on one’s back, arms, and shoulders can be a bit masculinizing. Most male wakeskaters not only have a smaller waste-line than I do, but are also more in touch with their feelings than I ever was or will be. Furthermore there’s no doubt in my book that both Brian Grubb and Nick Taylor are ten times prettier than I am. So why are we women dressing in a fashion that would even further de-emphasize our femininity?
Is it because long boardies say “fuck tan lines, I’ve got my game face on!” or is it because they eliminate gender differences? Do guys feel like girls in long boardshorts are less concerned with their appearance and therefore more core, more dedicated, more…wakeskater-ish? Maybe I’m crazy, but I think people do tend to take me more seriously when I rock the longer boardies. Maybe the trend arose from female riders feeling like they’re looked at less like a “girl” and more like just another one of the riders if they dress in guys’ clothes? Or maybe it’s just a simple matter of comfort and style preference that has become more widespread. I just don’t know. But what I want to know is this: Can I, Lacey Paige Menkin, be a thigh-showing, short shorts wearing, womanly looking girl and still be accepted as a wakeskater just as much as my guys’-boardshorts-wearing counterparts?
Here’s my take on it and correct me if I’m wrong. Dallas Friday has a great rack and acknowledging it doesn’t detract from the respect she deserves as a wakeboarder. And James Balzer has been known on many an occasion to ride in a speedo. Has the sexual appeal of his lean stems taken anything away from his reputation as a wakeskater? I think not! That being said I’ve made up my mind to resurrect the itty-bitty, teeny-weeny boardies of my yesteryears. I am woman, watch me wakeskate!