Sabrina Burnham kicks ass at wakeboarding too! Who Knew!?
So, after back to back winter seasons our UK rider Sabrina Burnham decided it was time to get a summer under her belt. It could have all gone wrong staying in the UK, but as it is, she has bagged herself a job at Liquid Leisure, a cable wakeboarding lake in Datchet and the sun has been out to help her progress! Check out this little interview below, along with some photos and a wee edit of Sabrina in action!
Sabrina, when did you first get into wakeboarding?
I started, like snowboarding, at university. It was the middle of January so not the best time to learn! But by spring I loved it and was going several times a week. After uni I started doing back-to-back winters which meant up until this summer I hadn’t been in three years!
Where is your home… er lake???
This summer I started working at a cable park called Liquid Leisure in Datchet (near Windsor). I’m from Cornwall but wanted to be able to wakeboard, and get to the snow domes through summer, so this was the perfect place! It’s only a 30 minute drive to Hemel, who sponsor me too so that’s handy!
How different is wakeboarding on a cable to a boat on the sea?
The sport has really changed. On cable there is no actual ‘wake’. Instead there are obstacles – kickers and rails – to keep you entertained. On a lake the water is a lot calmer than the sea, and most cables have an island running down the middle to help keep the water flat.
So you’re pretty good on a snowboard too, how similar/different is it?
I find the two sports very similar. Even after not using my wakeboard for three years, within the first session it felt like I hadn’t stopped! The only thing was my arms! You need to be strong at wakeboarding, and I felt like my arms were going to fall off after just three laps. The rail tricks are very similar, and the wakeboard obstacles are a lot wider so you don’t have to be quite as precise. It’s a good chance to try out new tricks that you aren’t quite ready to go for on a snowboard. Kickers are a bit different, as spinning past 180 involves a handle pass, but it’s still good practice. I’ve got cab 5′s now on my wakeboard so i’m hoping to take that onto the snow this winter.
Is it the same feeling when you’re heading into a kicker or a ‘rail’ as when you’re on the mountain?
No. Heading towards obstacles is different, as you have to cut out away from the cable on an edge, and then you flatten off. So you can’t line yourself up like on a snowboard. Working out the cut, to make sure you make it to the end of the rail can be tricky at first, but once you’re on, it’s like being on your snowboard!
Does wakeboarding help your snowboarding?
Yes, I think so, even just going up to Hemel after a few weeks riding on the cable I felt my front blunts had improved. For the rest of it – we’ll see this winter! It’s much less intimidating trying things on a wakeboard as the water is much more forgiving than icy snow.
What tricks relate across the two sports?
Rail tricks convert across the best, getting used to moving your body into certain presses or tweaks. The rails are also pretty long with wakeboarding, so there’s time to play around and get creative, and then condense it down to a snowboard rail!
What new tricks or improvements have you seen this summer?
Lots actually! I’ve learnt to spin 360s both ways and now 5s. I’m working on backside spins but it’s a bit more tricky on the cable. On the rails I’m generally playing around, trying to make up some creative switch ups that I want to start trying on my snowboard.
What advice do you have for someone who wants to start wakeboarding?
Do it! It’s so much fun, and it’s a nice change from snowboarding whilst still getting to hit rails and kickers! We get lots of beginners here at the lake, my advice is to go on a kneeboard first to get the hang of the corners! They can be tricky and it involves lots of crashing and walking back from the first corner, so have a go on a kneeboard to get the hang of it first and then you’ll be sweet! I wish someone had told me that, as I spent lots of time crashing at the first corner!
Do you intend to take the wakeboarding world by storm like the snowboarding world ha ha? Domination on the cards???
Haha, nope, not quite. I do want to keep doing both sports now I’ve got back into it! I realise how much fun it is, and it’s nice to get some sun and warmth! And I think it’s good to have a break between the sports else you lose some motivation. As much as I’m enjoying wakeboarding now, I’m going to be really excited to get back to Mayrhofen. I do want to keep pushing myself in both sports though, and maybe do the odd wakeboard competition, just to give it a go!