Sunday, October 12, 2008

My first wakeboarding comp!!! =D

I decided, sort of last minute-ish...well, a week before, to enter my first wakeboarding competition -- Fall Fest at Texas Ski Ranch. I love free riding, no pressure, and just having fun. The thought of competing had crossed my mind before, but I was just too chicken to do it. A bit of suggestive pressure from my fellow riding friends...and then I entered. My riding had improved significantly since I took that roadtrip to Kansas City Watersports with Louise and Josh, a trip that reinvigorated me. And then I thought...you know what, there aren't enough women competing anyways. The women don't get as much respect as the guys do. So I think with more chick riders out there, the better it'll get. So I entered to support my fellow lady riders...the ones that always kick ass.

I had my doubts, then I thought, it's okay..I'll get token last place but be there to support them. I'm totally fine with it. And I am so glad that I entered...

Yesterday was the preliminary rounds. There were 5 of us who entered, 4 would move on to finals tomorrow. I was reaaaaallly nervous. I didn't know what to expect. The only things I had competed in in my entire life were nerdy academic tournaments. I was by far the most unathletic kid growing up, not to mention clumsy, too (and still am). So competing in anything athletic was a bit unheard of for me. Yeah, I was so nervous that I had to pee three times before our division went!

Long story short, I got 4th place for the day yesterday...fell on my backroll and switch 360 attempts, but rode well for the rest of it. That 4th place let me qualify for finals which wer today. The other ladies did awesome...Danielle got a nice toeside 540, Holland (who is 16, rides for Gator Boards, and competes boat comps at world level) stomped tons of big air and tech tricks, and Louise killed it and landed a tootsie roll for her wildcard. For those of you who are like..um..I don't understand this wakeboarding jargon...I will tell you that a tootsie roll is a damn hard trick, that I don't believe I'll ever have the cojones to try. Picture throwing yourself off a ramp (on a wakeboard, of course) doing a front flip, and passing the handle behind your back so that you spin 180. Yeah.

I was so excited to have qualified for finals, that today, I was not nervous at all. I was so calm and collected, and happy to place 4th or whatever...I was just going to ride.

Today, I was the 1st to go. My first lap consisted of a deep press to the right on the long fun box, a press on the water between tower 1 and 2, heelside jump over the iceberg with a lein grab, some surface stuff on the straight with the booter and kinked rail (backwards sliding on the water, pressing slides), an ollie before the exit bouys, then a switch heelside frontside 360 spin on the funbox...something that I've learned recently and have been able to land pretty consistently (amazing..usually it takes me forever to figure something new out!). That was the end of my first run. I got out and went back in line.

Danielle was after me. She rode the left a-frame (skinny rail) to the end of the flat, I believe, and then she threw her toeside 540 off the wedge, and landed it, clean as ever...solid! It was exciting to see that. So I thought...damn, I'm done for! I can't remember the rest of her 1st run after that sick 540.

Holland and Louise followed up, and both threw down hard...so many good tricks, I can't even remember. They were definitely the show to watch out of the women's. Both solid riders, both different tricks and styles.

I was up for my 2nd run. I started off, hit the long fun box and frontboarded it (hit it toeside, road backwards), did a switch heelside jump with a melan grab off the wedge, landed, surface 180, edged toward the booter...I normally aim for the left top corner of it...my approach was so off that I hit the right edge of it...normally, if that is going to happen, I back out and don't hit it at all..but this was the moment, I had to do it. I threw my sketchiest, low, backroll ever. Yuck. But miraculously, I landed it..buttchecked it, really, but rode away...I was so excited (I have not landed one in days, and they have just been getting worse and worse, so I was frustrated with my backroll attempts as of late)...I could not believe it. I rode on, and then tried to hit the right a-frame switch..but only got over about 1 foot on it..maybe. I was so excited about landing the backroll that I completely forgot about my wildcard, so I exited.

Danielle had a nice 2nd run after me, rode the right a-frame switch all the way (her first time doing it!) and fell on her wildcard. Holland and Louise, once again, showed us how good this division gets and that it'll only get better. Holland threw a huge tantrum over the iceberg (backflip over a large object) and got her first ever air trick, an air raley. Louise threw trick after trick, a few airtricks...a krypt and backroll, and landed another tootsie roll for her wildcard.

Since the other girls had done their wildcards, I was last to do mine. I was going for that elusive switch heelside frontside 360 off the wedge...something that I had never gotten, but had gotten close. I have gotten the handle in my hands before a few times, but never been able to ride away. So I went for it. Concentration, concentration...it happened so fast that I don't even remember it, but I made a huge splash when I landed, slapping my butt in the water, popping myself back up, and riding away. I must have said, "Oh my god" a million times all the way to the exit bouys. First time landed the switch 360, first comp. Unbelievable. I still can't believe it.

Needless to say, Danielle and I gave the judges a run for their money for scoring for 3rd place. We both did good tricks...Danielle with her toe 5, me with my backroll and heel 3...Danielle hit 2 rails, I hit 1 rail but really badly...Danielle solidly stomped the landing on her toe 5...my landings were butt checks and sketchy...

We were all excited about our runs, everyone did extremely well, a lot of firsts...we joked around about what the tricks we'd be throwing in the future...Holland with her temper tantrum (double tantrum)..once her knee is heeled up, who will be the one to throw the first crow mobe, etc etc. It can only get bigger and better from here, and I am so glad that I entered to be a part of it all. It makes me want to get better...gawd, my rail riding sucks...need to improve that majorly...but just better in general. I totally don't mind being the old lady in the comp (at least I don't look like it!).

In the end, I got 4th, Danielle 3rd, Holland 2nd, and Louise 1st. And all four of us rode extremely well. I rode the best I ever have. Ever. Well, the backroll was sketchy...I found linking the switch jump melan grab, surface 180, to backroll was really difficult...no time to think or get composed, so may have added a bit (mentally) to my sketchy roll...but that 3 sealed the deal.

Here's the prize bootie that I got...

According to the other girls, we got pretty good prizes this comp (as we should since we all rode our asses off!!!)...I got a Helium vest (unfortunately it's a guy's, so Sean thanked me for winning him a vest! lol!), two liquid force shirts, newt juice, a few nike 6.0 toys, and some stickers.

Sean and I stayed around for all the comps...the guys did awesome. The intermediate competitors were fierce...many I believe to be the upper echelon of that division. So if there wasn't a women's division, I'd be in intermediate, and I probably would have placed last in that division. Actually, probably isn't the word, I would have placed last in that division..they were really good.

On to the advanced, and out came even bigger tricks. I could only hope to do, but this getting old thing..and not wanting to get hurt either..you know...hmmm...

The skaters had a solid division as well. They were doing stuff that I can't even do on a wakeboard. Oury nailed so many tricks, one after another after another...

The pros were the division to watch. Every single guy threw down...huge air, huge tricks, most that I don't even know what they're called...

After the awards ceremony, I ended up riding for a little bit. My left hip is hella sore as well as every single muscle in my body. But I wanted to ride for fun. Danielle had suggested that I hit the left a-frame (I had complained that I don't hit it because I hate the swim back to shore..you know..the learning phase..fall a lot, swim a lot)...I just kept going for the right a-frame, which is my switch side..but I suck at it, if I hit it, I 50-50 it, which is really ugly and not stylish at all. In my free riding, I decided..you know what, I'm going to try that left a-frame. The first time, I rode over about 6 inches of it and overshot, so rode around it. The second time, I 50-50'd up the upramp, got to the flats, naturally boardslid it almost to the end of the flat bit, and rode away from it...I was like...holy crap, that was too easy. I can't believe how much easier that was than the right a-frame....guess you know what I'll be working on!

What an awesome weekend!! I am a bit wakeboarded out for now...will take a few days off then hit it again. But this time, progression in mind...

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