We haven’t given wakeboarding much column space (January 2010 was the last time), but that’s cavalier treatment for a sport which is not only extreme but a great spectator one too. It is the hottest new water ‘skiing’ sport and although it is both radical and extreme it is also relatively easy to learn.
Really, wakeboarding is a combination of water ski-ing, snowboarding and surfing all rolled tidily into one great new one. Many of the techniques used in these 3 sports will be found in wakeboarding.
Invented in the late 80’s it was immediately obvious that it was a sport with a future. Originally called skiboarding or skurfing, it officially became recognised as wakeboarding in the 1990’s and was added as a competitive sport in the X Games ll.
As with many freestyle sports, wakeboarding has its very own language. I mean, would you know, for example what a Blind Judge movement entailed? or a Tweety Bird for that matter? How’s about a Krypt, or KGB, Moby Dick or a Whaley Bird? Yup… certainly its own language!
And I’m not the only person confused by it. I suggest you follow this link to Wakeboarding Lingo (kindly supplied by wakeboarding.org) to brush up on your knowledge. The site also suggests many “how to’s” to help you get more proficient in the sport.
But basically the trick is to go wakeboarding with friends who already do it. Watch them for a bit and then strap in and get in. Whilst waiting for the boat to start moving, pull your knees to your chest, and point the nose of the board up and toward the boat, perpendicular to the towrope – as the boat begins moving the resistance of the board against the water will pull you quickly to your feet. If you try to stand up you will fall over.
Of course it is not going to be all plain sailing…
You may not get it the first few times, but once you’re up it’s like riding a bike. Once you’re on your feet (!) it’s a good idea to just enjoy going straight for a while to get used to the feel of the board beneath you, but once you have got the hang of that then you can start doing small turns, riding over the wake etc. You’ve reached the stage where you’re forever hooked and all you want to do now is tricks!
A beginner should start on a larger board with square edges as this gives more control and stability. More advanced riders prefer a board with rounded edges because air tricks are easier to land as there is less of a chance of catching an edge when landing. The average length of a wakeboard is between 120-150 centimeters. Width is usually between 38-44 centimeters.
So where’s the best place to wakeboard?
Well – pretty well anywhere where it is on offer! Lakes and rivers with calm water are ideal. All you need is a boat (most important!), a wetsuit – maybe, a wakeboard, life vest and water-ski ropes.
In no time at all you, you can be doing tricks like this (g3houdini00). Ok, well, perhaps not, but there’s no harm in dreaming!