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LORI WEBER MENKE: Supermom vs. the wakeboard

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Summer is a very important time in this Supermom's house.

First, and most-importantly, there is no school. Second, we finally get to return to the lake.

This is a place where most rules cease to exist. Bedtimes are nonexistent. Nutrition doesn't matter. We play with fire. And Supermom rules.

But in the last year, things have changed at the lake. Suddenly, there is no time to be a fuddy duddy Supermom. Our boys are finally at the age where sitting on the boat and "cruising" around the lake doesn't cut it anymore.

We have entered the water sports stage. And entering the water sports stage allowed my husband, Jayson, to finally fulfill his lifelong dream of owning a speed boat. (NOTE: Supermom was not convinced we needed this boat but was outvoted 3 to 1.)

Having grown up going to the lake almost every weekend, I'm familiar with the water sports stage. What I am not familiar with are some of these new water sports contraptions.

I grew up water skiing and tubing. That's it. Now, the options are endless. You can still water ski, but that is not nearly as cool. Tubing is still very popular (and our boys' favorite). But we now have choices. And as most of us Supermoms know, giving children too many choices is not always a good thing.

Enter the wakeboard.

Our oldest son, Riley, has decided that wakeboarding is the newest challenge to take on. And as an ever-supportive mom, it meant finding my inner Supermom to take on the wakeboard, too.

The first time I tried to wakeboard, it was behind a jet ski. It didn't go well. I am pretty sure everyone at the lake was wondering what it was I was trying to do because it certainly was not wakeboarding. Let's just say this was not Supermom's finest hour.

But one weekend this summer our nephew, Brandon, and his friends came to the lake to check out the new boat and try wakeboarding behind it. The boys were ages 16 to 18 and decided they would teach my son and I how to wakeboard.

I have to admit I was a little nervous. After all, no Supermom wants to embarrass her kids in front others. But Brandon was patient and very helpful. He explained exactly what to do. The older boys went first, so we could watch.

Finally, it was time to Supermom up and get in the water.

I wish I could say it all came naturally. I did pop right up and out of the water (I credit Brandon for being a fantastic boat driver for this). But once out of the water I had no idea what to do -- needless to say I didn't stay up for long. As the boat circled back around to try again, I could see Riley's face beaming with pride.

"Mom you got up your first try!"

And that was what Supermom needed.

So off I went again. Out of the water, I went and I stayed up for a while this time . . . . until the boat started to turn. I realized I needed to control the board strapped to my feet. I tried to steer myself and promptly went right over the wake and, with a squeal and a splash, my second try was over.

And for some reason everyone in the boat thought I did it on purpose. My son later told me that Brandon and his friends couldn't believe I tried to jump the wake my first time out. It still makes me giggle to think they thought I was that brave.

I finally learned how leaning back and putting pressure on one leg or the other would help you steer but now jumping the wake intentionally had become my sole focus.

I once again watched as others jumped over the wake so gracefully. Some managed to get airborne. They cut across and made it look simple.

Every time I tried, it always ended up the same . . . . shriek, squeal, splash, repeat.

Finally, one perfect Sunday night the water looked like glass, Jayson rallied the troops and off we went to waterski and wakeboard. Now, let me tell you, the fact that there wasn't a ripple on the water made all the difference. I could tell immediately I did not have to work hard. The wakeboard finally did exactly what I wanted. I was up and over the wake in no time -- oh, and the satisfaction of slicing through perfectly calm water. Leaning to the side and the perfect spray of water you can create with the board -- GLORIOUS!

Finally, I felt like Supermom had succeeded.

Going from one side of the wake to the other is still a little tough. I tend to psych myself out a bit. One time, I forgot to keep tension on the line and practically did my first 360. (Pretty sure I still have water up my nose from that graceful disaster.)

But now fall is upon us and this Supermom is ready to hang up her shaky waterboarding skills until next summer . . . although I suppose by then another new watersport will be on the horizon ready and waiting.

Until next time,


Weber is a super-mother of two and Multimedia Manager for the Herald. She can be reached at or (701) 780-1113.