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When’s Lake Martin’s summer gonna be here?

sawyer davis lake martin  (2)

need lake martin surfing

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hard selling me tubes…

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winter go away, lake martin summers

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makes the waves a little easier to spin on

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lake martin sunsets…

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sawyer davis

It’s barely been winter and I need some summer sunshine.. the heat… the real deal.  I’m going to be in Laguna for a few days soon thank goodness.

sawyer davis lake martin

sawyer davis needs summertime on lake martin

sawyer davis lake martin

sawyer davis needs summer weather on lake martin

 

Sawyer Davis Lake Martin Wakesurfing Magic Hour

 

Quick clip.. Sawyer Davis surf set Lake Martin

 

 

Promising statistics for Lake Martin Real Estate

As sent out in ACRE’s weekly email, a report by Russell Lands on Lake Martin property sales

Returning to (better than) normal

Sales levels mark a banner year

As 2015 comes to a close, we can look back on the real estate business for Lake Martin to gauge what the next 12 months might be like. If the current market trends hold true for next year, then we are in for some very impressive sales numbers and value increases on Lake Martin.

A look at key numbers
By gleaning from the local Multiple Listings Service and examining the 12 months ending on November 30, 2015, we have at present a pretty impressive lake market. The value of all transactions reported by member firms was $195,256,133 with 431 properties changing hands. The average price based on that business is $453,030.

The above numbers include all property types—single-family homes, condos and lakefront lots. The total value of each category is as follows: Single family homes reported $159,126,083 in sales with 283 properties selling for an average price of $562,283.

Condos and townhome sales totaled $16,445,349 with 62 sales averaging $265,248. Lake lots sales totaled $19,684,701 over 86 transactions with an average price of $228,892. Every category had positive sales growth for gross sales volume with only a slight decrease in the number of condos selling due to the lower supply at the onset of the summer season.

Values on the upswing
The real story in the market was the overall increase in sales volume and property values. Overall residential sales volume grew 35.7% with a 17.3% increase in the overall number of transactions. Average residential property values increased by 15.6%! Waterfront lots also experienced a healthy sales pace with the total volume increasing by 15.8%.

What is driving this upswing in property values is the smaller supply of properties on the market. This year there is a 29% reductionin the supply of residential single-family homes, given the current sales pace. For waterfront lots, there is a 30% decrease in the number of lots available for sale. The old saying that they quit making waterfront property certainly appears to be true!

Inventory scarce – Early Shoppers are expected
At the pace of current sales, the inventory will be exhausted within nine short months. Clearly more and more people are buying the fewer available properties. We are used to seeing people shopping for property in the early to late spring, but given the demand, we expect that savvy lake shoppers will begin looking earlier in the season to lay claim to the limited number of properties.

In our two active developments, The Ridge and Willow Glynn, our Approved Builders sold out of inventory early in the summer. Several have started new projects to prepare for the coming season. Given the direction of the sales pace over the last year, it is likely these will be in high demand. That is no surprise with the great quality, attention to detail and the thoughtful shoreline features each property receives from the Builders.

The Future Looks Promising
We were blessed with a great real estate market in 2015, and 2016 and beyond looks even brighter. We have set a very patient development and construction pace in our neighborhoods, while putting great care into the design and feature of every home. Coupled with the continuing addition of amenities and the growth of Russell Crossroads, Lake Martin real estate has never looked more promising. Real Estate here truly is an investment your whole family can enjoy!

 

For more information about property available call India, Mike or Sawyer

India – 256.749.7592

Mike – 256.226.1238

Sawyer -205.965.7940

Happy New Year from the India Davis Team on Lake Martin!

 

 

 

Happy New Year from the India Davis team on Lake Martin

Happy New Year from the India Davis Team on Lake Martin

2015 was a great year on Lake Martin and we hope that you all had a good a year enjoying the lake as we did. This is an amazing place to call home! A new year is like a blank book, and the pen is in your hands. It is your chance to write a beautiful story for yourself. From all of us on The Davis Team we are wishing you a new year rich with the blessings of love, joy, warmth, and laughter.

Lake Martin Sunsets

I’ve enjoyed taking photos of Lake Martin activities for years, but unquestionably my favorite is the sunsets.  The occasional sunrise is also a favorite, but due to the nature of timing.. sunsets make the top of the list.  I particularly like shooting them in the winter.  I’m sure there is some reason of the Earth’s location in proximity to something.. but the winter sunsets on Lake Martin seem to be more vivid and colorful.  Here are a few sunsets over Willow Point and one sunrise in Kowaliga Bay on Lake Martin.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

 

Lake Martin Sunset Lake Martin Sunrise

Lake Martin Sunset1

“DAUGHERTY ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR DISTRICT TWO SEAT’

“DAUGHERTY ANNOUNCES CANDIDACY FOR DISTRICT TWO SEAT’

Mack Daugherty, of the Kowaliga/Eclectic area has announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for the District Two seat on the Elmore County Commission in the March 1st election. Mack has resided in the same location in Elmore County for the past (42) years, along with his wife, the former Mary Colley. The Daughertys have a son, Corey, who along with his wife Holly and two children, reside in Birmingham, and a daughter, Dr.Cecilia D. Smith, who along with her husband Rhett and two children, reside in the Kowaliga/Eclectic area.

 

Mack is a military veteran, (30) year law enforcement veteran, successful businessman (founder and owner of Lake Martin Security, Inc. for past (31) years), and is a retired engineer with the CSX Railroad Company. Mack is a graduate of the University of Alabama Law Enforcement Academy, is a volunteer deputy sheriff in (3) counties, a volunteer deputy game warden, a former Fire Chief and founding member of the Kowaliga Fire Dept., and a volunteer certified instructor with the American Red Cross. Mack currently serves as Chief of Security for Russell Lands, Inc., a position which he has held for the past (22) years. Mack has also served as a worship leader inchurch music ministry for the past (42) years. Mack  currently serves as worship leader at the Church in the Pines and Children’s Harbor Chapel at Lake Martin. Mack and his wife Mary have also been volunteers with Children’s Harbor, since its founding in 1989. Mack is a member of the advisory board for Trustmark Bank, a member of the local and national Fraternal Order of Police, The Alabama Peace Officers Association and the National Rifle Association. In their spare time, Mack and Mary enjoy spending time with their grandchildren and have a passion for showing horses.

 

“My pledge to the citizens of Elmore County is to provide honest, ethical, proficient and fiscally responsible representation in every regard and to protect property rights from unnecessary and over-reaching government regulations. While I very much appreciate the offers of campaign contributions, I have decided to accept no campaign contributions and to self-fund my own campaign. I only ask for one thing, and that is the opportunity to once again serve the good people of Elmore County.

I firmly believe that people who hold public office are indeed servants of the people and that every decision should be made with aspect at the forefront. My dad was a Baptist preacher, and he and my mom instilled in me and my siblings the virtue of always having a  servant’s heart. I firmly believe that as children of God, while on this earth, that one of our “callings” is to serve our fellow man by any means that would be beneficial to them. During my lifetime I have tried to live out that principle, whether serving my country in the military, serving the citizens as a law enforcement officer, serving in the ministry of the church or serving the needs of seriously ill children and their families. I will be humbled and most appreciative of your vote and support, but most importantly your prayers. May God continue to bless our country, our state and the wonderful place that we call home, Elmore County!”

 

Fall Months on Lake Martin

My favorite month on Lake Martin… October is great here on the lake; school is back in and the traffic during the week becomes almost non-existant.  Sometimes it’s hard to believe your out there and you “have the lake to yourself”  our repsective sloughs become “ours” and we don’t have to ward off the pwc or the crazy pontoon draging a tuber over your wake.  The weekend rider has a little better chance of finding that slice of heaven, as the college football schedule tends to help remove quite a few boats and wakes from your riding zone. The temperature begins to taper down and mornings sessions may even require a little neoprene.  This is especially true at the end of the month!  A few cool nights in a row really change the water temp quickly.
The end of the riding season is growing close but the good thing is that most of us have been practicing all summer. The once new tricks have become consistant in our runs and our eyes are focusing on progression, the next trick and what we can accomplilsh before winter.  There’s an amaznig sense of accompishement to hit a goal right before the season is over.. “all that hard work has paid off”.   Be it going from the wakeboarder moving on from a wake to wake 3, to hitting the 5 or keeping that wakesurfer moving forward into the 2nd 360.. riding away clean after working at getting the new trick all summer is awesome.  The hooting and hollering from the boat and the rider.. the horn blasts and fist pumps.. never get old and doing it right at the season ends.. well that’s just the icing on the cake.  It’s a great month to be on the water,  and I encourage you to take full advantage.  I also remind you the otherside, trying to push forward and get that trick is what we do, but be aware of your physical limits and don’t let the desire to ride away shadow fatigue and get hurt.  Ending the season on cruches is the exact opposite of the goal of riding away clean…
That being said, longer intervalls between days on the water tend to happen a little more this time of the year for residents that travel from out of town.. so try and do some extra exercise if your not riding as much.  Pull ups, pushups and core work will keep you moving toward that end of summer goal.  The lake’s winter water is supposed to be a little higher this year.  If that’s the case, then a wetsuit is going to give you even more water at the dock, which equals more time to ride.  Could be a nice season before our first freeze.
Ride hard and hope to see you on the water-
Sawyer

Lake Martin etiquette

As many times as I have had people say “Write about this, or write about that” I’ve never taken requests.  However, I’ve had enough people ask me to REWRITE a few things and I feel like it needs to be addressed.  I should probably make it a yearly “refresher” article every season.  maybe this article will get sent out digitally and people can share this via social media so more boaters will take note.  So… what is it that everyone wants me to address.  Boating etiquette, particularly to the wakeboat drivers and also  to the personal watercraft drivers.  If there was one  scenario that I hear the most and this is NOT all on the wakeboard boats; it’s big wakes and their impact on docks.

I will say that wakeboard boats do have hulls designed to create large wakes, wakesurfing is the fastest growing sport in the industry of which requires a large wave to push the rider. I will also say that boats large or small, wakeboard style or not that are driven above idle and not planed off while occupants are looking at houses doing the same thing.  They are producing a huge wake in close proximity to the docks.  The wakeboats all have ballast systems and surf systems to accomodate and these watersports and is a lot of fun for the entire family.  HOWEVER it is our responsibility as drivers to watch where these wakes go from there.  It is NOT ok to wakesurf or wakeboard in a small tight slough lined with homes. It is not ok to run these sloughs and then turn a fully loaded wakeboard around at speed in a slough with homes down each side. This is a problem for lots of reasons: the wake is rocking docks as you come in, then again as you come out of the slough. When the boat begins to turn and slow it’s cranking out another huge roller perpendicular to the long ones breaking from center to shore. (needless to say practicing double ups, falls into the same “don’t do it” category) Seawalls which protect shore from erosion compound the wave problem by sending it  back out to the dock and the boat into the slough.  A wave of that size, from either surf or wakeboard can do a lot of damage to docks, and to the boats tied to those docks.  i’ve even heard of people literally being thrown off their dock by a wave.
I put in a call to the Alabama Marine Police and asked about safe distances for driving and towing riders from piers.  I called because there is no rule or law stating a minimum distance required to recreationally drive or when towing a rider to stay away from a dock.  I had a great conversation with an officer on this topic.  Staying 100ft or more from a dock is a good starting point.  If you think about it in terms of a standard wakeboard rope is 75ft and 25ft added to that for safety was agreed to be ok.  In Alabama every year our lakes have accidents where a rider crashes into a dock or pier.  Obviously they were driving much closer then they should to a dock.
 Here is where some real etiquette needs to take place.  First, you don’t ride around homes, if you do, then you should be a considerable distance from them.  With 752 miles of shoreline, of which a very larger percentage is undeveloped and this lake is 44,000 acres of water, there is a place where you can ride and not cause this problem for the residents.  Here’s where we have to work to share and respect areas where we don’t bother the people that have homes here.  A problem that I have discussed with some of the drivers on the lake:  Personal watercraft riders, tend to follow wakeboats to jump their waves, they go into sloughs where wakeboats are trying to tow riders away from homes.  The PWC riders don’t leave and the boat does to find sanctuary and end up back where homes are.  The PWC riders have got to back off and stay away from the wakeboats. I assure you when I or anyone I know is towing a wakeboarder or surfer, the last thing I want anywhere around me is someone on a PWC. ( more than one PWC is 10x worse)  The PWC drivers are not usually watching for the kid in the water.  The long and short of this is, PWC riders need to stay out of sloughs where boats are towing riders, and by no means should they follow them.  I’ve been a driver, a passenger and a rider in uninhabited sloughs on more than one occasion when a boat just drives in at speed going nowhere.  They have no respect for a rider up or waiting in the water.  When the slough gets crowded, the driver goes where it’s not.  If you guys want the wakes out of the home area, your going to have to leave them alone when they are riding where there are no homes.
Two boats sharing a slough, it’s not ideal but if it’s that busy out you have to work with the other boat.  Let them get sets in, and they should let you.  Stop and talk with your fellow rider.. make a friend.. maybe you can ride together sometime.. but acknowledge your going to let them ride and then you or your crew are going to take another set when their rider get done..alternate.
I try not to harp on the tubers, I understand it’s fun for kids, but that can literally be done in any water condition.  Waterskiing/slalom skiing, wakeboarding, & wakesurfing can not really be done in choppy water.  It’s just plain rude to come barreling into a slough pulling a tuber when someone is riding, or about to start.  Unfortunately, I see it happens all the time when I’m coaching or riding myself.  Please let drivers and riders take advantage of calm water and keep the tubing away from them.
We all need to try to be considerate to the other people out trying to have fun on the lake, there’s room for everyone.
See you on the water-
Sawyer

Lake Martin is the testing grounds for Victoria wakesurf boards

It’s prime time on Lake Martin.. summer is in full swing.  There are lots of wakeboard/wakesurf demos and clinics happening at different marinas around the lake. These are for the public to test out products from different board companies… some events are free, some have a cost involved.  Call before you haul, reserve your spot in a boat and go try out some new gear.

Trying out new product is fun and very beneficial.  The average cost for a wakeboard or a wakesurf board can run +/- $500.  It is important to get fitted properly for your board and I do mean the obvious, height, weight and binding size but also fitted to accomodate your riding style and ability.  Participants get to receive some good instruction from pro tour riders and local regionally sponsored riders.  Riders of all ages get to experience first class riding, coaching and the newest wake and wave creating machines.

Speaking of new.. how about not even out on the market yet.  I have been working with Victoria skimboards now since 2010.  It has been an incredible opportunity and experience.  Wakesurfing has grown so much in that time.  I just looked at my original sheets from Victoria and there was one model for wakesurfing in 2010- the Victoria Factor was only board available in their wake line. It came in 2 types, standard construction or a carbon fiber version the “Factor PCX”.  That board is still around, in name only, as we completely reconstructed it’s shape.  Lake Martin has become a testing ground for Victoria’s wake line.  The boards that are sold here are  not available to any other stores in the country!  Currently there are 2 boards being tested here on Lake Martin.  Of these two, one for sure will soon to be named and introduced in the 2016 line and the other is under consideration.  The “Debut” the wood core Victoria was prototyped here and I mentioned it previously in Behind the Boat article this year.  The Debut has gone on to be added to the current 2015 line and has been a big hit, especially for kids.  We have however considered some new wood for it’s construction.

What happens in the prototype and design process is what’s really cool.  The guys at Victoria make a board we theoretically agree will be a good option for a wakesurfer.  Since these guys have been designing skimboards since 1976; their experience and knowledge of how a board which take you from shore out into surf, down a wave face and preform on it is second to none.  They produce one or two of the prototype and ship’em out.  Sometimes a board might have a slightly different thickness to give more flex or stiffness for speed. I try out different sizes and/or sometimes different internal construction materials.  I usually get one prototype to try out, and the California crew gets one but we (Lake Martin) gets the first batches that make it to the construction stage for all size testing.  They are at this point a 99% marketable board when I get the batch.  The batch usually consists of 3 of each size to be sold.  Unbeknown to most they are buying the first boards made that I keep up with how each rider likes them and see them preform.  To my knowledge we have changed one item. which was internal on a board after the first run was made.  I don’t think any one of us could tell there was a change made but it lowered the price due to a material cost.  We all like a better price, so it was an easy decision.  Keep in mind the skimboard world has to have a much much stronger board for a high level of rider.  They have so many variables in the surf and skimmers drop off the top of a wave head high. That type of use requires a ton of strength to keep the board in one piece and it not just snap in half.  Wakesurfing has almost the opposite in terms of board stress.  Wakesurf waves have a nice size, much less speed and we aren’t dropping 6 feet into extremely shallow water.  What is the same, or very similar anyway,  is the boards ability to move on top of the water without being pulled by anything with weight on top of it.  For whatever reason, some shapes in skimboarding need minor modification to be a wakesurfer, some do not work very well.  I think the most common element that changes is length of the nose of a board.  Wakesurfers tend to be more compact in relation to size of rider.  Less nose on a board at the bottom turn of a wave makes it easier for us wakesurfers.  Some boards take longer to make their way into the line than others.  Currently there are 6 models available in the Victoria line up.  The Debut, The Factor, The Factor PCX, The Agent, The Pixie and the Project V.  New shape of the second version of the Factor was developed from testing on a little blue board skimboard that I still have.   That little board has had more feet on top of it than you can imagine. It continues to be an unbelievably stable and wonderfully riding board.  The Agent is a big version of Bri Cheml‘s pro model, which we begin getting in 2012.  I have the first pass at that shape which didn’t turn out the way we hoped, the next board was the one that stuck and became a production model we get today.  The squash tail makes it fast, and pushes really hard.  Different than the new board coming out with a fish tail, the Agent is a single fin which became ideal for a big, skilled rider (the Pixie is for the smaller riders in Bri’s shape).  There are quite a few people on Lake Martin surfing on boards that have made the final “cut” that will be released to the public in 2016.  The new board which has a penciled in name, is a fish tail, with a tri fin set up.  It obviously can be ridden as a twin fin or a single for the loosest ride possible.  I’ve been riding one, and testing with quite a few other riders since 2012.  This is board is already a big hit, the rest of the world can check it out next year after all us on Lake Martin enjoy it early.
I just got off the phone with Kyle at Victoria discussing, well… this article, but more importantly a new board.  At 43 years old, I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I do.  I’m able  physically to ride, sure that’s tons of fun but more importantly to be a part of testing product behind the scenes. Being able to have all the families here on Lake Martin involved with the sport of wakesurfing, which is the biggest, fastest growing sport to hit the wake scene… AND all of us being a part of the innovation from the oldest skimboard manufacturer in the world.  From Laguna Beach, California their field testing boards comes straight to Alabama onto Lake Martin. I’ve visited with the guys in Laguna Beach (they got to laugh at me try to skimboard a wicked break called Aliso).  I couldn’t be more stoked about being associated with Tex Haines and his entire crew at Victoria and think they feel the same way about all us here on Lake Martin.

see you on the water.
Sawyer-

Lake Martin Wakesurfer

Victoria skimboards newest model to be field tested here on Lake Martin

Lake Martin boating etiquette, including the PWC driver

As many times as I have had people say “Write about this, or write about that” I’ve never taken requests.  However, I’ve had enough people ask me to REWRITE a few things and I feel like it needs to be addressed.  I should probably make it a yearly “refresher” article every season.  maybe this article will get sent out digitally and people can share this via social media so more boaters will take note.  So… what is it that everyone wants me to address.  Boating etiquette, particularly to the wakeboat drivers and also  to the personal watercraft drivers.  If there was one  scenario that I hear the most and this is NOT all on the wakeboard boats; it’s big wakes and their impact on docks.

I will say that wakeboard boats do have hulls designed to create large wakes, wakesurfing is the fastest growing sport in the industry of which requires a large wave to push the rider. I will also say that boats large or small, wakeboard style or not that are driven above idle and not planed off while occupants are looking at houses doing the same thing.  They are producing a huge wake in close proximity to the docks.  The wakeboats all have ballast systems and surf systems to accomodate and these watersports and is a lot of fun for the entire family.  HOWEVER it is our responsibility as drivers to watch where these wakes go from there.  It is NOT ok to wakesurf or wakeboard in a small tight slough lined with homes. It is not ok to run these sloughs and then turn a fully loaded wakeboard around at speed in a slough with homes down each side. This is a problem for lots of reasons: the wake is rocking docks as you come in, then again as you come out of the slough. When the boat begins to turn and slow it’s cranking out another huge roller perpendicular to the long ones breaking from center to shore. (needless to say practicing double ups, falls into the same “don’t do it” category) Seawalls which protect shore from erosion compound the wave problem by sending it  back out to the dock and the boat into the slough.  A wave of that size, from either surf or wakeboard can do a lot of damage to docks, and to the boats tied to those docks.  i’ve even heard of people literally being thrown off their dock by a wave.
I put in a call to the Alabama Marine Police and asked about safe distances for driving and towing riders from piers.  I called because there is no rule or law stating a minimum distance required to recreationally drive or when towing a rider to stay away from a dock.  I had a great conversation with an officer on this topic.  Staying 100ft or more from a dock is a good starting point.  If you think about it in terms of a standard wakeboard rope is 75ft and 25ft added to that for safety was agreed to be ok.  In Alabama every year our lakes have accidents where a rider crashes into a dock or pier.  Obviously they were driving much closer then they should to a dock.
 Here is where some real etiquette needs to take place.  First, you don’t ride around homes, if you do, then you should be a considerable distance from them.  With 752 miles of shoreline, of which a very larger percentage is undeveloped and this lake is 44,000 acres of water, there is a place where you can ride and not cause this problem for the residents.  Here’s where we have to work to share and respect areas where we don’t bother the people that have homes here.  A problem that I have discussed with some of the drivers on the lake:  Personal watercraft riders, tend to follow wakeboats to jump their waves, they go into sloughs where wakeboats are trying to tow riders away from homes.  The PWC riders don’t leave and the boat does to find sanctuary and end up back where homes are.  The PWC riders have got to back off and stay away from the wakeboats. I assure you when I or anyone I know is towing a wakeboarder or surfer, the last thing I want anywhere around me is someone on a PWC. ( more than one PWC is 10x worse)  The PWC drivers are not usually watching for the kid in the water.  The long and short of this is, PWC riders need to stay out of sloughs where boats are towing riders, and by no means should they follow them.  I’ve been a driver, a passenger and a rider in uninhabited sloughs on more than one occasion when a boat just drives in at speed going nowhere.  They have no respect for a rider up or waiting in the water.  When the slough gets crowded, the driver goes where it’s not.  If you guys want the wakes out of the home area, your going to have to leave them alone when they are riding where there are no homes.
Two boats sharing a slough, it’s not ideal but if it’s that busy out you have to work with the other boat.  Let them get sets in, and they should let you.  Stop and talk with your fellow rider.. make a friend.. maybe you can ride together sometime.. but acknowledge your going to let them ride and then you or your crew are going to take another set when their rider get done..alternate.
I try not to harp on the tubers, I understand it’s fun for kids, but that can literally be done in any water condition.  Waterskiing/slalom skiing, wakeboarding, & wakesurfing can not really be done in choppy water.  It’s just plain rude to come barreling into a slough pulling a tuber when someone is riding, or about to start.  Unfortunately, I see it happens all the time when I’m coaching or riding myself.  Please let drivers and riders take advantage of calm water and keep the tubing away from them.
We all need to try to be considerate to the other people out trying to have fun on the lake, there’s room for everyone.
See you on the water-
Sawyer

Lake Martin, wakeboarding and overcoming the injuries.

May on Lake Martin is a wonderful time to be behind the boat.  School gets out at the later part of the month, the water is pretty chilly at the beginning of the month but by late May, It’s perfect, not to cold… refreshing on a hot day and we get to put the neoprene away.  I do keep my heater top around for the occasionally cold morning session, but all in all, it’s my favorite time of the year for water temps.   Since the water is up to full pool and we’ve got the warm water and of outside temps; boats are getting brought out of hibernation.  It’s time to knock the rust off get out and ride.  The first rides of the year can really be tough for a few reasons.  No matter how hard you train, from the crazy crossfit to free weights to pushing your own weight around. there is no substitute or way to replace the action of pulling against a boat.  I’ve tried quite a few ways over the coarse of my life and even when I thought I came in to a season tip top condition, the first day left my body extremely sore.  Now let’s be clear, I’m not saying all the hard work doesn’t pay off, it’ will give you the ability to ride longer and have more strength to pull harder at the wake or pull the handle in for a pass.  Training in the off season is a great thing, we need to do it.  There are some different groups of large muscles ( i have no idea their name as i didn’t take anatomy/physiology) that are used to maintain balance and allow us to weight and un-weight correctly.  Starting from the pull and continuing to the landing, from wake to wake. Those muscles seem to acknowledge the enormous amount of effort to do what it is we do early season.  It’s like anything else, repetition will make you better, and stronger.  Last month our editor did the article on some tricks to learn and how to execute them.  If those tricks or variations of any of them are your goal this year to learn and become consistent at landing, then it’s time to start preparing.  If you’ve been training great, if not, start now, it’s not to late.  There are some great tools out there that lots of us don’t think about using like the indo board.  It will help you work on your balance, core strength and leg strength.  When you surf for instance, you are squatted down for long periods of time, which is taxing on the quads, the INDO board will help there, so will wall sits (tons of variations with balance balls etc)  The core strength is something that I couldn’t stress enough is beneficial for our wake sports.  Everything happens with initiation from the core of the body, the feet touch the board, strapped to it or not, but if the core isn’t stabilized, the feet and board are doomed. The problems that I have encountered in my years on the water have been from lack of strength, falling at the end of sessions when i was tired and wouldn’t stop.  Be smart, if your done, rest and ride again later.  Forcing a trick at the end of the day can put you on the sideline for the entire season.  I trashed my ankle memorial day of last year.  My body was not conditioned for last years tricks so early in the season.  One minute i’m having a little fun on my wakeskate, the next i missed my landing on my frontside big spin.  I did a split.  I’ve done plenty of them over the years, but this time I fell a little different and my foot wouldn’t release from the skate.  I folded in half…sideways and I got a nice high ankle sprain,  That was the start of a long journey to rebuilding that ankle, one  i’m still on.  I’m lucky, we all are actually that Lake Martin has a new Orthopedic surgeon, one that specializes in fixing just the injuries we tend to get.  If you’ve heard the term sports medicine, you’ve probably heard the name Dr. James Andrew’s from Birmingham and guess what, that’s where Dr. Martha George did her sports fellowship training!  She completed her orthopedic residency at UAB, and did a year long fellowship strictly dedicated to treating sports injuries… plus she wakeboards!  I spoke with Dr. George about the wakeboarder’s typical injuries and asked if she could give us a little guidance on preventing or strengthening these vulnerable areas.
Dr Martha George is now practicing  with Dr. Paul Goldhagen of the Bone & Joint Specialists in Alexander City, she writes –

Wakeboarding is a demanding sport. It requires a significant amount of skill, athleticism and balance. The difficulty of this sport can also cause it to be a dangerous one. There are many wakeboarders injured throughout the year. Due to this, I believe that injury prevention is key. The most common injuries associated with wakeboarding , other than head injuries, include ACL tears, shoulder dislocations and ankle sprains.

The joints of the upper and lower extremities are supported by two different types of stablizers: dynamic and static. The term dynamic describes a structure that can change length or shape. These would include the muscles surrounding the joints. Static refers to a structure that remains in a fixed position or one that cannot change. These structures include the ligaments within or around each joint that prevent abnormal movement s or injuries. In order to prevent injury to the static stablizers it is important to strengthen the dynamic stabilizers about that joint.

With regards to the knee, the ACL, or anterior cruciate ligament, is the major static restraint to anterior translation of the tibia in regards to the femur as well as rotational stability. One of the ways to decrease the risk of injury to this ligament is to strengthen the dynamic stabilizers surrounding the knee. The muscle group most concentrated on is the quadriceps group. To strengthen your quadriceps you can incorporate exercises such as straight leg raises, leg extensions, squats and leg press into your workout regimen. Other muscle groups crossing the knee joint and contributing to stability include the hamstrings and the gastrocnemius/soleus complex. The strength of these can be improved by performing leg curls and calf raises, respectively. Another technique that can help prevent injury to the ACL is neuromuscular training. This is the practice of training your body to control how your muscles react during an activity. This would include practices such as teaching wakeboarders how to land jumps with their knees bent rather than straight given that the ACL has a significantly higher amount of stress applied to it with the knee in extension rather than flexion.

The dynamic stabilizers of the shoulder include the periscapular muscles and the rotator cuff muscles. Strengthening of these muscles can help in prevention of a shoulder dislocation. Posture training is important in strengthening the muscles surrounding the scapula, or shoulder blade. This helps to position the scapula appropriately which in turn improves the position and motion of the shoulder.  The strength and endurance of the rotator cuff muscles can be improved by including exercises such as the Thrower’s Ten program in your daily routine. This program includes external and internal rotation exercises as well as abduction, rowing, presses and pushups.

And lastly, prevention of ankle sprains can also be improved by this process of dynamic stabilizer strengthening. The common “low” ankle sprain describes an injury to the lateral ligaments of the ankle including the ATFL (anterior talofibular ligament) and CFL (calcaneofibular ligament). The “high ankle sprain” describes an injury to the syndesmosis which maintains integrity between the two bones of the lower leg, the tibia and fibula. Stretching and strengthening of the peroneal muscles can improve stability of the ankle and thus help to decrease the risk of these sprains. The peroneal muscles and tendons run over the outer or lateral aspect of the ankle and allow the foot to turn outwards. Eversion exercises of the ankle improve strength and endurance of this muscle group.

Again, wakeboarding is an intense sport. Unfortunately, some of the injuries sustained during this activity are inevitable. But, incorporating these exercises into your daily workout routine will improve the strength and endurance of those major muscle groups which increase the dynamic stability of your joints. And this can ultimately decrease your risk of injury to these joints.