For a Kuwaiti girl to ride a dirtbike or jetski, I didn’t get much support from my family. It’s not a girl’s sport. I tried to take it seriously but they were against it - I used to ride it in the desert totally covered up to hide my identity.
I started wakeboarding in my teenage years. Before that I did motocross and 'standard jetski’. I was raised by a father who encouraged me to do so many different sports: From horseback riding, to range shooting, to watersports… Everything. I was extra hyper when I was little - that’s why my parents encouraged activities sports so I could release my energy. Wakeboarding needs a strong body rather than just a strong mind. I knew how to ride a boat by the age of 14 with my sisters, and I fell in love with the beach… I never took swimming classes, my dad taught me it all. I searched for harder and harder sports to try - ‘Kneeboarding’ became too easy, I wanted to be able to stand on it. It wasn’t easy to start wakeboarding later in life, it was tougher on my body.
The day I tried wake boarding was the last day I rode my motorbike. When I’m on the board looking out on the flat water, I find my happiness and forget about everything; it’s an escape.
I started teaching my friends at our beach house, all day, from sunrise to sunset on the weekends. The Kuwait wakeboarding team started asking me to come train with them some days - but I was the only girl amongst a group of 5 guys. My parents were like, “How are you with only guys? Ask your friends to join you!” Being active on social media really helps. I get my motivation from people’s comments, girls in specific. Thankfully everyone’s had a positive reaction to it.
I encourage girls to try wakeboarding, but their parents are usually against it. I’m trying to start 'girls only' sessions as the percentage of girls joining it now are more than guys. If you insist on doing what you love, you’ll find the success, strength and support you need. I do this for myself.