We usually associate wakeboarding with extreme sports and not something suited for everyone. We hope that this interview with one of Singapore’s professional wakeboarder will get you interested to try it out.
Sportsanity managed to meet up with Sasha Christian, a professional wakeboarder who has represented Singapore in several world-class competitions over the years.
What is wakeboarding in general and what it is to you?
Wakeboarding is a combination of surfing, water skiing, snow boarding and skate boarding. A motorboat tows us and the boat forms two wakes so the wake boarders use it to do tricks.
Wakeboarding to me is an expression, an art because when you’re out on the water, you have the liberty to do what you want like the tricks and always trying new things and progressing. Everybody has their own style when they wakeboard and that’s nice.
How do you compete in this competition?
During competitions we are given parts where each part you can do up to five tricks so we have two parts which make up ten tricks. And we are judged based on our intensity, execution and composition. There are three judges in the boat and the scores can be quite subjective.
Why do you think it is still relatively uncommon in Singapore?
It should be common in Singapore! Right now I think it’s popular among the youths, because it’s offered in polytechnics and some universities but I guess it’s uncommon because the idea of it can be scary although it’s not really.
Credits: Oliver Rey
What do you love about this sport?
I started water-skiing first, my mom got my brother Max and I to start water skiing when we were young, I was three years old then. And back there, wakeboarding wasn’t popular yet, by 1998 to 1999 it got more popular so I started wakeboarding when I was five or six and I’ve been doing it ever since. I went into competitive when I was eleven. My brother is a great wakeboarder and I get a lot of my inspiration from him when I was growing up. I grew up with wakeboarding; I grew up in that community so it has always been a part of me. That combination of the sport itself and the people around me makes me love the sport.
Could you share with us your difficulties while pursuing professional wakeboarding?
With anything there is always difficulty, you always have to keep improving yourself. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you feel that you’re stuck and have to force yourself out of that state. It’s a mind game sometimes. For example like learning a new trick, I mean you fall a lot, the whole process of learning can be frustrating. I‘ve gone through stages where I’m learning a new trick and it takes me like a month.
How has this sport made an impact in your life?
I think wakeboarding has taught me not to give up when I don’t get things on my first try. You know when you try but don’t get it your first time, you have to keep going for it and that has helped me at lot. And also it gives me that confidence “if I can do this then I can do that too!”
Credits: Joseph Batino
What is one memorable incident that occurred in this wakeboarding journey?
The Sea Games in 2011 was a lot of fun because of the experience and it was the first time we were included in such a major event. Usually we attend world champs and Singapore doesn’t know what we do but everyone knows about the Sea Games so it was cool in that sense.
I’ll always remember my first overseas competition, ten years ago in 2004, I went for the Asian Australasian in China and I was this small Singapore girl going to a foreign country without my mum but with teammates so that was really cool. I’ll never forget that.
How do you cope with the pressure when competing?
If there’s pressure, it comes from me, the more pressured I feel the worst I do so I try to maintain it. And my mum has always been very supportive of me so it doesn’t make me nervous so that helps.
What are your goals for the future or preparations for any upcoming competitions?
We’ve got the Asian Championships and the Asian Australasian Beach Games so I’m hoping to get podiums for that and obviously with the SEA Games next year as well. So these will be my main focus for now and also the World Championships happening next year, I hope to get into finals, which is top six!
Three reasons why people should give wakeboarding a try?
It’s a completely different feeling when you’re gliding on water.
It’s very exciting!
It’s a very nice and inclusive sport, it doesn’t matter how big or strong you are but anyone can wakeboard.
We hope this exclusive with Sasha has given you a greater insight of wakeboarding. It’s definitely an electrifying sport to try out with your peers!
You can always check out our sports services under the wakeboarding tab to take a look at the various wakeboarding facilities in Singapore and rest assured there are experienced instructors to guide you.
Written by Charity Chan
Charity is a writer contributing her works for SportSanitySG. She is currently studying in Ngee Ann Polytechnic - Mass Communications. You will be amazed by her enthusiasm towards anything fitness. Her passion includes, working out at the gym, rock climbing, travelling and enjoying good food with great company.