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Mark's World Tour 2007-08

Day 75: My first wakeboarding lesson

SINGAPORE | Saturday, 19 January 2008 | Views [1167]

A natural born wakeboarder

A natural born wakeboarder

Saturday 19th January

Although it had been a late one the night before, we were up at 10.00, had a fried breakfast and hung out by the pool for an hour or so to get ourselvs going for the day ahead.

Mark, Barry and I had booked a few hours of wakeboarding later in the afternoon, so we took a taxi to the marina in the east of the island. I had never done anything like this before, nothing that involved getting up on a board or skis, either on water or snow, so it was a completely new experience, and I was really looking forward to it. Also, it was the only form of organised sport which I had done on my trip, the first of many that I hoped I would do over the course of the journey.

Still, I wasn't sure how I would take to it, and the fact that the skies were starting to darken and the winds to whip up didn't do much for our spirits. The guys were suffering from hangovers, quaffing pomegranate juice in a vain attempt to cure them of their ills. Maybe a few less gin and tonics the night before might have done the trick, but who am I to deny a man a drink or ten?

Our boat driver and instructor for the day was a local guy called Kenny, and he seemed like a really cool bloke from the start. Mark and Barry had been out with him a few times before and so I knew we were in good hands. We left the jetty, making our way out the channel, past the big tankers that dominate most of the Singapore skyline. We stopped at a narrow lane between the mainland and a small island, an area with about five or six other boats towing people behind them (they were wakeboarding, not being subject to some sort of water-based torture). As the newbie in the group, I was first up to get in the water and have a go, so I donned the life-jacket, strapped my feet into the board and got in the nice warm water.

After some initial instruction from Kenny on how to get up out of the water and standing on the board, I had my first attempt, which ended a few seconds later with me losing grip of the rope handle and falling backwards into the water. It was all about being patient and I tried to relax. The second attempt was also unsuccessful, but at the third – keeping carefully in mind the advice given to me by Kenny and the guys – I managed to get up, find my balance, and stayed there for about ten seconds and enjoyed the ride: it was brilliant! The feeling of skimming along the water felt fantastic. After about fifteen minutes of that, I gradually became more and more comfortable, even managing to move slightly from side to side. Happy with my start, I took a break and let Mark and Barry have their first turns.

The lads were pretty good, having been quite a few times before. They could cross the wake and even use the incline it provided to do a few decent jumps after getting up some speed by coming in from the sides. It was great fun, and a lot of banter provided some really good laughs. Funniest of all were the occasions when one of us hit the water hard, the bigger the smackdown the bigger the laughs, the cockier the wakeboarder, the more they deserved it!

We spent a few more hours on the water, enjoying ourselves thoroughly before heading back to the marina after it was almost dark. It had really given me a taste for trying it again, the buzz it gave me only served to convince me that I needed to do more things like this in the future.

After a quick shower and a change, Mark, Jess and I went out for some food, and we met a few of their friends at a bar along the quay. I got talking to a few very nice people, and it added further to the good impression that Singapore had made on me over the week that I had spent there.

Tags: Adrenaline


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