We caught up with Bavarian wake wizard Mari Sandner to chat coaching, competing and making wakeboarding olympic!
Interview by Anna Langer
Hey Mari, what have you been up to this summer?
I’m working as a proper school teacher now but in my spare time I’m on the water as much as I can!
You won the “Wake Masters” event in the Munich Olympiapark last year – what was that like?
I won the Wake-Master Tour Stop last year in Munich. It’s a very special location in the middle of the Olympialake with an amazing atmosphere. This year I got 2nd. So I’m also happy with my result.
What is it like to wakeboard in a public lake in the middle of a big city – that is your home town, to put the cherry on top?
Exactly! It’s the cherry on the top. My family and my friends came to the Wake-Master event and screamed and cheered for me. Most of the time I travel to competitions on my own and don’t have my family and friends around, so that was very special for me.
Are you still competing a lot?
Yes of course. I have big plans! The European Championships in Toulouse are coming up and the World Championships at the Philippines and there are some other smaller contests in Germany. This year I’m organizing the first Bavarian Championships for wakeboard and wakeskate at my homecable in Wörth on the 13th of October.
You’ve always been competing a lot…
Yeah, I am competing a lot. I just had a 2 years competition break because of an injury. But now I’m back and good in shape!
Do you enjoy the pressure and adrenaline of contest riding?
In general I like it, but sometimes it’s also hard to combine travelling around with my job. I’m in luck that the head master of my school is supporting me as well and I have a lot of holidays! And nowadays, if there is a day I don’t like to compete, I won’t do it anymore.
Which contest do you like best and why?
I like the Wake Masters Tour. It’s perfect to bring Wakeboarding in the middle of big cities and show all the people that wakeboarding is so much fun and everybody can try it.
What about filming, is that a big thing in wakeboarding yet?
I love filming and shooting. That’s what me pushes the most. I’m also pushed in the competitions but that is whole other vibe. When you go filming or shooting you can try crazy tricks and you don’t have to stick them in one try. You can try it again and again till you are satisfied with the result of the shot. It’s more like a cool session with friends or teammates and you don’t have the pressure from the contests.
We filmed a lot the last two years with my wakeboard crew “Wakejunkies” but the film is not ready yet. I have my own part in there… unfortunately it was not a professional filming team behind us so it costs us a lot of time and money to do it on our own. Hopefully the film is coming out once. I will let you know!
What other plans do you have for the rest of the year?
I will ride as much as I can and enjoy the summertime. It’s always gone too fast anyways. I concentrated a lot on getting more girls into wakeboarding this year with some Girls Camps that I was coaching. And I did my trainee license so I’m allowed to train the best girl riders who are in the federation in Germany now. That’s awesome to bring the sport into direction olympia step by step.
How do you spend your winter?
I guess I will stay here in Munich. In November I’m competing in the Worlds Championships in the Philippines and after that I need a wakeboard break. I will be on my snowboard during the wintertime and in February I will start wakeboarding again.
Mari rides fro Protest, O’Brien, Jetpilot, Kopfarbeit, Chicas Boardshop, and Wakelake Wörth