Bonjorno! (Brad Pitt accent in inglorious basterds).
This last week I’ve been in… ITALY!! Together with the Slingshot crew we’ve shot some product videos for the 2018 line and wow am I excited for you to see it! The water here at CableWakepark7 is naturally this blue due to the limestone around the lake and this together with Italian coffee, pizza and pasta has made this trip my favorite team trip yet. It was so good to hang out with the rest of the guys, wake up at 6 am every morning to shoot and dancing barefoot in the sand at the local cable beach party. We also got to spend a day in Venice which was exactly how I’d imagined it. Im so grateful to be back traveling and wakeboarding again! Tomorrow I head to Poland for my first competition back, the World Games! I’ll try and update the blog a bit more once I’m there! Until then, Ciao!
I’ve been getting some questions about how my knee is doing so I figured I’d do another little write-up about it. Let me start off by saying how stoked I am to be back on the water! All in all I feel like a million bucks and I am taking my time getting back to charging it again. Physically, I feel pretty good. I can ride cable and boat again and I am still working on getting my strength back up to 110%. I just need to be careful to not ride too much as my knee tends to get sore if I do. My PT tells me its because I had 3 surgeries during a short period of time so the joint capsule needs some time to recover and therefore gets irritated easily. Basically, I just need to be patient and keep building strength.
My biggest surprise coming back to wakeboarding was the mental aspect. I was sure I was going to feel frustrated of not riding at the same level as I was right before the injury straight of the bat and was sure that my level would be so low. I also thought I was going to be scared of wakeboarding and re-injury. Luckily this was so not the case!
As soon as I got back behind the boat I felt like it had only passed about 2 weeks since my last boat set. I feel like I could go out and do all the tricks I used to do again and the fear is almost none existent. (I think maybe going straight out of Rehab to the O’Neill Hit the Road winch trip without a knee-brace might have helped with that haha). The only part about boat riding I’m not comfortable with yet is landing in the flats as I don’t have the same strength as before. I’ve been taking my time working on building the strength back before getting back into trying my more advanced tricks but in my mind, they feel just like before. I guess we will see in a couple of weeks 😉
I’ve had one day behind the boat where I got a bit frustrated and felt like things were never going to work out. I guess this is just natural, I’m only human. After getting pretty mad at JB for no reason, eating some food and a good nights sleep, I was back to normal again and the next day I had the best set yet. I’m heading back to Sweden in a few days to ride my first contest back: the Swedish Nationals. I’ll keep you posted on how I go 🙂
The second episode was my favorite time on the trip! The DIY challenge, where we each were given €40 in the hardware store to try and build our own wakeboard was so much fun! Also we were hitting up spots in Berlin and Dylan almost got in trouble with the local police riding one spot in the heart of the city. Check out all the action and let me know which wakeboard you think was the best!
How to make sure you’re the first on on when the cable opens? Sleep in the car! We parked the van at BSR this weekend and besides hitting up the cable we got to join Round III Media in the making of their next video. I felt like I was a part of one of those american beer commercials. There were music, people flipping off a diving board, jetski’s, girls in bikinis waving an american flag, pit bikes and a helicopter. Stay tuned for this one, I can’t wait to see how it turned out!
My knee is loving the cable riding and I have already started learning rail hits that I didn’t know how to do before my injury. Before I used to focus a lot on kickers and as I am trying to ease back into it, I’ve been given the opportunity to work on rails. Now we’re heading back to Austin to get back behind the boat again as I have the World Games coming up in about a month!
Hi “y’all” !
I can’t express how happy I am to be back in Texas and back wakeboarding “for real” again. I have some strength to build back up but all in all I feel way better than I thought I would after 12 months off the water! After an injury like mine it’s important to keep up with your rehab routine even as you get cleared to do what you love. I have been lucky enough to work with the best in the business back home in Sweden and the physiotherapists at Bosön have created a custom program which I follow. It consists of two full rehab workouts a week and three shorter ones which I do after wakeboarding. Along with cardio bike-rides and wake boarding I hope that I’ll be back to full strength in no time!
The hardest part for me is actually slowing down and resting which is as important as all the workouts. I learned the hard way that if you don’t let your body rest continuously you risk getting injured. So today is one of those days where I’ll be spending almost all of it in my p-jays, sipping coffee and getting back on top of my computer work.
Just thought I’d catch up and if you want to check out the workout wear I’m wearing, its Aimn Sportswear, created by my buddy Tecla!
Photos: Stefan Eigner
Can not wait to show you what we got up to on our 10 day road trip through Germany with Team O’Neill! The first episode explaining what it was all about will drop next week but I can tell you I’ve never done anything quite like this.
I got cleared to start wakeboarding after my multiple knee surgeries about 2 days before this trip so I was being a little rusty and cautious with my riding. Winch is pretty gnarly as the spots are usually concrete and if you mess up, things can go bad, but I was stoked to give it a go and to hang out with the crew. My knee is feeling better every day now, maybe I should write another blog post explaining what happened with my injury but the story is too long to explain here. Either way, I was over the moon just being back on my board, eating nutella with the boys and watching them hit some insane spots! Keep your eyes peeled next week!
Excited to have gotten the opportunity to talk about equality in sports with Swedens largest sports-newspaper! Read the interview digitally here (if you speak Swedish): http://www.aftonbladet.se/a/Jd7eJ
This is for the girls who are told they can’t.
For the girls who’ve been told they can’t spin, can’t ollie,
can’t this, can’t that.
Why should we support you?
Why should we recognize your passion, your sacrifice, your dedication?
For the girls who always have to ride last.
This is for the girls who know that riding like a guy is NOT a compliment.
For the girls who know what it feels like to be forgotten and left out.
For the girls who don’t know what’s possible,
And for the girls who do.
This is for the girls who are pushing boundaries
and breaking barriers.
For the girls who have been objectified and reduced to… a body part.
This is for the girls who will shape the next generation.
For the girls who realize it’s time to Change. The. Conversation.
Your insecurity does not bother us and it won’t stop us.
For the girls who will not apologize and, against all odds, will overcome your judgment.
We don’t need permission to change the world.
So remember girls…
When they go low, we go HIGH.
Edited by: Nicola Butler
JB O’Neill / Tyler Hanley / Trever Maur / Aaron Rathy / B Squared Media / James Tyrell / Wilfried Rick / Sean Kilgus / Charles White / Clack Audiovisual
Crazy week!! Thank you everyone who took a stand with me against the sexism in wakeboarding! Especially thanks to Wake Sista and Still stoked! Can’t wait to see how things plan out and I’m overwhelmed by the love and respect both male and female riders have shown this week! It’s all about the love! Like the love I felt during this photoshoot with Tyler Soden!
Can’t wait for this summer!
When I was fourteen years old my dad bought me my first Wakeboarding Magazine. I had just started wakeboarding and I read that thing cover to cover, completely amazed by the crisp photographs of these athletes going bigger than I though was possible. Those athletes quickly became my heroes and I could not wait to grow up and be just like them. After waiting carefully each month by the one shop in Sweden that sold international magazines and paid the $10 for each new copy of Wakeboarding Mag the first thing I would do was to flip through the pages, searching for the female riders. And there they were! Leslie Kent, Cathy Williams, Will Christien, Amber Wing and my biggest shero, Dallas Friday. My heart would fill up with pride that those girls were out there and in my eyes, their pictures were even better than the guys!
Now, 10 years later, I know what it is like to be amongst the top Women in wakeboarding. I compete against my sheroes and I’ve worked with several of the photographers taking those beautiful and crips photos. I work with some of the biggest brands in the industry and I compete in world events. Unfortunately the life of a professional female wakeboarder isn’t at all what I imagined it would be.
In my career I’ve been faced with events I was not ready to face. I was so excited to be doing what I love and so sure that if I just changed one way or the other, I would get all the sparkly promises I had dreamt of as a kid. If I could just get a little bit better the magazines would start publishing my photos, the sponsors would sign me with good contracts and the media would start covering my achievements. Any day now! But no, my reality did not turn out that way.
Luckily for me, social media exploded right before my wakeboarding career started and me and my friends could create our own stories. Facebook, youtube and instagram made it possible for us to promote our own personal brands as the magazines would not do it for us. The amount of women getting published kept on dropping and contests like ”Miss Wakeboarding” where girls were portrayed in their bikini’s and voted on by their looks kept claiming the attention of my beloved industry. That is until Wakeboarding Magazine took responsibility and last year decided to make a change! Besides killing their ”Miss wakeboarding” competition they dedicated a WHOLE ISSUE to the women in wake!! The 14 year old me would’ve been dancing down the street!! Finally the largest magazine in Wakeboarding decided to support the female athletes for real and for that, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you Wakeboarding Magazine.
Women in sports are raised to tolerate being treated differently than their male colleagues. And we happily accept it because that is all that we know. Here is my message to you: It does NOT have to be this way. The thing is WE have to be the change. We have to create the events, we have to write the stories, we have to take the photos and we have to stand up for ourselves. In these digital days we all have the power to make our voices heard and it is now more important than ever for companies to keep their following happy. Words like ”prosumers” are being frequently used in marketing and shows us just how much power consumers really have.
The change is just within our reach and with the help of good people in companies working for fair sponsor deals and equal media coverage we will get there! And the good people are out there, we just need to help them to CHANGE THE CONVERSATION.
So I’ve been getting some questions about why I’m not wearing a knee brace after my ACL reconstruction. This is because, together with my PT and my surgeon, I’ve decided to try and get back on the board without needing one. This means my recovery time will be slightly longer than but in the end I want to be trusting my body 110% before getting back into competing and to me a knee brace is a giant “this is not strong” sign. (Of course this might not be the case for other people, I’m simply talking about me and my own body here). My PT supports my decision and when I asked my doctor I got the reply “a knee brace? What? You don’t need a knee brace, I’ve fixed your knee! It’s stronger than your other one!”. 😂 So now it’s time to spend a few more weeks in the gym in Sweden and finish up with my rehab as well as my university studies. So happy to prepare for the 2017 season!
What did your doctor/PT tell you about knee-braces? How come they are so common in Wakeboarding but not in other extreme sports, like skiing for example?
This life is where I’m the happiest! I feel like I’ve been in a dream for the past 7 months with my university life and being back in Stockholm full time. Now being back in the “Wakeboarding World” I think I’m seeing it with a whole new perspective. I am so grateful to be back doing what I love, even though I am nowhere near the level I’d like to be yet. Seeing all the friends I haven’t been around for a whole year again and feeling like no time at all has passed is both amazing and a bit surreal and meeting new traveling souls, with such similar values to myself, make me feel like home. I still have a few more weeks of rehab and university before I will be back in the Pro Wakeboarder life but by getting this little taste of it again, I am more hungry for it than ever!
After A LONG rehab period I am now finally back wakeboarding again! In the end of January I left Stockholm on a plane straight to Thailand and now after being here for a little over a week I never want to leave! Taking off the dock that first time in about 7 months was like drinking that first sip of water after being on a hot thai bus with no AC for 3 hours. I don’t think I even fully understood how much I’ve missed it and even though I have a few more weeks of rehab left until I will be fully ready to charge again, just being back with that neoprene smell and the feel of warm glassy water under my board brought back so many great feelings. I am also thrilled to be seeing JB again and being back in my daily work uniforms (bikinis). It’s so familiar that it feels like I never left this part of my life. My knee feels better than ever being back in warm weather and I have to pace myself to obey my PT’s orders of “taking it easy”. My knee feels ready for kickers and getting back into contest mode but I am going to play it smart and listen to my Physio, and sipping on coconuts on the beach isn’t too bad that either 😉
One of the most inspiring women in wake – Sophie Hogben, has started her own company over in Australia creating cute fashion pins amongst other things. These one’s are extra special as they are designed based on the cool cat Ben Leclair, a great wakeboarder who injured his spinal chord a few weeks back. All proceeds goes to helping him in his recovery so head to www.pinicool.com now to get yours and make a statement. So impressed by you Soph, both as a rider and as a human being, I wish more people were like you!