Wide-a-wake caught up with Lex Balladon wakeboarder, surfer and blogger, to find out what she’s been up to over the winter. She’s been juggling having a baby with riding, coaching up and coming rider Lottie Harbottle and of course you’ll catch her at ladies mornings spreading the wakeboard gospel.
Lex, so obviously having a baby has been a big change in your life but you managed to get back out on the water pretty quickly and you competed last year, how much time did you take off in total? and how did find getting back on the water for the summer season?
Hey WAW! Yes its pretty life changing! I was lucky to get the all clear from the doctor and was back on the water seven weeks after the birth, it was so hard! I managed two laps… I fell pregnant in April 2012 but carried on riding till August (just laps, too dangerous to do any inverts / rails!), then I couldn’t fit into my wetsuit so I stopped. In total I was off the water for eight months and then won my first competition back on the water after three months of riding again! The Nationals were a different story, I didn’t spend enough time on the water to prepare for them. But still pretty stoked to be the first mum to ever compete in the Open Women! I’ve had a couple of new mums getting involved with Ladies Mornings this summer, its great to see and I urge more women to do it!
We know you’ve been coaching ladies sessions for a while now, but last year you were also involved in coaching Lottie. Is that more difficult/challenging than the ladies sessions because of the level of her wake boarding?
Now there’s a question! It’s so different it’s hard to compare. Ladies Mornings are more about having fun and getting girls on the water in a non threatening environment, and I’m there if they want to work on something in particular, there’s not a set plan apart from have fun! Whereas with Lottie, we sit down and go through a plan of action; we sat down in October to set the agenda / goals for this year. I enjoy both though, the ladies mornings are fun and I get super stoked to see them get around the cable for the first time etc, its rewarding to witness. And with Lottie, its great working on the trick lists and seeing her land stuff for the first time, its such a brilliant feeling and you can see she’s stoked as well.
Lottie at Club Wake Park
The cold weather didn’t put you and Lottie off over the winter and you’ve been out riding some different cables… what did you think of the wake parks you’ve been to? How do the system 2 parks compare with the 5 corner cables?
Yes we’ve been out and about a bit! We’ve headed over to FestWake, BEP and Club Wake. FestWake has really fun features to play on and Lottie loved it as she can get so much air time from the height of the cable. BEP is always fun as it’s so varied, you’re constantly trying different variations on different features. Club Wake, we’ve had some fun sessions there, the guys are super friendly and let us shoot while we’re there. The reason we ride there is, well I like it for the rails, but primarily we’re there for training. The System 2.0’s are fantastic learning tools for inverts before you transfer them over to a 5 corner cable. You can learn the trick in stages and it builds up your confidence. We used the System 2’0's at JB and Club Wake for Lottie’s new inverts over the past year. I headed to Hannam’s recently, it was my first time and definitely won’t be my last!
Lex at Hannan’s Wake Hub
So you’ve enjoyed this winter being back on the water and we’re all ready for summer now, have you any trips planned?
It was good to ride through the winter, I missed out last year because I was pregnant so I was almost looking forward to it! There’s something about riding in the winter here, there’s no one around, the water can get super glassy and the sun’s low in the sky… its really pretty. Trip wise, this year I’ve been to Portugal in March to surf and will be heading to Spain in the summer for some wake.
Keep up with Lex’s adventures on her blog Coconut Wireless
She’ll be coaching at the Sunday Ladies mornings at Box End Park on 25 May, 22 June, 27 July, 24 August and 28 September.