What is Wakeboarding
Water sports are always fun and one could not imagine the range of sports that involve water be it, in the water, under the water or on the water. It’s quite a big list indeed. On such surface water sports is Wakeboarding which involves a rider to ride on a wakeboard on the surface of water. This sport has evolved as a combination of the techniques used in other related watersports like snowboarding, water skiing and surfing.
The rider, who stands on the board meant for wakeboarding, is towed behind a motor boat or sometimes attached by a cable to the boat. The motorboat travels at a speed of about 17-24 miles per hour. There are various factors that helps in deciding the speed of the board which are enlisted as under-
- Wakeboard size
- How heavy is the rider
- kind of tricks to be performed
- comfortable speed for the rider
- conditions of water
- specifications of the boat like the year, model and make
The board used for wakeboarding is normally made of foam mixed with resin and finally coated with fiberglass. Later the positioning of bindings and fins are adjusted to the rider’s preference. The rider wearing this board along with stationary bindings for both the feet stands sideways, similar to a skateboard rider or snowboard rider. This board is typically wider and also shorter than a snowboard, and measures up to 130-147 cm in length and 45 cm in width. A combination of directions and edging techniques are used to steer the board so that the rider is able to move out of the wake, cut in the wake and also launch into the air. There are several tricks that could be performed during wakeboarding.
The boat meant for wakeboarding is very similar to that of a skiing boat except that the cable or rope is mounted on a tower for about 2mtrs above the waterline. The purpose of such tower is to give a better wake, control and ease for the rider while jumping. The boat is also strategically designed with a ballast system containing ballast bags which helps in giving better displacement thereby enlarging the wake produced. This system works by allowing water to be forced into and out of the bags from the water surrounding the boat.
Wakeboarding is growing very fast in popularity for the fact that it is easy to learn with an opportunity of self- expression. Sources suggest that there are approximately 3.1 million wakeboarders all over the world. Another fact is that Wakeboarding is also a part of X-games. Of course the limiting factor is about the boat costs which could not be affordable by everyone.