Wake up, Surf's Up with Lex Balladon
Date of Birth:
Wakeboarding & Surfing
Years on the water:
Since I could walk pretty much, my folks couldn't get me out of the sea or a pool!
Nalu Beads, Hyperlite, Mystic, WakeMK, Two Seasons
Hi Lex, how are you?
I'm good thanks!
When and where did you first head out on the water? And what watersports first got you on board?
I was about 6 or something, boogie boarding because I used to live in New Jersey so we'd go to Seaside Heights and play in the sea. After years on a boogie board I think I next tried windsurfing at age nine. I kept on going to the summer watersports courses and when I was old enough started working at the lake. After a couple more years they built the cable, and thats what first got me on a wakeboard.
How did you find it progressing in wakeboarding?
At first I didn't progress, there were no other girls at my lake who were pushing it and so I ended up staying at the same level. It has only been in the past three years I actually started to progress. Over time more girls started to compete and get to know each other. Now its great because most of us who compete choose to ride together when ever we can, it really pushes you when riding together.
Did you love it straight away or take some time to get into it?
Haha, I loved it but I hated it. I sucked really bad for whole summer and then finally it started clicking.. even after three years I still sucked but you have to keep at it. I still have bad days but I just walk away, it has to be fun!
What is the chicks scene like for wakeboarding?
It’s got crazy good over the last year. Girls are going as big as the boys and trying tricks that you would never have thought possible only a few years ago; it’s really good to see. When I first got into wakeboarding, there seemed to be a fair amount of attitude which has seemed to drift away. When I'm on the dock at a comp, everyone is cheering and woooping each other on which makes it way more fun.
Why do you love watersports and why do you think more girls should give them a go?
I love watersports because I love the feeling of being stoked! And I also love the feeling of being hungry and needing a pint! More girls should get involved as it will only do good things to them and the sport.
It will make them laugh, make them focus, make them forget about any worries, tone them up which is always a bonus, there are always cute guys, and give them a whole new circle of friends.
I run ladies mornings and chicks sessions at a couple of different lakes every month. I get my usuals who are always up for it come rain or shine, but there are always new faces which is great. I have been running these along side my friend Sarah Kingdom for four years now and the Nationals really made me notice what we are doing. I know its not single handedly our ladies mornings that did this but it must have helped - this year in the Open Ladies category at the Cable Wakeboard British Nationals there were eight girls competing, which doesn't sound like a big deal but it really was! It has never been that many girls and the standard was incredible, you just didn't know what was going to happen!! It was a really good competition and I only hope it grows.
You are a Nalu Beads team rider and work closely with them, can you tell us a little more about Nalu?
I am a Nalu Rider and I love it!! They are such a cool company, they are really small and based in Braunton which I love as people think they are a massive Aussie company. They have been going for about two and a half years now and are growing like crazy. They make handmade Murano glass beads which are named after different surf breaks around the world. They have been focussing on the UK but we have much more in the pipeline!
What other work have you done around your love of watersports?
I did six summers working at a lake teaching windsurfing, sailing and kayaking... it was brilliant!
Have you tried any other watersports? Or are you tempted to give any a go?
I got into surfing about four years ago and my holidays pretty much revolve around that (only because I have six wakeboard lakes on my doorstep-ish). Its probably the hardest sport I've tried but its so worth sticking at. There is nothing in the world like doing a dawnie, getting empty clean waves with mates and then heading in with noodle arms and getting your eat on! I would like to go white water rafting again, I've only done that once. I like slalom skiing and would like to try kitesurfing but I just don't have the time. I would love to try out hydrofoil surfing but that would be pretty hard to arrange. The one thing that I can't shake is big wave surfing... I'm completely mesmorised by it.
What is the one item, aside from you wake kit, you wouldn't leave home without when you are heading for a session on the water?
Food! Or money for food..
icecream or chocolate?
flat water or waves?
I thought waves but I should think flat water?!!?!
Short shorts or big boardies?
Short shorts, hot pant day everyday!
Tea or coffee?
Favorite movie -
Favorite song –
My delirium by Ladyhawk
Favorite drink –
Favorite place -
Favorite piece of clothing –