There’s something about being on the water that attracts me and makes me feel a sense of calmness I haven’t experienced anywhere else. The only exception is when I’m strapped to my board and about to go into the World Cup course. Then my heart feels anything but calm.
Being on the water has shaped so much of my life. From adventuring around the islands of the Stockholm Archipelago in our eight-horsepower skiff by myself when I was 10 years old, to meeting my future husband on a wakeboard boat in the United States. For the past 12 years I’ve been traveling the world, chasing my dreams as a competitive wakeboarder; for a long time traveling was my way of life. I’ve lived in six different countries and I have more stamps in my passport than I can count, but these days I call Wilmington, North Carolina home.
I started wakeboarding in Stockholm, Sweden behind the skiff I mentioned earlier. It was always windy during the day so we would spend our days fishing or exploring the islands (my grandpa was a retired commercial fisherman). Around 9:00 p.m. the wind calmed down and that's when we would put on our full suits and enjoy the glassy water of the Baltic Sea, wakeboarding on 1000-foot-deep waters and enjoying the Swedish summer. Due to Sweden being so far north, we’d have light all the way until 11:00 p.m.
As I grew older, my dad and I joined a local water ski-club to try and progress our riding a bit more and meet like-minded people. You paid a yearly membership of around $200, helped out whenever the grass needed cutting or the little clubhouse needed painting, you brought your own gas and you got to use the club’s ski boat. I had always loved being on the water, but this was the first time I found a community of wakeboarders and water-skiers who quickly became the most important people in my life.
I wasn’t a very popular kid in school at the time but the ski club would have “youth Wednesdays,” where I met some of my best friends. My newfound passion gave me confidence that transferred into my school life where wakeboarding quickly became part of my identity. After I graduated high school, I decided to take a chance and try and make it as a professional wakeboarder.
In the beginning, I would take whatever job I could if it kept me close to the lakes and gave me a chance to train. I cleaned boats, worked as a watersport instructor and a salesperson in boat shops. I chased the summer and lived in the northern hemisphere (Sweden, the US and Spain) half the year, then headed south (Australia, Thailand and the Philippines) for the other half! Eventually my pro career started to take off as I started winning contests and picking up sponsors that wanted to support my journey.
Today I am lucky enough to call my boat my office, and to spend my days doing what I love full-time. My community of like-minded people grew along with my wakeboarding career, and I connected with people all over the world. To keep in touch with my new friends, I started an Instagram account. At first, I was hesitant to dive into the world of social media. I feared that these apps would disconnect me from reality and make me lose touch with what truly matters. I’d rather experience life offline than walk around with my eyes glued to my phone or chasing likes.
However, as my trips grew longer I found that using social media was the best way for me to stay in touch with all the people I met during my travels. I even began to enjoy it as people I didn't even know started connecting with me and shared recommendations of places to visit or food to try wherever I was. They appreciated the tricks I shared, following my everyday life and learning what being a professional wakeboarder looked like. It seemed as if Instagram and wakeboarding suddenly became my key to the world because soon I was sleeping on my friends’ friends’ couches and riding with locals after competitions. I also started picking up sponsors from brands I believed in and sharing them on my platforms. My online community grew into what I now call my “Insta family.” These days, I get as much from them as I hope they get from me.
So why am I telling you all of this? Hopefully, I will be a part of your community too, as I am one of the authors of the Ripl Hub. Spending as much time as I do on my boat, I hope to be able to help inspire and share some of my own trips and tricks with you, and also hear about your life hacks for making boat ownership easier.
I’m so glad you’re here, see you next time! Carro @wakecarro