Could being towed behind a boat be my ski holiday replacement?
The other week I wrote about activities that I could do that are similar to what I get up to on the slopes. The blog, which you can read here, talked about a variety of sports that would supress my longing for winter and occupy me, as well as generating the feelings I get when on the mountain. Since the publication of that blog I have received a few emails suggesting that I should take my own advice and try being towed behind a boat. The thing is, I am quite apprehensive about this.
My attitude to board sports has always been the same. I get snowboarding, snow is soft and can definitely help break a fall. Surfboarding; if you fall it is into water, it is also soft and as long as you can swim you should be ok. Skateboarding is for really mental people, concrete is not soft and can really hurt. I discovered this when I was young and have never been back on a skateboard. That may also have something to do with the fact that men or women on a skateboard over the age of 25, is a bit weird.
However I don’t feel that I have ever clarified my opinion on wakeboarding or water skiing. Now you may think that it would be this –Wakeboarding see Surfing. But it is not. I consider wakeboarding or water skiing as odd as skateboarding. If you ignore the logistics of going skiing and the infrastructure that is built to make sure we don’t have to walk up hill,I see snowboarding and skiing as natural, free sports. The same can be said for surfing. But a sport where you are pulled behind a boat, that is confusing and unnatural.
I will now have to be honest. My scepticism about wakeboarding doesn’t stem from an opinion that has been formed from ignorance, there are many contributing factors. Firstly I have tried water skiing and found it hard work. And this was when I was at my prime fitness at eighteen years of age. After an hour of water skiing, my legs hurt and my muscles burned. They felt like your legs do after three days of skiing. There is also the time I found myself in the middle of the sea, bobbing around, wondering what my next-door neighbour had in her mini freeze section of her fridge. This was a result of a banana boat incident, banana boat incident that I caused. I decided that the ride was not very thrilling and that to spice things up I would deliberately cause the raft to tip over. Everyone on board ended up in the water. I also discovered how hard water could be and ended up with concussion.
The being towed part also concerns me. Like everyone I am rubbish at ridding a button lift and live in constant fear of falling from it, no matter if I am on skis or a board. I am also rubbish at flying kites, one and two strings. So trying to guide myself behind a boat with a rope also causes me concern. I also have delicate ears and my top three most hated noises are hairdryers, Hoovers and wheelie suitcases, ( I have a top ten also). This leads me to believe that my tolerance for an outboard motor may be limited.
The last thing that holds me back from trying wakeboarding for the first time and water skiing for the second is that I don’t have a boat. I can’t see that it’s as accessible as simply buying a lift pass. With a lift pass one person operates the lift and the lift can transport 1000’s of people at a time. With the water skiing you need one person to tow you. If you consider the ‘captains’ wage, then a week’s water towing holiday must be quite costly. In fact, it probably would make the cost of a Three Valleys lift pass seem even better value for money.
Despite all my negativity, I have had a positive wakeboarding experience. One year I attended the popular wakeboarding festival Wakestock in Wales. Admittedly it was a freebie and I wouldn’t have attended otherwise, but it did open my eyes to what was possible when you are towed along on water. Much of the spectacle was aereal stunts and I can see that if you were into sessioning the park when you are in the mountains then you would probably enjoy wakeboarding.
So with all this out in the open it is my intention to try wakeboarding before the summer is over. Actually I am going to research it now and get booked up.