Featured Rider: Dixie Smith
Dixie Smith is a stunningly athletic amateur wake boarder, crowd pleaser and president of the 2015 University of Florida wakeboard chapter, however, she also has strong flexible roots that supersede the water and they have groomed her for competition since the age of six. Shortly after learning to walk and run Dixie’s first steps lead her into a gym and directly to the balance beam and uneven bars. Upon entering into college she casted her athletic horizons onto the water and found new purpose for her gymnastic stunts and joined the wake board team.
Gymnast turned wake boarder, Dixie made the transition look easy.
Discipline is key in learning any skill, especially one where the elements of nature are destined to be in play at every competition. Dixie learned the ways of the waves expeditiously and respectfully rides them while gracefully flipping the scene with aerial twists, backflips, side twists and wave crest jumps. Spectators dare to look away as the University of Florida’s wake board team is rad in totality.
The knowledge of anatomy surely plays its part, as Dixie Smith is a senior at U of F and majoring in Biology, Pre dental. She smiles a lot and hales her hometown as Tequesta, Florida. You’d be hard pressed to believe that she’s only been riding for 3-years as of 2015, if you’ve ever seen her on the water, she’s a newcomer with exceptional skill. In an interview Dixie references her love of wakeboarding to being “a water junky.” She yields her attraction to an event that she attended as a spectator at Recsports Recstravaganza when she was “a clueless 18-year old freshman.” She was actually looking to join the UF Surf club, but the excitement of water and gymnastics – combined into one sport, changed her mind and her life. She joined the wake board team and has not looked back.
A huge advocate of female progression in the wake board industry, Dixie is inspired by women athletes that precede her. Her athletic history, love of the water, surfing and gymnastics makes her a fierce competitor and beast in the water. At the age of 20 her sights are focused on education and skill sharpening. Dixie studies and practices daily because repetition is the mother of all skill and her skills are always on display every time she braces the rope to wake after the boat.
“Keep the stoke,” is a greeting term that Dixie uses – she explains its meaning as, “It doesn’t matter where you are, who you are or what you’re doing you should have a smile on your face because someone out there wishes they were in your shoes and honestly, we all have awesome lives.” Dixie is a hometown crowd pleaser and you don’t have to be from Tequesta, Florida to relate or enjoy the feeling she exudes when you see her in competition. Her personality appears to be: part little sister, girl next door, gymnast and cool besty (best friend)! It’s a feeling that comes over you when you see her petite frame taking on and conquering such an awesome and growing water sport as wake boarding. UF is doing more than “hanging 10” in grooming Dixie Smith. It appears this athlete is just getting started and will wow crowds for many competitions to come. If you haven’t already bought your tickets to see her in a water competition near you - walk, run and swim if you must, because for Dixie, this seems like only the beginning of a long and thrilling legacy. Wake up and keep the stoke!