Marnie Millington - Wake/Ski/Skateboard - Cambridge, UK




 Your Age: 37 years

Your Location (where do you ride mostly): I live near Cambridge, UK. I wakeboard at Box End Park in Bedford and Hannam's Wake Hub in Ely. I mainly ski in Europe

Weapon(s) of choice: Wakeboard, snow skis, longboard, still camera & phone camera.

What’s an average day for you like? Average day is taking my two boys to school in the morning, followed by walking my dachshund Noko. Then I'll check e-mails, do some work - I make my own jewelry, so either I'll be making the jewels, exploring ideas for designs or promoting my company, Noko Designs. I try to exercise during the week - spinning, kettlebells, swimming and tennis are my go to. Then it's time to pick the boys up from school and then it's all about feeding the family! The weekends are when we get to play in the skate parks or go wakeboarding.

What is the most difficult part of your activity/sports for a beginner? The easiest? For any beginner it is the fear! The fear of falling, the fear of doing something new, the fear of hurting yourself...

I think wakeboarding is much easier to learn nowadays compared to when I started over 20yrs ago. Now you can hold onto a pole coming out the side of a boat, you can hear your coach and it is taken much more gently. Or if you are learning to cable ride there are System 2.0's available, where you can control the speed and not get dunked too hard.

When I started you went from being pulled out of the water behind a boat straight away and you had to work it out yourself!!!

My two boys started wakeboarding this year. We tried boat first and then when they felt a little more comfortable they tried a System 2.0 cable. They loved the cable and found it much more easier. The confidence in both of them after 15mins on the cable was huge. They both said they found the boat a little frightening and it's cable all the way now!

What is the best and worst thing about being female in your sport? Expectations. 
Extreme sports is still a male predominant sport so to be a female you need to show strength.

Its good to have the femanine touch. We can make sports look much more stylish!

I'm not doing so many tricks anymore because of my age and having children. I don't want the injuries. I feel people look at me and think I'm not pushing myself, I'm not learning, I can't do something...when I know I can but I've chosen not to, does that make sense? They are probably not looking at me at all, but you can't help but feel they are when you go round and round the cable! I take things easier now, just want to go out and enjoy myself.

What would you like to see change in your sport to make it better for you and other female athletes? I've got plenty of female skier friends but I haven't got any female friends who wakeboard. I'm not sure what changes would now make them learn?

There wasn't really the opportunity to learn when I grew up, wakeboarding is a young sport still. I was lucky, I had a male friend who was into all the new water sports and came on holiday once with a skurf board and my love grew from also attracted my husband!!

What I've love is that at Box End Park (wakeboard park in Bedford) they offer 'Ladies Mornings' on a Sunday morning once a month from May - September. I love these mornings, just being us females, everybody learning something and having a go. I try to persuade friends to come and give it a shot but no one does! I always go on my own, but that doesn't worry me. It would be great if they held more of these opportunities.

I feel skateboarding is still seen as a male sport. Round here I see no girls on the skate park, only sitting watching the boys. On Instagram I see loads of girls skating, so why aren't they doing it round here?

Besides your ability and style factor as an athlete, how would you describe your personal style? As my byline on my jewelry - with a hint of boho.

What are your favorite brands/designers for your sports apparel and for stepping out? For sports wear I'm a right mix (I've bought most of my exercise gear from TK MAXX as it's cheaper!), for wakeboarding I wear a Mystic Helmet and I am after a Mystic Impact Jacket. My wakeboard and bindings are Liquid Force. My longboard is DStreet.

I'm not designer lead. It's got to be the right fit really and be a design that I like.
I like all 'surf' designers, but I'm also partial to 50's dressing, wide leg trousers, nipped in waists and I love 70's bell bottoms!!

Let’s hear your thoughts on how important looking good is to feeling good. “Being” your personal best? If looking good makes you feel good then go for it. Everyone is different. You need to do what is best for you, it may not be the same as somebody else.

As long as I get to exercise I'm happy!

How dangerous do you really think it is compared to what people do in their regular activities? If you are going to do tricks in any extreme sport you will end up hurting yourself! Regular activities do not involve, going upside down, throwing a bike in the air, being strapped into a something on your feet.

I bet in your experience you have seen some crazy crashes. Describe one. My nemesis is Corner 4 on the cable park at Box End Park...that's all I'm saying! I've seen so many snow skiing accidents, thank goodness more and more people are wearing helmets.

What usually gets people hooked on your activity/sport? Adrenaline. Laughter. Fun. Friendship.

What is your favorite trick? Landing up right!

Do you own any other toys? We've got lots here at home, not all mine though. 2 boys and a middle aged shredder as a husband means we have a lot of toys! Countless skateboards, various bikes and a very very old quad bike in the garage.

What gets you pumped up for the day? Sunshine! 

What are three things you could not live without? Family, water, sun.

Who have been your biggest supporters in getting you to where you are now? Growing up, my Mum & Dad. When I was into skiing they supported my dream to be a ski instructor (turned out it wasn't for me, think I was too young, not as exciting as I thought it'd be). Family summer holidays, finding access to boats to waterski behind.

Nowadays it's my husband, helps that he loves all the sports I do too.

Who’s your favorite rider/shooter (photo/video)? I like to keep up with what 2 of our UK riders are up to - Katie Batchelor and Chloe Anderson. I'm also amazed by surfer Bethany Hamilton - to come back to surfing, to be back at the top of her game, even though she lost an arm to a shark.

What do you do in your spare time when you’re not riding/shooting/competing? See average day! Weekends are about the sport - going to skate parks or wakeboarding, taking the kids down the BMX track, seeing friends.
I have to work some weekends though, doing craft fayres, need to sell my jewels, NokoDesigns.

How about in the off season to stay in shape? Spinning, kettle bells and tennis year round.

What is your biggest goal to accomplish this/next season? See if I can keep my shoulders intact. I keep having a recurring injury.

Trying the new layouts at the cable parks I ride at - Hannam's Wake Hub and Box End Park. Daring to go off higher kickers, to potentially land my toeside jumps.

What do you do to prep for a competition? I don't do competitions.

What competitions and other awards have you won? Include your non sports accomplishments also. All sorts as a kid, don't need to list those!

What’s your favorite “way” to ride? Cable & Boat on wakeboard. I ride 'regular' on my wakeboard. Skis - I love to carve, so need a beautiful pisted piste!

Favorite conditions? Sunshine and no wind, goes for all sports really.

Where would be your biggest dream place to ride and why? Toughy, there are so many amazing cable/boat lakes in America. I keep seeing more and more. I couldn't choose one. Closer to home I'd love to do a family trip to Hip Notics in Turkey.

What song(s) do you listen to while riding that puts you in the zone? I don't listen to music while riding. It's all about the mountain or water. Don't feel I need music.

What turned you on to your sport? Being an active person, these sports just appealed to me. When I had a go I found I could do it, I enjoyed it, liked being one of the boys I guess.

Any new tricks you’re working on? Toeside.

What other extreme/action sports are you into? There are lots of sports I like to watch but don't participate in - BMXing (although I've had a go at that), surfing, downhill skiing, synchro bump skiing. I'm amazed at the speed downhill longboarders go too. Being part of SheShredsCo has opened my eyes to so many other sports too - marathon longboarding, never knew that one existed.

If extreme/action sports didn’t exist, what would you be doing with all the free time you’d have? I'd find something else to do. 

What’s your favorite board/bike/sled to ride and why? My latest board is probably the best. I've ridden so many ill fitting ones, but this one is right for me right now. It's a Liquid Force Delight.

What’s the trick to riding features and not killing yourself? Believe in yourself, commitment. If you are going for a jump you have to go for it. If you bail half way you are going to hurt yourself. Keep your head up, don't look down. Take care when skiing. There are lots of other people around you. You need to be aware of them as well as yourself.

How would you describe your riding style? I've been told by a few people that I am elegant!

What would you say is your signature trick? Behind a boat it is just going in and out of the wake 'elegantly' !!!

Favorite drink of choice to refresh yourself after a long day of riding/shooting? Definitely an ice cold Corona.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I'm already grown up.

Any of your own web pages or social media buttons you want links to? @nokodesignsjewellery &