03 Oct THE LIFE OF ANGELIKA SCHRIBER
THE LIFE OF A PRO WAKEBOARDER
How did you get started wakeboarding?
My dad was the one that introduced me to wakeboarding when we were in America training for 3 event waterskiing. He was the driving force and the one that got me to try wakeboarding for the first time. He loved watersports and loved new things to try. Ironically my first wakeboard that my dad ever purchased for me was a 128 Liquid Force Mini Squirt at Performance Ski and Surf.
Angelika…this is a big year for you with getting signed by the Liquid Force powerhouse. Tell us about that process of partnering with LF.
The process of my change to LF presented itself at the right time and I had to make a good decision to further my career and take this opportunity to move forward. I feel that it was the right time for me. Being with such a well established brand is something I am so proud of and a huge goal in itself. To be part of the Liquid Force international team is unreal. I believe it’s a positive step for me, in the right direction, at this point in my career.
I need to be marketed well and be with a company that has the leverage to push me to excel even further in my career. This is something that I have done on my own in the past. It’s great to be connected with a company that has such a huge social media and global presence that can help me grow even further which is something I had been searching for.
Where were you when you got the final word from LF that they were backing you as one of their female global riders?
I was on the Gold Coast in Australia eating breakfast when I got the email that they were super interested to have a chat with me.
Who gave you the news?
The team manager of LF contacted me directly. I was actually blown away because I never thought LF would approach me and reach out to see if I would be interested to join their team. I couldn’t believe it. It was a morning I will never forget.
What does this partnership really do for you?
Time will tell. I definitely believe it’s a move in the right direction. It’s great to be with such a rad company that have been the innovators and pioneers for wakeboarding from the beginning.
In people’s minds you just wakeboard everyday and occasionally post good pics and videos on social media. What’s the reality? What do you honestly have to do to make ends meet and to be able to do what you love?
I’ve worked really hard to get where I am on my own two feet financially while supporting myself from the beginning. My aim when I first started this was to be known on an international level, in many countries around the world, and to get my name out there. I spent the money to do just that and started financially from scratch each year supporting myself. Traveling for 7 years on the world tour helped me get my name out there. I learned a hell of a lot traveling.
I worked two jobs for my first year to travel, sold my car to travel the second year, relied on winning competitions to get me from place to place, which was a huge risk, and was definitely not easy. It put a lot of pressure on me but I managed to do it. I worked at Wake parks to fund my next stint of travel and along the way had some amazing sponsors that came on board and helped me a bit to get from place to place to compete. Everything adds up from rental cars, to accommodation, to food, to entry fees and towards memberships, which has always been out of my own pocket. It was a risk I took but somehow it worked out. I stayed focused and determined with my goals moving forward.
In saying this, I couldn’t have financially afforded to travel on my own, but sharing the costs with my partner Matty Hasler while on tour, definitely helped. We learned to budget to make it work.
Last year I had to get a job to have a weekly income to be able to live weekly in Australia, as the cost of living is very expensive. After all the hard work being an athlete and achieving so much already I didn’t expect that I had to make ends meet by getting out into the real world after eight years of countless world titles and achievements world wide. I cannot afford to live weekly in Australia just purely on wakeboarding. This is the first time in my career that I am starting to gain some really fantastic sponsors that will hopefully support me in a way that I can fund my career like I never have before. It’s important to market the companies that support you so you both can move forward together and to grow together. It’s a two way street and nothing is for free.
Tell us some of the struggles you’ve experienced being a “pro” rider.
2012 was definitely my biggest year. To give you an idea I was the first girl to be a double world champion in Abu Dhabi at the WWA Wake Park World Championships. I was the first girl to land a switch Heelside 900. I won the Transworld best trick of the year and had my first ever-front cover in the Bikini issue for Wake Journal. 2012 was my biggest year and I struggled to find financial support and sponsors with such a great year. One of the struggles I have is when you achieve such high achievements like winning a world title and being on top of the tour, sponsors should notice you and approach you but that was not the case.
Living in Australia it’s really expensive to travel to and from and can be quite costly if not planned in advance. Being a pro rider it’s frustrating when dates for events come out a month before or even weeks before. It’s unfair if you need to pay your own way for everything financially. I like to plan ahead and to book things in advance to save money.
Your livelihood depends on your body being strong and injury free, but you’re in a sport that requires daily risks. How do you balance the two – your health & doing the hardest tricks.
I’ve been involved in watersports from the age of five, so I definitely think this helps as my muscles have adjusted to impact sports. From a young age doing three-event competitive water-skiing has helped me understand my body and has shaped my muscles to absorb high impact. Warming up before I ride is vital. Rest and recovery is highly important to perform at the highest ability. When your tired, sore and you push yourself in that moment sometimes it can be the wrong thing to do.
What do you do to stay healthy?
Eating right is an important factor to me. I take my natural Metagenics drink powder called “Fibroplex” when I’m training hard during the week and on tour to replenish my body with the right nutrients, which works well for me.
I am super active each week and always on the go. At home I ride my bike all the time to keep my knees strong, I surf, run, do yoga once a week and use my rev balance board for some core strength exercises. I always warm up before anything and stretch after which is super important.
Epson Salt baths is something I like to do for recovery.
Rest is super important so I tend to train during the week and give my body 2 days rest during the weekend.
Tell us the mindset you have when it comes to trying new tricks that scare you…do you have a process you use when learning?
Learning new tricks can be scary especially if you haven’t envisioned it or played it out in your mind. I like to break down the trick to its core and once I understand the movement in my mind I go for it. Before I even try a new trick I have to mentally envision it in my mind.
Sometimes it’s scary trying a new trick for the first time, and might take a bit of guts to try. Thinking too much can be detrimental so I try not to think about it too much. Certain days you want to try a new trick and it just doesn’t work so you need to listen and try something new and get back to that one trick another day.
I don’t try tricks I feel I will hurt myself with especially if I’m not comfortable with the basics and haven’t prepared – it definitely takes time.
For me trying new tricks comes best when I am in form and confident. You need to be confident in your mind and on the wakeboard.
If you weren’t a wakeboarder what would you be ?
A professional swimmer. I was very talented in the breast stoke. I used to beat top swimmers in South Africa who went to the private schools and got trained by professional coaches. I loved swimming and practiced every morning.
Three words you would use to describe yourself as a wakeboarder.
Talkative / Energetic / Bubbly
You’re very inspiring to a lot of riders…tell us about the people who have kept you motivated on your hardest & darkest days.
I am somewhat competitive so failure is the driving force that keeps me motivated especially when I want to reach a goal. It’s all a learning curve. Winning keeps me motivated and losing makes me want to work even harder. My family, my partner Matty and his family have been by my side supporting me through everything, and my best friend Jade.
Traveling must be such a perk! What are a few of the coolest places you’ve had the opportunity to visit during your wakeboard travels?
Geneva Switzerland, Amsterdam, Slovakia, Thailand , California
Seeing the world is such a cool part of being a pro Wakeboarder. Besides family and friends,tell us the things you enjoy the most while you’re on the road being a pro.
• Just to be able to ride with other pro riders is awesome, traveling to different parks to ride. It’s always changing and you’re always trying something new when it comes to the park obstacles.
• The locations you get to travel to are definitely a perk. •Always on an adventure e ploring is something I’ll always appreciate.
•I Love trying the new cuisines each country has to offer.
• Videos and photos you get to capture while on the road are wonderful memories.
•Seeing the young talent at each Wake Park and influencing new riders feels good.
Tell us some things that we would be surprised to know about you.
I was born in South Africa. I played the piano and obtained my royal school of music certificate until teaching level. I competed from the age of 12, representing my country in 3-event Waterskiing, breaking the South African records and obtaining my Protea South African colors for waterskiing.