Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Just don't sit down 'cause I've moved your chair

During the summer days there is not much to do in Dubai. It’s basically too hot to go outside (unless there is a breeze from the water and you are in a shade and preferably water in the pool is cooled down, which unfortunately is impossible for the sea), stupid to stay in the mall go shopping whole weekend, claustrophobic to spend your time in the hotel room and exhausting to work out in the gym all day.
I really try to keep myself occupy and I’m not finding easy excuses and I’m not trying to complaint about Dubai in the summer time, but the heat here is just unmanageable. After 5 minutes of walking you are sweating and your head starts spinning from dehydration. Yes I miss European summer.

To make things better and to keep ourselves busy and sporty during the weekend we’ve drove to Abu Dhabi to Al Forsan resort to learn wakeboarding. They have there cablepark with three cable systems, starting form the beginners to the advanced. Maybe it’s not the cheapest experience, but at least it’s fun and challenging and even after three days you feel that you are alive as every inch of your body aches.

First we had some issues to get there as we were not able to rent a car, cause all three of us left our passports with the guy who takes care about residence visas for us. Obviously to rent a car in Dubai you need your pass. So after the whole trip to the airport on Friday to get a car we had to give up and we went to the beach. But wasn’t it for three consulting company employees who we are that we come up with another idea. There is that private driver who drives us sometimes back to the hotel from the office (especially on Thursdays). He offered one day that even with waiting time in Abu Dhabi it’d only cost us 400 Dh to go there and back. Fair enough. We booked him for Saturday.

Saturday was as hot as every other day and by the time we got to Al Forsan I was shattered already, even though I was only sitting in the car, not even driving.

First you pay entrance fee which is 55 Dh (25 of that is a voucher which you can spend for any of the sports), than you pay 230 Dh for 4 hours of wakeboarding. At least it includes swimming vest, helmet and basic board. You can also rent obstacle board for 40 Dh which when you are doing it for the first time is unnecessary.

I’ve spent first hour trying to start up, falling to the water, swimming to the shore and trying to start again. And to our luck/unluck only advanced cable was on, so we had to learn on the fastest cable system there (38 kph). But the crew there was very helpful, especially some guys from Philippines and Myanmar who were saying the same things all over trying to explain things and holding the board for me in the right position each time I was giving a try.

At last after an hour or so, I’ve started to get it and I’ve managed to start up and do quarter of the lap. I’ve fallen to the water on the curve which I did not know how to deal with. But after some time I was already able to do 1,5 laps. From the riding perspective I could probably do more, but my hands were too weak to hold the handle that long and to be pulled that long so I was basically letting it go and falling to the water.

After some time and after I was managing it easily to ride one of the employees there told me to change my easy start up board to the pro one which is narrower and you put your feet into shoe thingy and not only into straps. Why not?

Jacek was having a break and nice obstacle board so I took it from him. What a difference. So much easier to ride, but indeed more difficult to start with. Too heavy to hold it in the starting position. Again I’d be unable to start up without the help of the crew. The guy was holding the board each time I was starting up.

Unfortunately after 2 rides I had to give back the wakeboard to Jacek and I took one of the pro boards which were for free. But they were with fins, which I realised I don’t like, so I had to sweet talk the guy to unscrew them. And guess what? He did. I had fun on the slippery board (this is how they call it).

After a while I got annoyed that I was not able to hold the board by myself at the start up (I’ve realised just now why my hip hurts that much, it’s not from keeping my balance on the rear leg when I was riding, it’s trying to start) so I’ve decided to go one level up and learn to start form the standing position from the elevated ledge which involved jumping with the board.

And again I was trying to jump, falling into the water, swimming to the shore, getting out and trying. In the end I’ve managed and I was so satisfied with myself almost like after finishing the marathon run. What’s more everyone was trying to help me when I was learning, they were giving me tips, asking how I’m doing and telling ‘Now’ to give me a sign when I should jump. But no wonder. I was the only girl there who got so involved.

By the end of the day I was not able to walk, talk, move or do anything. I’ve just wanted to get some food and go to bed to get some rest.

It is insane how exhausted you can get after 4 hours, but it was one of the best things so far that I’ve done in Emirates. The only drawback now is that I again have problems with my hip which on the other hand has impact on my running trainings and preparation to the Berlin Marathon.

Cable park in Abu Dhabi - Al Forsan. Beginners cable.

With the lame - easy start up board

Progress - obstacle board

During the ride

Jacek and Michal

Start up

Start up by me - was it successful one or not.....


..........unfortunatelly water was not refreshing at all


I'm getting pro here ;-). Am I really or is it just a fake start up and I'll end up in the water anyways?

No fakes ;-)

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