Face it, it’s over.
Winter is descending on us once again, and mother nature has turned a blind eye to die hard water sport enthusiasts. The cold morning air invites goosebumps and the bitter, piercing winds bring shivers into the minds of boaters. Once that boat has been winterized, there is no turning back. Winterizing your boat is like the final nail in the coffin that you will be smothered by for the next three to four months. The metaphoric coffin that keeps us landlocked during the late months can consume your attitude for improvement. What are we supposed to do without our boats or wakeboards? Simple: go whip yourself into shape.
It’s not about being the best at exercising, and it surely isn’t a competition to see who can build the most muscle. Getting in shape during the winter wakeboard months is a very important process if you wish to continue your progression right where you left off in October. Think about this for two seconds: wakeboarding is all muscle memory, right? So what do you think is going to happen when you sit on a couch for three months eating holiday cookies and watching Prime Wake Movie on repeat? Don’t be lazy! Being lazy kills your drive and forces you to go stagnant, but there are a few things you can do to prevent these bad habits.
One really good way to stay in shape is to join a gym, or make one at home. The gym gives you a reason to get off your couch everyday, and if you’re not looking to spend that kind of money you can make a gym at home. It’s very easy to take an old wakeboard handle and string a few weights on the end of it. This mimics the motion of pulling the handle across your body and behind your back with a resistance force. Using this workout can really help maintain a muscle memory for handle passes, and the heavier the weight, the faster you will spin once you return to the water.
Wakeboarding focuses a lot on core strength and balance, two things that can be found in both yoga, and stand up paddleboarding. Yoga is a great way to learn patience, balance, and focus; all while strengthening your entire body. The combination of stretching and balancing in different positions allows you to focus on multiple aspects of progress at once. If you don’t mind the cold and have decent balance, take your yoga to the paddleboard. There are classes centered around paddleboard yoga, as well as paddleboard racing. Your core is your lifeline in wakeboarding, but there is one aspect of physical fitness that trumps all others..
Yes, the dreaded cardio workouts; the running, the swimming, the biking, it’s all something most of the sane world considers punishment. Whether you view cardio as punishment or not, it is still the most important aspect of off season training. What is the point of working out all winter long if you can’t wakeboard for more than five minutes because your lungs decided to take the day off? If you’re huffing and puffing before your warm up pass is even over then you’re going to be in a world of trouble when you can’t stop gasping for air in the middle of a whirlybird. I know it hurts, and I know you hate it, but lace up your shoes and hit the block a few times a week. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but getting up to go run will make a huge difference at the end of the season.
The biggest challenge is commitment. It is very important that you find a series of activities wakeboard related. Ask yourself, “how is this going to help me be better on a wakeboard, what part of my game will this sharpen?” However, the best advice I can give on dealing with the winter cold is this: Don’t be lazy! Run, drink lots of water, eat a bunch of peanut butter, and do not slack off. Create a work out plan and stick to it, do not let the cold weather stop you from pushing yourself to the next level.
PSA: IT’S HALLOWEEN!!!! Which means our Marketing Department here at Memphis Boat Center has come up with a little Halloween wakeboarding video. The video was produced by Enrique Martinez, and all footage is of the Mississippi State Wakeboarding team, watch the video below and Happy Halloween from all of us here at MBC!