MAK­ING WAVES

Leigh Fulk­er­son plays polo — pos­si­bly the world’s first ex­treme sport — in and around Austin, Texas. She also spends a ton of time wakesurf­ing be­hind her Nau­tique G23 on Lake Austin. We asked her about both kinds of rid­ing. — Pete Mc­Don­ald

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What traits help you ex­cel at polo?

Polo is like a huge game of chess with a healthy dose of hockey. Throw in a lit­tle ten­nis­like hand-eye co­or­di­na­tion too.

What’s the big­gest rush from play­ing it?

Just sit­ting on a 1,000-pound an­i­mal is a rush all in it­self. Add seven other play­ers, a big stick (mal­let) and a lit­tle white ball — all at around 35 mph.

When did you start wakesurf­ing?

I started four sum­mers ago. When we got the G23, I re­ally started spend­ing some time on the wa­ter. And when I say time, I mean I’ve put 987 hours on it in four years.

Can you com­pare rid­ing a polo pony to a wave?

They’re more sim­i­lar than you would think. Both are un­pre­dictable and take bal­ance and a ton of core strength.

Looks like you have a lot of fun on the wa­ter.

We started the trend of the party wave. We were the first to surf dou­bles and triples be­hind a wake­boat. Our crown­ing achieve­ment is four girls on four boards and no rope.

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