Let’s get one thing perfectly clear: Winter is coming.
It’s almost time for everyone to winterize their boats, hang up their ski’s, and stuff moth balls as far into their wakeboard bindings as they can go. The Fall/Winter months of wakeboarding (and any other water related activity) can become a grueling stage of life for the more serious shredders, so you need to find other things to occupy your time. Yes, it’s extremely hard to stop “the itch” while watching the newest wakeboarding edit from the Phillipines, or Orlando, but here are a few things that you can do to speed through the long off season.
First things first, if you really want to extend your season there’s only one way to do it: wet suits. A good wet suit will help any serious water sport enthusiast prolong the practice of his craft. However, a wet suit can be very expensive, and if you get one too thick you’ll look like Frankenstein trying to jump a wake. In my opinion the best option for a full wet suit is a 3mm/2mm full body suit. The 3mm stands for the thickness of the torso area (in millimeters) and the 2mm stands for the arms and legs. Personally, anything thicker is a scuba suit, and if you really want to go there just upgrade to a dry suit.
When it gets too cold for a wet suit you can trade that neoprene in for some canvas and tent poles because nothing screams family bonding like a weekend adventure into your favorite patch of the woods. Camping trips are a great way to get closer to nature and the band of hooligans that decided to accompany you. If you have a team or shop that you like to ride for go camping with them, its a great opportunity to get even closer with your wake family.
Cold weather and cold water usually spell out disaster for athletes who only rely on water sports as their primary source of exercise. I know that going to a gym seems repetitive and a lot sweatier than wakeboarding, but staying in great shape and preparing yourself for the spring season can really benefit to your riding. Running may seem like punishment, but when you can’t ride for more than five minutes because your baby lungs gave out, don’t go home crying. If you think a gym membership is too expensive, tie some weights to an old wakeboard handle and always remember that push ups and sit ups go a very long way.
The biggest cure for the Fall Freeze is snowboarding. Skiing and snowboarding trips are almost as fun (if not more) as trips to the lake. If any of you are like me, you love to stay on a board. Snowboarding trips can get pretty expensive, but when you live on a budget you can find cheaper options that allow you to experience the same thrills you get behind the boat. Also, snowboarding is a great way to keep your balance and aerial awareness in check.
To be completely honest, cold weather is the worst, just the absolute worst. Unfortunately living within the demographic that we have chosen, we still experience very chilling winters. Surviving these “dry months” as I like to call them is a daunting task. It requires patience, resilience, and an adventurous spirit to handle months without wakeboarding. When December rolls around and your boat is in storage don’t just sit around and mope about being dry all the time; go to the gym, take your boat buddies camping, or man up and get a wet suit. After all, March is right around the corner!