The cool new sport of wakeboarding has kids leaping, spinning and catching some big air on lakes and in coves all over the country. Rapidly rising in popularity, the sport appeals to anyone who loves extreme excitement on the water.
What is Wakeboarding?
Basically, wakeboarding is the sport of riding a short, wide board somewhat like a surfboard while being towed behind a motor boat. Wakeboarders fly over the water while performing all sorts of acrobatic maneuvers constantly thriving on the challenge of learning new and more complex tricks each time they head out on the water. Typically, the boat travels between 16 and 25 mph, with speed determined by the rider’s weight and comfort level as well as the board size and the types of tricks being performed. Wakeboards can also be towed by personal water craft.
What is the History of Wakeboarding?
A cool combination of waterskiing, surfing and snowboarding, wakeboarding was originally called skurfing and got started after the advent of snowboarding. The sport began in Australia and New Zealand. It was renamed ski boarding and took off around the world, with the first World Skiboard Championships held in 1989 in Kauai, Hawaii.
What Kind of Equipment Do You Need for Wakeboarding?
Although a regular runabout is fine for wakeboarding, a true wakeboarding boat has a wakeboard tower made of stainless steel or aluminum tubing. This tower places the pull point about seven feet off the surface of the water, a high tow point that makes it easier to jump and get sufficient air for stunts and tricks. Some modern wakeboarding boats even have ballast tanks that increase water displacement, producing a bigger wake.
What Sorts of Tricks Do Wakeboarders Do?
Wakeboarders can move outside the wake or cut inward, with jumps performed by riding up the wake and launching into the air. Popular tricks have lots of cool names much like snowboarding maneuvers. It’s fun to work toward progressing from beginner to intermediate and maybe even expert levels, learning tricks with funky names like fashion air, air raley, blind judge, krypt, batwing and tantrum.
Can You Wakeboard Without a Boat?
Amazingly, there’s been a system developed whereby fans of this extreme sport can perform wakeboarding tricks without the expense of a boat. Wakeboarders use an overhead cable-ski system consisting of a series of towers, or masks, surrounding a small lake. Overhead cables rotate around the lake with ski ropes attached for pulling a rider or skier along the wake. Some wakeboarders, especially beginners, prefer the system because you can do all the tricks you can do from a boat without associated expenses. Cable boarding is really green too, as you can practice tricks all day long without burning lots of gas or dodging other boats on a crowded lake.
Where Can I Wakeboard?
Wakeboarding is a popular sport on rivers, lakes and any relatively calm body of water. You can head out on a friend’s boat or try the cool sport at a cable wakeboarding facility. Always remember to wear a lifejacket and helmet and to have two people in the boat, one to drive and one to watch the boarder. Many summer camps have added wakeboarding to their list of lively lakefront activities, and some camps even have dedicated programs allowing kids to specialize in wakeboarding and waterskiing.
Canadian Adventure Camp is a coed overnight summer camp for kids located on a beautiful private island in the wilderness lakes region of Temagami. Founded in 1975, it provides acclaimed programs to children from around the world! Visit site: http://www.canadianadventurecamp.com/about/about-our-canadian-summer-camp/