I assume that since I'm writing for a wakeskating publication, 95% of the people reading this are guys. I wish that was different, but since it's not, I guess I'll take this opportunity to appeal to my readers' manly sensibilities. This question may never have even occurred to you, but why should dudes be stoked on women's wakeskating? Let me give you a handful of reasons…Because it just looks wrong when three bros on a Seadoo are crammed up against one another on a choppy day. Because "You can ride my shredstick" (A quote I recently saw on wakeskating.com…puhlease!) sounds slightly less lame when it's being said to a girl and not between two dudes. Because in a sport where you can't ride without getting wet, it seems obvious that both sexes ought to make an appearance.
Seriously though, don't get me wrong! I'm not trying to be derogatory and by all means I feel women deserve respect for their shredding as much as men. But I also think it's easy to let the issues of money and respect overwhelm the most important issue of all: Wakeskating is fun – so let's have fun with it! Nobody likes a sausage fest, so let's get some more girls in on this party!
When I first started riding it was always with guys and I felt a lot of pressure to be really good right away. It's natural to want to gain the respect of the people you ride with and to think you need to land complicated tricks to fit in. And with that mindset it's easy to get frustrated, skip learning the basics, and even get so intimidated that you don't want to ride. My advice to avoid negative pressure? Surround yourself with fun people who want to see you improve and succeed. I recently moved into a house with Jen Gilanfarr (shredder!!!) and some other killer wakeskaters. Since I moved in, my riding has gone to a whole new level. I'm getting way more consistent and learning new tricks faster than ever before. But the best part is I'm having a blast doing it. It's happened more than once that I've swallowed enough lake water to make me want to puke just because I hit the water laughing and I can't stop laughing even as I go under.
Other people aren't the only ones who can keep you from having fun out on the water. A lot of times pressure comes from within. It's not always a bad thing. Often the pressure we place on ourselves drives us to try harder. But there's a balance that needs to be reached. If you wakeskate you know that wakeskating is one of the most entertaining things there is to do. Don't ruin that for yourself! Sure it's important to push yourself and I partially agree with people who say that you should try to learn something new every set. But one thing I've learned is that it's also really great to go out once in a while and just have fun with the stuff you can already do. So what if all you can do is an ollie? Have fun with that. Try to pop your ollies higher, do some in the flats, try them inside-out, do some on your toeside – essentially just mess around. When I'm having an off day and find myself questioning what it is that I even like about wakeskating, I've gotten in the habit of having personal "shuv-offs" and just seeing how many pop shuvits I can do in a row. It keeps me having fun and improves my consistency.
At the end of the day, whether you're a guy or a girl, whether you're wakeskating as your career or as your hobby, the reason we find ourselves out on the lake at sunset trying to get one last set in before there's no light left, is that wakeskating is something which we love. Why? Because it's just so gosh darn fun! So I guess what I'm trying to say here boys and girls, is this: "get wet," "ride hard," or do any of the other activities with not-so-cleverly disguised sexual inuendos found on the wakeskating forums (especially those about girls). Just don't apply too much pressure or it won't be a pleasurable experience for anyone.