Wakeboarding has been described as skateboarding or snowboarding behind a boat, its a mix of skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing and water skiing. Its surfing the wake of a boat, whilst being towed on a rope.
Its one of the biggest growth sports state side, and is a very social sports, as you need a few of you to partake in the sport. One to drive the boat, one on the rope and one to spot you when you fall off.
Getting started is easy if you follow these simple steps. Have the right equipment, the latest pro board is not always the best to learn with. Give yourself a chance and get a board that is forgiving & helps you to progress. A larger board with one or more large rear fins helps to give the board direction which is important when learning. For more info on choosing a board, click here.
A shorter rope - about 15 meters (50') gets you closer to the boat in a bigger wake, this will be helpful for learning to wakeboard, you can find more information on ropes and handles here.A buoyancy vest is not only basic safety equipment but it will also save you a lot of energy. The driver should remember that you need a lot less speed to get going and to stay planing than water skiing. 35-40 kph max. A wakeboard offers more resistance when starting, so start slowly!
Your first step is determining whether you are regular (left-foot-forward) or goofy (right-foot-forward) . For those of you who skateboard or snowboard, this is easy. lf this is your first board sport, don't panic. Stand up, feet together and have someone push you from behind (sorry - on land). Whichever foot goes forward first is your lead foot. Check out our feature article on this topic here.
Wake boarding has the inherent dangers of all water sports, plus the dangers of motor power boats, with screw propellers. As wakeboarding is such a social sport, you will always have other people looking out for you whilst you are in the water, but this does not mean that you are safe all the time.