The “Brits”, famous for their artsy edge, have brought to us The Rolling Sones, The Beatles and Punk. In the Wakeboarding arena, up and coming rider Madison White displays her unique U.K riding style on and off the water. Get to know her better in NEXT by Argentinean rider Flor Medrano.
How did you start wakeboarding and at what age?
I first learned of wakeboarding back in 2013 when my family used to own a boat, my dad and his friends would ride behind it every weekend. It wasn’t long after, that I was itching to learn how to do it too, so for a couple years I spent my time just going in a straight line behind the boat until I was brave enough to drift outside the wake.
In around 2014, I then found out that cable wakeboarding was a thing, and there just so happened to be a cable park 10 minutes from my house, so I had to “give it a go” of course. It took me a little while before I could get off the dock and make a full lap but after I did, I was hooked! In 2015, I was 15 years old, and was approached and offered my first ever sponsorship, which is when I began to start taking wakeboarding a little more serious.
Where’s your home cable? And which one is you favorite nowadays?
The cable park that’s 10 minutes from my house is a place called ‘Festwake’ which is where I learned most my basics. But there’s also a place called ‘New Forest Wake Park’ which is about 3 hours from me, I ride there most of the summer. The guys at New Forest helped me out heaps at the start of my wakeboard career and still help me out now which I’m super grateful for!
My favorite park? That’s a hard one, I’ve been lucky enough to travel all across the world wakeboarding, meaning I visited some incredible wake parks. But my top 2 would be ‘CWC’ in the Philippine’s and Hipnotics’ in Turkey!
What does wakeboarding mean to you? What’s the feeling once you get into the water?
Wakeboarding is 100% an escape from reality and can be super soothing for me. But sometimes when I’m learning a new trick or trying something different, it can be far from soothing, it can be extremely frustrating to be honest. But that’s all part of pushing yourself as a rider, because the thought of landing that new trick pushes you on constantly, and that’s the best feeling you can have in wakeboarding, the pure stoke of finally doing something you’ve worked so hard for, that’s the feeling I ride for.
Do you like competitions? Or do you like more freestyle?
I prefer free riding and filming edits. I could never get along with competing just because I would be so hard on myself if my run didn’t go to plan. If I’m honest, I suck at handling pressure, so even if my planned run was really good and I could do it clean every lap in practice, I would always end up screwing up something that’s normally easy to me, all because I couldn’t handle the pressure. I’d always let that one comp lap define me as a rider, which was just holding my riding back and knocking my confidence each time. It actually began to make me lose my enjoyment for wakeboarding, so I took a break from comps and actually haven’t competed again since, but I’m okay with that because free riding and filming is what I enjoy the most!
You have an incredible style. Which rider inspires you?
Thank you! When it comes to riding, I normally prefer style and how something looks over how technical a trick is. Riders such as Tobias Michell and Crosse Bearden have such a laid back, effortless style and that is definitely a style I aspire to.
Another rider that inspires me, is Anna Nikstad. She is quite possibly the most gangster women I’ve ever met, on and off the water. She sends it just as hard as the boys and I love that! Personally, I don’t want a girly elegant style, I want to shred and look as hard core as Anna and the boys do when they ride!
What is your favorite trick?
My favorite trick is definitely a switch toe back 5! It is such a nice floaty feeling trick. I love throwing them!
When you feel that you need to push yourself to move forward to the next trick, do you just try it? Or do you mentally prepare for it?
That’s a good question! I’m a person that absolutely has to mentally prepare for most things in life, including some tricks. But I’ve actually found that sometimes it really is best to go out and just do it!
I personally think getting yourself to go for that first attempt is the hardest, (for me that’s normally for any big kicker hits or gaps) but once that first one is out of the way, and you realize it’s actually not that bad of a crash and isn’t as complicated as you thought, I find my brain starts to ignore that fear factor part and it becomes easier to throw and understand.
But just going out and sending it can of course be easier said than done. It is definitely good and beneficial to have a complete understanding of what you’re about to do and how, in wakeboarding the best way to do that is to ask someone for advice!
There is absolutely no harm in asking for help, sometimes someone else who can do that trick might have a really good tip or explanation for it, or maybe they can spot something you’re doing wrong or need to work on. If I’m ever unsure or feel like I need encouraging, that’s my go-to. That’s one of the things the wakeboarding community is really good at, we all love to help each other and see each other stoked!
Do you have any rituals you do before you get in the water?
To be completely honest, I’d love to say I have a full stretching and warm up routine for before I go out for a ride, but I don’t. I normally just make sure I have some cruisy-chill laps before I go into trying anything new or big. I know a lot of people see and call wakeboarding sessions (and days at the cable) ‘training’ but I really dislike using that word. Although I take my riding seriously and try to progress as much as I can, I ride for fun because I enjoy it. I find that word way too formal and serious for the way I treat my riding, but that’s just my opinion. My favorite thing to do before I ride is probably to listen to some music to get me hyped. After I ride l try to have a quick stretch, well… when I remember to haha.
How does it feel to be one of the only women sponsored in a company which mostly sponsors men ? Does DUP sponsor other girls worldwide? ( I ride DUP and I love it, but I don’t see many girls on their team).
Yeah, I am pretty much the only girl on the team and it for sure is an honor to be a part of it! So, with DUP, I feel like they have an extremely different outlook than the other brands and almost have an aesthetic/ style they stick with.
Double Up’s forte is shredding with the homies, keeping wakeboarding fun, cool and edgy and is just an extremely laid-back brand. I feel that they try to portray that with their team riders and board designs, and I love that as that’s how I’ve always felt wakeboarding should be like.
I think because I share the same beliefs as them, I fitted into the brand quite well, hence why I joined the team and also chose to become the UK distributor of DUP. And as for being one of the only girl on the team, I don’t think there’s any specific reason for that, but it doesn’t bother me at all, I love shredding with the boys!!
What advice would you give to those girls that are starting to wakeboard?
Girls, do not be afraid or ashamed of falling, everyone has to fall to learn, it’s a part of life and a BIG part of wakeboarding! You can do whatever you set your mind to, you just got to believe it!