Going back to competitive Wakeboarding at 40 by wakeboard legend Darin Shapiro

The last 6 months of my my life have consisted of training, training, and more training. I have decided to go and do what I thought I would never do as I thought competitive wakeboarding was a sport for teenagers and twenty somethings. After my 5 year old starting riding and asking me to ride I thought “hey this is fun but that doesn’t give me the right to think I could go out and have any kind of chance competing against the best guys in the world” but, as I went out and rode something amazing happened.

The wakes had gotten way bigger and the boards have gotten way better than what I remembered! For the most part what I was trying to accomplish years ago was quite a bit easier going now. I was having so much fun and the harder stuff felt easier than I had remembered.

But, I am 40. I have been trampoline training a couple of hours per week, I’ve been putting in 5 hours a week in the gym, I have been mountain biking a ton and riding the cable and boat. My diet is mostly vegetarian or fish and I’m religious about the quality and type of supplements I take which I have researched for years.


Darin Shapiro
pic: Tanya Pavlis

Where does this put me as far as being ready to take on the Pro Wakeboard Tour at my age? I have no idea but I love being in the best shape of my life and riding a wakeboard with virtually no pain especially considering that I have been going pretty hard in my book. Kelly Slater is the best example I can give about what can be accomplished in watersports at 40 plus. Though surfing is different in regard to what type of load we put on our bodies he is the “bees knees” and I am immensely inspired by Kelly.

I have reminded myself daily that I love this process and trying to up my game has got me feeling more alive than ever. I challenge everyone out there to challenge themselves because that is where I find the most happiness and I hope you do to!