Rhik Samadder tries ... wakeboarding: ‘I scream underwater with every faceplant’

Everyone needs some novelty right now, so our writer is tackling a new activity each week. First, he gets dragged perilously quickly around a lake

I used to ride bendy buses without holding on to the poles, pretending I was in Point Break. Pathetic. Yet the fantasy returned recently, after I decided to stop taking life for granted and try something new every week. To kick off, I wondered if it was possible for a hapless urbanite to learn to surf, ideally in less than an hour. No, said a few professionals, suggesting I try wakeboarding instead. I didn’t know what that was. Neither did anyone I know. “Is that when they pour water over your face to extract information?” asked my girlfriend, with insufficient concern.

“No, but it is an extreme sport,” chuckles Dave Novell, the water sports manager at Liquid Leisure in Windsor, the largest aquapark in Europe. Banana boats zip around us at a large freshwater lake set in lush countryside. How so? Wakeboarding involves being strapped to a plank, then towed by what looks like a coat hanger, attached to either a speedboat or an overhead cable system that whips you around at 19mph (30km/h).

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