Have you ever wanted to achieve something so badly you would do just about anything it took to make it happen? Well that is what I did last summer when I set mt mind on landing my first ever flip on a wakeboard, a Tantrum. A Tantrum is basically a fancy name for a backflip. You start at one side of the wake and jump across while flipping in the air. Though it looks relatively simple from the view of a person who does not know much about wakeboarding, but it takes lots of skill, technique and practice to master this trick.
I have been participating in watersports almost my entire life, however, until recent years I was never any good, I was quite the opposite. However, watersports had always interested me. Over the past few years, my friends and I had been slowly getting into the sport of wakeboarding. Unlike other water sports, wakeboarding came natural to me and I progressed very fast. I soon fell in love with wakeboarding and would live and breathe anything that has to do with it.
One summer day a few close friends of mine and I were out on a local lake fishing. This was a weekday, so the lake was very slow, with only a few boats on the water. As we were fishing, we noticed a very nice wakeboat on the other side of the lake. All my friends are what I would call boat junkies so, naturally, when we would see a nice boat, we were very quick to point it out. We instantly reeled in out line and started the motor to go take a closer look. When we got closer, we noticed they were getting ready to go wakeboarding, so we decided to stick around for a bit and watch. I had seen some good riders before but never like this. When this rider got out of the water, he immediately started throwing down some huge tricks that my friends and I had only ever seen in videos online. We were all very impressed and shocked. When we got of the lake later that evening we started discussing what we had witnessed and came to a group decision than we wanted to dedicate this summer to improving our wakeboarding in hopes of one day beginning as good as the rider we had seen earlier thar day. And just like that our dream was born.
Over the next few months all my friends and I did was work and wakeboard. We would get home from work at about 4 pm and be on the lake by 4:30 pm. We may have not had the best boat or the most expensive wakeboards, but we did have determination. With a little help from some YouTube tutorials we all started practicing the Tantrum. We chose the Tantrum because we had seen it landed by the wakeboarder who we had watched while we were fishing and we thought it was a cool trick that was not overly complicated. We had attempted to do a Tantum countless times on many different days but all we were getting out of it was a sore neck and a few bruises from our crash landings but that did not stop us from getting up and trying again. After about a month went by, I could feel myself getting closer to landing it. Instead of totally face planting I was actually coming down on my feet. I knew I was close to landing it, but I just could not pull it off, or so I thought.
It was nearing the end of summer and we were all slowly giving up on the thought of landing a Tantrum. However, about a week before all my hometown friends and I were going to ship off for our first year of college, it happened. I landed the Tantrum. When I rode away after landing the trick, I felt a true sense of accomplishment knowing that I had finally done what I had put my mind to a few months past. When I got on the boat my friends were all shouting and giving high fives. One of us had finally landed the seemingly impossible trick. Now it was up to me to teach them how to land it. And with the Tantrum checked off my list, I was ready to start all over again and learn a new more challenging trick.