“If you’re going to get hurt while riding you might as well go for it…”  photo: Cortese
by Melissa Marquardt

Double ups became a part of my riding through both necessity and some peer pressure. Okay, maybe more from peer pressure, but either way I’m glad my friends pushed me. Growing up riding on Canyon Lake I first started hitting double ups around ‘98. With all of my basic tricks down, the best way to learn new tricks – or do an old trick in a new way – was with double ups. Of course riding with guys like my brothers Tommy and Charlie, Randall Harris, Kyle Murphy, Cody Hall and other old school Canyon Lakers, it wasn’t uncommon for me to be riding and the driver to turn a double up at the end of each pass with my friends yelling at me to hit it. From those early days though I’ve kept double ups as a regular part of my riding, and they’ve played a big part in helping me learn new tricks, stay relevant in the sport, and most importantly, having fun. I’ve seen Dallas and Amber charge double ups in contests back in the day, for video and photo-shoots, and also just for fun. Unfortunately these days there aren’t a lot of girls regularly hitting double ups, and I wish that would change. I think they can not only help progress our side of the sport, but also help riders get more recognition in the future.

More than anything over the years, double ups have been a great way to add some diversity to a person’s riding. I’ve always liked mixing it up and doing different things, whether it’s hitting rails, finding little jibs, or winching because it reminds me a little of the freedom and creativity that snowboarding allows you to have. Just hitting the wake can get repetitive, so it’s cool to challenge yourself and have fun with double ups. Plus, they are exciting, whether you’re the rider, driver, or in the boat. They definitely keep things interesting. Every time you go in for a double up you have to commit to it. In the boat, everybody is always anxious to see what happens when a rider cuts into one; you wonder if they’re gonna do something sick or crash. Either way, it’s entertaining!

In that respect, double ups can definitely be intimidating. I think this, along with other factors, are why riders choose not to do them. Sometimes I am sore or have injuries that definitely make me not want to hit a D-up. But I think if you’re feeling strong and you’re riding well there shouldn’t be anything holding you back from trying some and going bigger. I always wished I was as strong as Randall so I could land everything into the flats and hold on to grabs for days, but that would be too weird so I stuck to double ups. For half of my life I’ve had my fair share of gnarly crashes, but for as intimidating as they are, there can actually be a lot less impact from double ups than going big into the flats because you have transition to land on. Part of being a wakeboarder is taking risks, too. If you want to get better you’re going to have to crash while trying to learn new things. Hopefully if you’re doing things right you learn from those crashes and progress your riding. I hate to admit it, but I’ve gotten knocked out just from not paying attention while butter sliding the wake and catching my front edge. That’s when I wish I would’ve been going big off a double up.

The girls today are riding really well and progressing more than ever, but a lot of that progression is focused on contest riding that doesn’t include double ups. I think that is another reason we see them less. These days there is more training for contests than there is practicing riding for photo shoots or video sections. I’d love to see more girls motivated to do photo or video shoots because you don’t see it as much anymore. In order for the girls’ side of wakeboarding to stay relevant we have to get more coverage while also doing well in contests. Freeriding and double ups are one way to do that. Plus, it’s fun to see girls go big, and I’m hopeful that more girls will get that feeling and try it. Doing really technical tricks has always been a challenge for me. But doing a trick with a new grab – or doing it a bit differently – makes me super stoked. Making sure your tricks look good before moving to the next step is important. There is a way to find a happy medium between girls riding for contests and photo shoots. There are contest tricks that can look really good in photos by adding a solid grab and your own unique style. And the most basic tricks can look awesome in photos if they’re done going jumbo off the double up. Having the talent it takes to do technical tricks in contest means that a rider also has the talent and ability to make them look good for photos and videos… and to hit a few dubs

To be successful and to help grow any sport, it is important as a rider to set yourself apart from others by doing things different by creating your own unique style. Wakeboarding has come such a long way since we figured out that we should grab our board… even though it’s stuck to our feet. Guys like Josh Twelker, Randall Harris, Ben Greenwood, Trever Maur, Danny Harf (just to name a few) all have their own unique style that makes any video or photo of them pretty sick. Most of the time I can’t remember how myself or another rider did at a contest, but I’ll never forget a dope shot in the mag or a sick video. If just focusing on landing new tricks and winning contests is your thing, that’s totally cool, but it’s also okay to get out of your comfort zone and look at other ways to not only stay relevant, but to expand your reach and presence in the sport.  Maybe double ups is one way to do that. Once you get used to hitting double ups it’s not nearly as scary as it can seem if you slowly learn how to time them and feel controlled; it’s actually really fun.