A lot goes into what it takes to become a world champion wake surfer, not just once, but five times over. This month, we speak with local wakesurfing athlete Ashley Kidd, on all things nutrition, competition preparation, mental toughness and more.
AFM: What first got you into wake surfing?
KIDD: I learned how to wakesurf in 2009. My brother taught me how to wakesurf and was the person to push me to try it out. I actually didn’t want to try it out at first!
AFM: What is training like while getting ready to compete?
KIDD: I like to keep my training fun and pretty mellow. I just go do what I love to do while I try and perfect all of my tricks, whether it’s going bigger on them or learning something I haven’t done before and trying it a million times. I always try to stay upbeat and positive when I am out practicing. I very rarely will get frustrated because I am just happy to be out doing what I love. I always listen to music loud and let my body take over!
AFM: How much of a role does nutrition play in your day-to-day? What about during training?
KIDD: I am a very healthy eater! I believe that what I put into my body is how well my body will perform and function, so I make sure to eat a lot of lean meats, fruits and veggies. I also make sure I am never hungry especially before wakesurfing or working out.
AFM: What are some other things you do out of the water to help you train?
KIDD: I love all different types of workouts! I am the type of person that likes to push myself out of my comfort zone and shock my body by doing different workouts constantly.
I love spin, yoga, pilates, weight lifting, orange theory and bouldering.
AFM: What went through your mind when you won your first World Champion title?
KIDD: I was literally in shock when I won my first title. It had been something I had worked for every day and what I had my mind set on every day when I woke up. To finally complete that goal is still something that is hard for me to process and believe!
AFM: Describe a time when you thought about quitting, and what made you get back on the board?
KIDD: In 2018 at the World Championships, I performed the worst I ever had at Worlds. I was very frustrated with myself mentally before going into that event. It was hard for me to get in the right mindset after winning four World Titles in a row. I felt so much pressure on myself to get my fifth title. I ended up psyching myself out, and that is why I didn’t perform great. I had put the time and effort in every day to be able to perform well and win the event, but my mindset was so off that I just didn’t pull through. I felt like I wanted to quit because I had put so much into training for the event and I didn’t follow through. After about a month after the event, I realized I needed to do more mental work and meditating to be able to get in the right mindset and that it would be a new obstacle for myself to overcome. I am not the type of person to give up, so I ended up learning even more new tricks and doing yoga almost every day to try and get a better mind and body connection. I just won my fifth world title in 2020. I know that wakesurfing is what I LOVE to do whether I am competing, winning or losing, so no matter what, it won’t be something I will ever give up on. It is a part of my life and a part of me!
AFM: What is a piece of advice you have for other fitness competitors?
KIDD: Put 100% of your heart and soul into what you love, and your energy and the benefits will come! Never give up on what you love.
AFM: Final Q: Lake Travis vs. Lake Austin — which is your favorite to surf in?
KIDD: That is a hard question! Both lakes have so many great things about them.
I would have to say Lake Austin on a glassy day with no one on the lake. I love the big hills surrounding the lake and the 360 bridge. It just feels like home!