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The Promising Future of Argentina’s Wakeboarding

Argentina's wakeboarding scene continues to thrive.

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Ulf Ditsch wakeboarding
The Argentinean wakeboarding scene is still under development, but it is stomping on the doorstep of the globalized world. Ulf Ditsch, one half of the Ditsch dynasty, pictured above. Courtesy Ulf Ditsch

The local riders, Ulf Ditsch, Kai Ditsch, Eugenia De Armas, Victoria De Armas, Constanza Scaglia, Martina San Felipe, Pía Soboreo and Florencia Medrano are some of the top riders that are ready “for export.”

Ulf Ditsch and Kai Ditsch

Kai Ditsch wakeboarding
Kai Ditsch, Ulf’s twin brother, was the first rider in the world to land a Heelside-backside 900 in competition. Courtesy Kai Ditsch

Most of them started their athletic careers from a young age, competing at the national level and later becoming the best in their country. Today they are positioning themselves among the best in the world rankings. This year Eugenia De Armas placed 4th at the World Wakeboarding Championships and Kai Ditsch won the $25,000 largest single purse of the year at Wakefest, Tennessee.

Ulf Ditsch wakeboarding
Ulf, was the first rider in the world to land a DUM DUM 720, and the first to land a DUM DUM 540 in competition. Courtesy Ulf Ditsch

The public has undoubtedly heard of 21-year-old twin brothers Kai and Ulf Ditsch. Both have dedicated their lives to professional wakeboarding beginning their professional careers 14 years ago. They are among the best riders in the world and we had the opportunity to speak with them.

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What do you consider an advantage when you get into the water?

Ulf: “I think I’ve got my twin brother riding always with me and he is as good as me or better, and pushes me to get better, but I think every rider gotta have their own style.”

Kai Ditsch wakeboarding
Making a name for himself, Kai took the largest single purse of 2021 winning $25,000 at the shoot-out in Wakefest,Tennessee. Courtesy Kai Ditsch

What do you find most important when you get into the water?

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Kai: “I always try to have fun, even when I’m training. In my runs for events, I always try to have fun even though sometimes it’s the hardest part.”

What advice can you give to the youngsters?

Kai: “To have fun on every set and try to ride the way they like and not the way someone else tell you, find your own way of doing things.”

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Ulf Ditsch wakeboarding
Ulf has been cross training at the cable park. Courtesy Ulf Ditsch

Eugenia and Victoria De Armas

The talented sisters Eugenia and Victoria De Armas, have also dedicated their lives to professional wakeboarding behind the boat. 22-year-old Eugenia became famous for landing the double flip and placed 3rd at the last IWWF World Championships. She won the TOTY at the Wake Awards in 2019 being the only girl ever to land a double invert behind the boat.

Eugenia De Armas Wakeboarding
Eugenia has set her mark in the history of wakeboarding records, becoming the first woman to land a double behind the boat. This year she placed second at the Moxie Pro boat event and barely missed the podium at the WWA World Wakeboarding Championships placing 4th. Courtesy Miguel Menendez

Euge’s older sister Victoria de Armas, is 25 years old and is another rider who walked heavily on an international level, skiing for the first time at 5 years of age and winning her first competition in the wakeboard boat category (MINI RIDERS) when she was 8 years old. – Among her most important achievements, she placed 7th at the World Beach Games in 2019. She won the Gold Medal at the SouthAmerican Beach Games 2019 and was the Latin-American Championships runner-up in 2018.

Victoria De Armas wakeboarding.
Victoria De Armas is Eugenia’s older sister and her source of inspiration. Courtesy Vicky De Armas

What does wakeboarding mean to you? What’s the feeling you get once you are in the water?

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Victoria: “I can’t imagine what my life would have been without wakeboarding. My life literally has been shaped around that board. I can have an awful day but sinking from the boat platform into the water (not cold, please), can turn my day into an amazing one. Or the other way around: it can be a beautiful day, but a bad ride can ruin your whole week too, lol.”

Victoria De Armas wakeboarding
Victoria De Armas won her first contest when she was only eight years old. Courtesy Vicky De Armas

You are an icon for all Argentinian boat riders. What do you think the future holds for Argentinian riders?

Victoria: “Thanks a lot for your comment . I’m seriously really amazed with what our future holds in wakeboarding matters. There are bunch of kids throughout the whole country that are ripping and pushing their limits as it hasn’t been done before. I’m a Coach too and I got to be part of that leap that the young ones are making. I love to visualize my students on international podiums, I truly believe it’s gonna happen. So yeah, I’m sure we have a great future ahead, but we Argentineans have a nice “present” too, since at IWWF Worlds 2017 and at the Beach World Games 2019 I got the 7th place. We have Argentinean riders in the top 10, and even making history!”

Martina San Felipe

Martina San Felipe wakeboarding
Martina San Felipe leads the Argentinean cable park scene. Courtesy Martina San Felipe

In cable wakeboarding, we find Martina San Felipe (25 years old), who had her beginnings riding boat at the age of 12 and at the age of 16 she came across cable wakeboarding in a tournament and she instantly fell in love. Being the number 1 rider in Argentina (ACCORDING TO IWWF RANKING), her first national competition was in 2015, thus qualifying for her first international competition at the IWWF World Cup in Morelos, Mexico in 2016.

Martina San Felipe wakeboarding
Martina pioneered wake park riding in her country and she is ranked as the top Argentinean rider. Courtesy Martina San Felipe

At what point did you decide to dedicate yourself to wakeboarding in a professional way?

Martina: “After several trips competing outside, I felt that was what was in my head 24 hours a day, and I decided to leave everything to dedicate myself to wakeboarding.”

You were a pioneer in the sport in the country, what do you think of the growth of wakeboarding in Argentina?

Martina: “It makes me very happy to see what sport has come to be and how much it can continue to grow. Going from being three women, to becoming a huge group that today no one is intimidated by, wanting to try it is very nice!”

Florencia Medrano

Flor Medrano Wakeboarding
Flor Medrano started late in her competitive career, at 27 years old the criminal law specialist keeps rising through the ranks. Courtesy @jmhcordobes

Florencia Medrano (31 years old) is another representative of cable wakeboarding among the best in Argentina, (ACCORDING TO IWWF RANKING) Unlike others, she started the discipline at 27 years of age and she is climbing into the highest level.

How did you learn about wakeboarding, and how did you accomplish your sporting achievements in such a short time?

Flor: “I’m lucky. To start off, I had already received a law degree with a master’s degree in criminal law, which allowed me to dedicate myself 100% to wakeboarding. I learned about the sport by chance through a friend who took me to try cable, and from there it was love at first sight.”

Flor Medrano wakeboarding
Wits, beauty and talent. Flor is the current editor at large of Wake Divas Journal. Courtesy @jmhcordobes

“My first national cable competition was in 2017, placing 3rd in the female beginners category. Then in 2018 I competed on all the dates of the national circuit in the open women’s category, finishing in 3rd place consecutively. In 2019 I was able to participate in my first international tournament in the highest category, placing 10th at the IWWF Cable Wakeboard World Championship in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In the same year, I traveled to Brazil to participate in the Brazilian National Tournament in Goiania Brazil, achieving 2nd place in the Open Women category.”

Flor Medrano wakeboarding.
A day at the park. Courtesy @jmhcordobes

In the Pandemic (2020) there were no cable wakeboarding competitions so I ventured into boat wakeboarding, competing at the national level obtaining 3rd place in the Open Women category.”

How do you see the growth of sport in Argentina?

Flor: “Wakeboarding in Argentina is growing, more and more people are encouraged to try the discipline and there are several specific Wakeboard Cable Schools to professionalize the sport.”

Florencia Medrano wakeboarding.
Flor riding in the Argentinean summer, like in Australia, it happens during the Northern Hemisphere winter months. Courtesy @jmhcordobes

Argentina is a hotbed of new and promising talents in the eyes of international wakeboarding in both boat and cable. A common denominator of the top riders in the country lies in their dedication to the discipline, hours and hours on the water, which undoubtedly brings its fruits and with it, achievements of international significance.

A group of women wakeboarding in Argentina.
A day in the water at one of the many rivers where Argentina’s wake scene thrives. Courtesy Victoria de Armas

“Watching you ride will for sure encourages them to get on the board! The more girls we get to be on the water, the more we will push!”

“ARGENTINA YELLS .. GET ON BOARD!”

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