Some may describe wakeboarding as a thrill, and some may say it’s the perfect balance of sports and fun, but what is
it? Wakeboarding is considered a form of surfing that focuses on upper body strength, balance, and technique. In conclusion, the actual sports involved balancing your body on a wide board while maneuvering your body through the waves while being tied to the back of a motorboat. To some, it is the perfect summer sport, and to others, like Ulises, it represents strength, willpower, and a lot of hard work.
Ulises Ceballos, a 15-year-old Spanish passionate wake boarder, walks us through his wakeboarding journey and why he considers himself in element when he is in the water! Ulises started wakeboarding four years ago, as he enjoys all sorts of sports, especially water sports. “Sports that make my blood rush and give me freedom is what I seek, and that’s why my favorite sports are wakeboarding and surfing.” But, for Ulises, it was not always a smooth ride for him. At a younger age, he used to be frightened of the water. One sunny day at Katara in Doha, his father placed him on a board next to him and went into the deep water and simply said Go for it! “At first I was reluctant and did not want to jump in deep water” he says, “but then, I went in with my boots and board and felt like the world had changed. I got up on my board and wake-boarded for the first time.” From there, Ulises never looked back. Ulises describes his best experience with wakeboarding as rewarding and thrilling. “It was my first time landing and inverting in front of an audience”, his family and friends cheered him along for the rest of the day, no one could believe it was his first attempt at inverting! “I kept smiling the whole day, I never had a wider smile!” In the future, Ulises definitely wants to pursue wakeboarding as a professional, “with hard work and dedication, I believe I can do it!”
Ulises moved to Qatar in 2011, and started wakeboarding roughly two years after that. He says that he is blessed to be here because he’s able to wakeboard pretty much all year long, thanks to the weather and salty see all year long. Even if it is windy outside, which is quite rare for Qatar, he trains at home on the trampoline. But, the disadvantage of being a wake boarder in Qatar is the lack of professional support and coaching In order to receive professional coaching, Ulises travels abroad and attends intensive camps to learn as much as possible in a very short time. “I
think that with time Qatar will have its own professional community and will grow to be recognized globally.” Also, the local community is not always very familiar or exposed to wakeboarding, “people tend to be surprised, some don’t know what wakeboarding is and why it is a big deal, and others want to know more!”
When asked about the wakeboard community in Qatar, Ulises said, “The small wake-boarding community in Qatar is great. Everyone is very encouraging welcoming and friendly. I definitely have connected with people in the water by telling them how to improve a certain move or inviting them on our boat!”