My wakeboard journey has been different than most.
A rider update by BabeShredder, Kaley McNay.
In 2012, I competed in Active Water Sport’s Freerider’s Ball at age 27 and continued competing at local stops throughout 2013 and 2014 in Oregon and Washington. By 2014, at age 29, I was able to purchase a boat with additional support of my dad and brother. This brought my training to a new level and I spent the majority of 2015 free riding and training to compete in 2016.
Now at age 30, I will be competing in the 2016 WWA Women’s Masters Division at the Western Regional stop and hopefully qualifying for Nationals and Worlds later this year.
I stay active in the off-season by snowboarding, weight-lifting, rock climbing and yoga. It's important to maintain my strength year-round so I'm fully prepared when I return to the water. I have incredible support from my sponsors, family, friends and boyfriend and I feel blessed to be living the life I am. For that reason, I am passionate about giving back to the sport.
This June I will be participating in the Wake the World charity event which provides foster children the opportunity to learn how to wakeboard. I participated in this event in previous years and the turn out is incredible. It is one of the most rewarding days I spend on my boat all year.
To donate or connect with Kaley and the Wake the World charity event, contact her here.
"When I started BabeShredder over a year ago, I never thought it would be where it is today. All I had in mind was to establish a foundation and community for females who shred and bring more positive attention to the rad things they were doing. But since then, it has become so much more."
"I'll never forget the uncomfortable feeling I had a few years ago when overhearing someone in line at the cable park talk to his friend about my riding. It was clear that neither of them knew I was close enough to hear. One rider mentioned to the other that I was, "pretty good for a girl."
"I wasn't quite sure what to make of that comment. Were male wakeboarders supposed to be "pretty good for a guy?" It all seemed a little unfair to be automatically subcategorized within the sport I was so invested in. I was a wakeboarder, I didn't think "girl" had anything to do with it."
"Today, BabeShredder stands to support a social movement not only for female board sport athletes, but for each and every girl that has experienced stereotyping and criticism while doing what they love. BabeShredder competitions and activities are meant to be encouraging - for all females to give it their best shot and see what a little courage can bring them."
"Having been involved intensely in the wakeboarding industry for the past four years, I've realized that we still have a long way to go. But, our female force has a confident voice and we are all here to make waves."
Composed by Bayley Ehlinger
Photo by RRP
Xana-Kai Nash Pro Flowboarder
Xana-Kai Nash has won four Flowboard World Titles and started her own non-profit organization called Support Young Women in Action Sports, and she is just sixteen years old. Her organization aims to encourage and train upcoming female Flowboarders from around the world.
Xana-Kai’s passion and dedication to the sport have always shown in her competitive performance. Now she is focusing that energy in helping other girls progress their skills. Xana-Kai wants female athletes to know that “hard work is not gender specific” and with the right attitude and determination even they can beat the boys. Through her organization and activism Xana-Kai ultimately hopes to create larger and more competitive Flowboard women’s divisions.
“Let’s face it as in many sports – the guys are amazing – but so are the females!” said Xana-Kai. “My mission has been to be recognized for the accomplishments that I earn as an athlete – but I have to say getting sponsors and backing is far more difficult as a female.”
When Xana-Kai is not on the podium or Flowboard training she tries to play the role of an active high school junior – getting good grades, running from soccer to rifle team, band practice, and socializing with friends. Some days are easier than others and she has found that attending both regular and virtual schools allows for the most flexibility in her schedule to train on her Flowboard.
To Xana-Kai, Flowboarding is a sport “like none other.” Combining Snowboarding, Surfing, and Skateboarding into one, Flowboarding’s popularity has drastically increased in recent years. Xana-Kai claims that there is a sense of “family that has been built around it,” giving Flowboarding a welcoming name for new competitors and first-timers.
Xana-Kai will continue competing on the Flow Tour this season traveling around the country. When asked where she would like to see Flowboarding going next, she said “the X-Games!” With determination and involvement from Xana-Kai, there is no doubt big things are in the future.
By: Ash Hannig