Lex Balladon is a pro wakeboarder who also loves surfing, snowboarding and longboarding. Somehow she still finds time to be a mother and try to get more women into adventure sports. So we’re stoked to share this Lex Balladon interview.
Pro wakeboarder Lex Balladon interview
This Lex Balladon interview was originally published in February 2014. But along with the rest of our extreme people interviews we thought it might help inspire people to get into action sport and adventures so are giving it some extra airtime.
If this Lex Balladon interview inspires you to try wakeboarding then Lex offers private coaching at £25 per hour, you can find out more at: www.lexballadon.wordpress.com
Hi Lex, can you describe the feeling just out of the water after a great wakeboarding session?
Amazing! I never get a single thought/worry running through my head! Well apart from what I’m going to eat next.. I get this from surfing as well. Its great and doesn’t matter whether I’ve been out on my own or if I’ve been out with friends and they’re all stoked too!
Are we about to see more girls getting into wakeboarding, and who’s really coming through?
Definitely. There are more and more girls getting into the sport every year with the help of more cables, System 2’s, Ladies Mornings, Girls Days and Girls Camps! A couple of years ago at Wakestock I met this teenybopper who had just started hitting sliders… she not only went and won the night rail jam (against the Pro Men, including the Yanks) but this year she won Wakestock and is also European Champion!
Megzy Barker is a name that will be around for a while! Also, Lottie Harbottle who is 14 and this year she has been crowned National and European Champion, and is currently ranked number 1 in the World! The UK girls are on fire for sure! We need to keep pushing for more girls to get into this amazing sport, in my eyes, only good things will come of it.
How are you finding balancing a kid with your pro career?
Its a juggling act, a real juggling act. I have to get my admin done when he’s napping, along with the regular day to day jobs, and generally I can only get on the water on the weekends when my husband can watch him. My riding has suffered in some areas because of the time off to be pregnant in the first place, and also your body takes a long time to recover after having a baby.
I didn’t do too well in the Nationals this year but it was kinda cool to be the first Mum to compete in the Open Women category! So instead I’ve been focusing on rails as that’s what I’ve felt comfortable doing. They’ve improved more than I thought they would so I’m stoked!
Other than your sport, what else inspires you to get out there and enjoy the day?
Surfing always gets me amped, I just love being in the ocean! All my trips away revolve around waves and it sucks getting up before dawn to surf check, but then when you’re paddling out and the waves are like glass, there’s no one else out apart from me and my husband… its pretty special!
Experience it if you can! And, it’s lame but yeah I’m a Mum; there’s nothing like walking into your baby’s room in the morning to be greeted with an ear to ear grin! My friends and family also really inspire me: I’m very lucky to have some exceptionally special people in my life.
Do you have a signature trick on the wakeboard? How long did it take to master it?
Hahaa, its probably my backroll, it took forever to master it, like a reeeeeally long time…I think I started trying it before I got sponsored, so 2007? And I still manage to stack on it if I’m not concentrating! I’ll stick to sliders for now.
On another note, I have a whole list of inverts I want to learn and people are constantly telling me to man up! I hear em, I really do, and for me its not the fear of trying, its the edges I know I have to go through to learn them. Over the years I’ve become quite familiar with concussion, and sometimes it puts me out for a couple of weeks, which has been fine (the summer before I got pregnant I was in A&E three times!)
But now I just can’t do that with a dependent. You try waking up at 4am to the sound of crying with a banging headache!!
What’s the best bit of new gear you’re rocking and what difference does it make to you?
Apart from my awesome new faux leather biker jacket? I’d have to say my ride, the Hyperlite Maiden, its lush! Its got a sintered base so the difference is that I haven’t worn through it with all the slider action I’ve been getting up too 🙂
Also my 6’0” fun board, its been with me about four/five years and I love it, however thanks to BA flights to and from Hawaii, its only good for trashing behind a wakeboard boat rather than in any fun waves the ocean has to offer. Sad times, need to get over it and order myself a new surfboard as I’m heading away in March!
UK’s got lots of spots, which ones do you always look forward to riding?
My UK fav spots are WakeMK, Box End Park, JB Waterski, FestWake and ClubWake Park, love all of them! They all have different things that are awesome about them. I’m keen to head to some of the System 2’s that are popping though. I think a little road trip is in order..
Is the secret to your success in the sport, never give up?
I’ve been riding about 10 years now, so I guess so! I’ve also learnt a lot from people within the sport, other riders, my sponsors, even beginners I coach at Ladies Mornings. I learn something new about my riding after every session whether I’ve progressed or not, but you learn as you grow and you need to reflect on what you’ve done to learn from it.
If you’ve had a bad day, who cares, at least you’re not in an office! It just makes you appreciate the great ones even more. The other thing is to accept constructive criticism, try not to reflect too much on negative comments as they will always there, feel proud of positive feedback and achievements, and stick to your goals/dreams, not those of others.
We hope you found our pro wakeboarder Lex Balladon interview interesting. If you’d like to try wakeboarding then Lex offers private coaching at £25 per hour. You can find out more at: www.lexballadon.wordpress.com
This Lex Balladon interview is the part of our series about extreme people that aims to inspire more people to get into action sports and adventures. You can read our other pro interviews here.