ZZ Ninja Kid: Learn to Wakeboard – Greece.
There’s nothing like a 6 year old kid on a mission to learn something that appears to be in the realm of adults and uber cool teenagers.
I’m sure the wake-boarding instructors at Neilson Holidays Sivota resort will remember the morning when out of the blue a little blond 6 year old kid rocked up to the pontoon and asked them if he could have a try, their initial conversation went something like this:
ZZ: Hello when can I book a wake-boarding lesson ?
Instructor: Hey dude, its cool you want to learn but I’m afraid you’re a bit young just yet.
ZZ: I can already surf & skateboard so I think I’d really like to try.
Instructor: Well the thing is, our boards are all pretty big so your feet probably wouldn’t stay in the bindings.
ZZ: I have really big feet, I’m a size 35 European.
Instructor: Oh OK you do have big feet ! Can you really surf & skateboard ?
ZZ: Of course, I live on the beach in Barcelona & my Mama used to be a water-skiing instructor (I was horrified he mentioned that as the instructors glanced at his middle aged mother and were obviously thinking “crikey that was a long time ago” 😉
Instructor: OK dude you’ve convinced us, lets get you sorted with a wake-board & a life-jacket.
They were obviously humouring him but as I’d booked a premium “learn to wakeboard” package for the week for myself they were happy to play along with what they thought would be a 5 minute charade.
Instructor: OK ZZ, now you’ve got your board on, slide off the pontoon into the water and paddle about 10 metres out into the sea so the boat can come around and pick you up.
ZZ: Why do I have to get into the water ? Why cant I do a pontoon start like the adults ?
Instructor: (chuckling loudly) Wow dude you really are a very grown up 6 year old, how about we do one water start and if it goes OK we can try a pontoon start ? (a very well negotiated and diplomatic answer I thought)
ZZ: Mmm, OK (not convinced but giving in as he’d achieved his initial goal of a lesson)
The speed boat driver was excellent and VERY good at her job, it may seem easy just to push the accelerator and blast the boat into action, but to get the right speed & power for the weight of the person you’re trying to lift out of the water is an art not all speedboat drivers are capable of. (The fact she was a charming English girl made it even more amazing in a very male dominated job).
The boat lunged into action and ZZ just popped out of the water on his board with a huge grin on his face that screamed “I told you so” !
Everyone on the pontoon & along the beach burst into collective applause, most of us there knew how hard it really is and how easy he made it look !
ZZ wakeboarded right around the bay and back to the pontoon without falling in, when the boat dropped him off they all hugged & congratulated him and said he was welcome to try again the next day, ZZ’s reaction:
“Can I come back after lunch and start from the pontoon ?”
ZZ spent the next 2 weeks learning to wakeboard twice a day at Sivota Beach Retreat and the wakeboard team were absolutely fantastic with him, they encouraged, taught, helped & befriended him but most of all they inspired a 6 year old to believe he is destined for great things, which is truly a wonderful gift.
At the end of holiday celebration they voted him their best student and got him to sign their golden water-ski, he was thrilled and still talks about his Greek wakeboard team 😉
We all had a fabulous holiday but ZZ vividly remembers the way the Neilson wakeboarding team treated him like a grown up & honestly believes he’ll be an Olympic wakeboarding champion …. because the Sivota Wake-board Team said so !