What a drag it is getting old



These days, you don’t need a boat to wakeboard. There are cable parks, where you grab a handle that’s attached to overhead cables and it pulls you right along. Of course, no boat means no wake to jump. But them young whipper-snappers have come up with a  solution, sliders and kickers. A kicker is a curved ramp, kinda like a half pipe shape to it. A slider is like a balance beam sticking out of the water. Beginner sliders might barely stick out just a few inches, more advanced ones might be three feet tall or more and have A-frame shapes to them. It’s amazing what accomplished riders have learned to do on them.

OTOH, no pun intended, if you’re aren’t a very good wakeboarder, and happen to just pop out of the water next to one of the higher sliders and maybe tap it with your board, just to make sure you can get enough air and control to think about sliding down it for real later on, and let’s just add you have a brand new Ronix Bandwagon board with a triple rocker and camber, so it’s like a flattened, recurved compound bow that launches you into the air with a surprisingly small amount of effort, you might screw up and get too high, you might get generally catty-whompus to the point that a right hand instinctively reaches out to keep you from hitting the top of the slider, and you could just possibly fracture a bone at the base of the thumb called the Trapezium. Which, as it turns out, is a bone you don’t think of much, until it’s messed up. At which time it gets crystal clear just how much that thumb is used on a daily basis.





  1. Callinectes says

    My hands get worse than that everyday, presumably because of constant internal exposure to my own blood. I’m only twenty-five and have already put up with this for more than ten years. While your hands heal, mine will continue to fissure and ooze.

  2. Ichthyic says

    so is the drag getting old part the easier injuries… or the part where I don’t get half the words in the post?

  3. poose says

    Oh my. Had a moment like that many years ago.

    I used to “Jet Surf”, which is Jet Ski in heavy surf. This was usually late summer/fall/early winter on the south end of Lake Michigan, a body of water well known to not suffer fools. We’re not talking waves in the 3 foot range-more like 10-15 foot or so.

    I had done it for years, survived, and thought myself an expert. How little I knew.

    I was out one late summer day. No wetsuit, just a PDF, shades, gloves and boots. Lake was flat. I mean, millpond flat. I was just out there to kill heat and boredom (it was very hot) and try out a few modifications in a somewhat benign environment before the surf season started. Water was a comfortable 75F.

    Needless to say, everyone else had the same idea-go to the beach, so I stayed to the littoral areas, just far enough offshore to not have to answer stupid questions from pre-teen boys who wanted to know “Hey mister, what are you riding? How much does it cost? Can I take it for a ride?” for which my usual answers were “A Monster, A Lot and No”.

    Like I said, everyone was out, including the boaters. A 44-odd footer took off from MC and headed east, throwing up a huge wake. As it hit the first sandbar it resolved into the cutest little curl. I was behind the second bar, and took off as it formed up again. It had resolved into a nice, well-formed 2-odd foot tall wave about a few hundred yards long.

    I hit it at about a 45-degree angle at full whack, about 40mph, and was launched about 20-odd feet into the air.

    At apogee (the highest point of the arc) I realized I was beginning to roll and couldn’t control it. I had both hands on the handlebars and one foot still in contact with the boat. Split-second decision, “you are falling, and are going to hit, hard. Get away from the boat” so using all three limbs I pushed away mid-peak from the boat.

    The water I landed in was only about a foot deep, and it knocked the wind clear out of me. The ‘Ski landed about 30 or so feet away, engine still idling. Made a big splash.

    I stood up and tried to collect anything resembling oxygen. While this was happening, the boat, still idling, was wandering away from me. I half-halfheartedly stumbled after it for about ten seconds, and realized I was screwed. At least I wasn’t battling 10-foot waves.

    Eventually, the systems kicked in, it stall-turned t the right, and a few paces later I practically ran slowly into me. Mounted, and took off again.

    Later, when I landed and trailered her I heard sniggers and even got a few thumbs up. I figure about a thousand people saw me…

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says


    I take it that’s your hand right?

    Getting older does suck but it still beats the alternative I think.

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