On the Water with Sasha Christian
Born and raised in Singapore, Sasha Christian is most at home in the water. At the tender age of three, Sasha was already waterskiing with her family. And although she made the switch to a wakeboard at five, she still crushes the slalom ski competition when she is not standing sideways. By the time she turned 11, Sasha had already captured a bronze medal in wake at the Asian Championships in China. Since then, she has stacked up accolades in major competition and is now performing full time as an athlete.
And while she still calls Singapore home, she spends more and more time abroad training, competing and exploring the world. As of now, she is on the upswing from a sidelining injury back in 2016 and preparing for the Southeast Asian Games and Wakeboard World Champs. We caught up with her recently to get the lowdown on balancing wake and ski, her recovery, and what's next in 2017.
GoPro: On a day free of competition or training, which do you choose to do out on the water: ski or wakeboard?
Sasha: That's a tough question, but if I had to pick one, it'd be wakeboarding. With wakeboarding, I can have a really intense set, or I could go out with friends and do a chill set and just enjoy being out on the boat.
What is the biggest challenge switching back and forth from wake to ski?
When I slalom ski, the boat travels at 55kph [34mph] so I have to be completely on the ball and extremely alert all the time. When I wakeboard, though, the boat goes at 37kph [23mph] and so there's a little more time to think before executing a trick. After a weekend of wakeboarding, it can be tricky to adjust back to that slalom mindset.
What was the recovery process like from your injury in 2016?
I had an impact fracture on my tibia last year and initially I thought it would take just three months to heal. Unfortunately, there was some cartilage damage, too, so it ended up taking seven months. I did everything I could to keep my routine- I drove the boat and coached, went to the gym for upper body training. At times, it was difficult when I saw my competitors improve. But when I realized that I couldn't control whatever happens around me, it taught me to focus on improving myself daily instead.
After your stint in Florida for comps and training, what is next in 2017?
I'll be taking part in the Southeast Asian Games this month. After the Games, I plan to go back to Florida to train for the Wakeboard World Championships. It'll be my first Wakeboard Worlds since 2013, so I'm pretty excited for it.
You’ve used GoPros to capture your life for a couple years; what is your favorite thing/aspect about GoPro?
I love how versatile the GoPro is. I literally take it with me everywhere, whether it's swimming in the ocean or jumping off cliffs. There are so many cool features on it, and I love experimenting on different kind of shots. I recently brought it to Disneyworld and took pictures in night lapse mode and was blown away by the results.