Megan Vance is 21 years of age and comes to us from Upland, CA. Whether she’s going to school at ASU or working at Wakeboard Island in Parker, Arizona. “There are a lot of girls from out of town want to try because their brothers are trying it,” she says, “but they’re a little bit shy so I encourage them as much as I can, because I think women are just as good as men.” Getting on a wakeboard is a pretty big step outside the comfort zone for most girls, but it’s a necessary step to take in order to succeed. She got on her first wakeboard in the eighth grade, and it’s taught her a lot about how to take on life.
Getting over the fear of trying new tricks is one of the hardest parts about being a wakeboarder, but Megan made a name for herself in the BabeShredder competition on May 3rd in Parker where she landed a lot of her first tricks. Since then she’s been shredding the water with her friends and teammates, learning new tricks, and jamming to reggae music. The wakeboard community is filled with people who love to give advice and inspiration. “I encourage girls to try new things and keep pushing themselves,” she says, “Just get out there and ride, even if you’re nervous about it. Because you never know, you could be really good at it. You just have to try.”
By Bayley Ehlinger
Lacey is a 28-year-old high school teacher living in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. She began wakeboarding to feed her shred addiction when the snow stopped falling, but it quickly became the focus of her passion, and the reason for her BabeShredder status. She says, “Being a part of this amazing team from the start means so much to me. Not because they think I ride well enough to be on the team, but because they believe I embody the values of promoting female riders, and encouraging new riders to get on a board for the very first time.” In two weeks Lacy will be heading to South East Queensland to spend a week at Bli Bli Cable Park ‘shredding her face off.’ As many geologically inclined readers know, it’s winter in Australia. This week of shredding is going to keep her in great form for her very first season competing at the start of November.
Lacey also has a passion for photography and often takes photos and videos of new riders to help promote them through social media. Promotion is a key aspect in getting more women riders out there, along with sponsored events like all-female competitions and riding days. “I think this is the turning point for female riding,” she says, “After getting the flick from the pro tour, everyone is coming together to promote females in ALL parts of the sport, from the pro division right down to the beginners, and BabeShredder is a really big part of this.” The wakeboard industry is one big community filled with people who love to offer advice on tricks and see everyone progress together. Most importantly, they always encourage each other to give it another try, and never give up. “If you ever thought about jumping on a board just do it,” Lacey says, “Yes you will fall. Yes sometimes it will hurt, but when you progress there is no better feeling. You fall less. Your confidence grows, and you never regret starting.”
By Bayley Ehlinger
Hannah Horbein is 25 years young, and spends her time shredding both mountains and waves. She grew up in Montara, California where she picked up surfing at the age of six, later picking up skiing and snowboarding when she moved to Littleton, Colorado. After a serious knee injury she used her recovery time to get a perspective on the sport that few riders ever get, working on the other side of snowboarding as a design and sales intern. “It’s still a boys club on both sides,” she says, “but in my years it’s been great to see more and more girls progressing both as athletes and on the other side in design and sales. It’s like the women behind the scenes are pushing the women on the front lines (the athletes) and visa versa. It’s rad.” The revolution in women’s riding can only continue to grow as more are finally finding representation and making their voice known. The support behind the scenes will pave the way for women to keep pushing the sport.
Being a true BabeShredder since the age of six has given Hannah a great perspective on life. “You’ve got to get stoked on the little accomplishments,” she says, “A couple weekends ago I helped out with a surf camp for orphaned youth, I hadn't surfed in six years due to multiple knee surgeries. I couldn’t even stand up, but I got to a knee and that's how I caught waves. I was so hyped on just that and walked away feeling like I had the best day ever!”
Hannah is now preparing with More Hands on Deck to set sail for the Sea of Cortez this weekend, and surfing all summer long! “I cannot wait to harness the wind and enjoy that freedom to explore it all,” she says. Among all the surfboards on the boat you’ll certainly be able to find a bit of hot sauce as well, the one thing Hannah can’t live without. At the end of the day it’s about having fun, so don’t get too serious about it, just get out on your local mountain or wave and shred!
By Bayley Ehlinger
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