Water sports are very popular among many people, but some of them are lesser known than others. While we all know what surfing is, what is wakeboarding?
Today, we will take the time to go into detail about what exactly wakeboarding is.
A wakeboard is a type of water sport equipment that allows riders to perform various maneuvers such as flips, spins, jumps, and other stunts. The board itself is usually attached to a boat or jet ski.
Wakeboarding was invented in the 1970s by Larry Bertlemann, who wanted to create a new form of surfing. He created the first wakeboard at his home in California. Since then, wakeboarding has become a very popular sport.
Wakeboards are designed to allow riders to perform tricks in the air without using their feet. They are also known as water skis because they resemble those devices.
However, unlike water skis, which have two wheels on each side, wakeboards only have one wheel on each side. This makes them easier to use than traditional water skis.
The board itself is made from plastic, fiberglass, wood, carbon fiber, or some combination of these materials. It should be long enough so that it can easily reach the surface of the water.
Riders attach themselves to the board with straps called bindings. These are similar to snowboard bindings but are specifically designed for wakeboarding.
Riders must wear protective gear including helmets, goggles, gloves, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.
Riders typically ride behind a boat or jet ski, although there are many different types of boats used for this purpose. Some people prefer riding behind a boat while others like to ride behind a jet ski. Either way, the rider attaches himself to the back of the boat or jet ski with a strap called a tow-rope.
The boat or jet ski pulls the rider through the water at speeds up to 40 mph (64 km/h). As the boat or jet ski moves forward, the rider performs tricks in the air.
Tips For Starting Wakeboarding
It is never easy to learn a new sport, it will always be a challenge, however, it is good news for many that wakeboarding is one of the water sports that you can pick up easier than others.
You can simply start off your new wakeboarding hobby by reading tips and tricks to make your first time trying it out more of a success.
The most important thing you should learn is the foot with which you should lead.
Get an idea of which foot to lead with by running in a straight line, then briskly halt. As you stop, notice the foot you put out in front to stop yourself from continuing. The foot you use to stop is probably going to be your lead foot for wakeboarding.
When you first try standing on a wakeboard, you should put a majority of your weight on your front/ leading foot. Keep yourself close to the board and keep your legs straight. Do not try to stand up quickly, this is an easy way to end up falling off.
Do You Need Special Gear To Wakeboard?
If you feel like trying wakeboarding, one of the best places to go is a wakeboarding center that will give you lessons. They will also have all the equipment you need to get started.
However, if you want to do it solo, without the help of a wakeboarding center you will need a few things to get you going.
You need a boat to pull you along of course. The type of boat you use will also have a large impact on how you will wakeboard. Axis boats, Calabria’s and Bay-liners are some of the best boats for this sport.
You will need the board of course. You should buy a double ended board with a fin to get you started, these are the most stable boards to balance, and so they will be best for a beginner level wakeboarder.
There are different bindings you need. Velcro is best for beginners and is easily adjustable. However, you can also use high back boot ones as they are best for tricks, and adjustable boot bindings are more supportive.
A Wet Suit
You need to have a wetsuit, and the thickness will vary depending on the conditions you intend on wakeboarding in. As a beginner you will likely end up in the water a lot. In cool areas, a 5/4 mm suit is probably the most suitable.
If you are unsure, ask professionals and experienced wakeboarders what is best for you.
You will need a rope as well. You should use a non-stretching rope as a beginner. And the shorter it is, the more control you will have as you learn. As you gain more experience you can play around with the types of ropes you will use, and get more stretch.
A Buoyancy Aid
Okay it does not look cool to have a buoyancy aid, but it is required. You are meant to use this, especially as a beginner. Just do it. It is for your safety and will help you.
Let’s not forget the safety equipment you need, and more you will also need.
There are many fun water sports out there, but wakeboarding is definitely one of the most fun you can do!
Wakeboarding is a great and fun water sport, it is unique as it utilizes a boat, and you do not have to rely on waves to have a great time.
That being said, do not be irresponsible as things can still go wrong, and it can still be dangerous to do if you are not careful. It is always best to attend wakeboarding lessons before you begin.
It might not feel cool to have lessons and to use that buoyancy aid, but it is worth it to be the best at the sport, and remember, everyone has to start somewhere.