Wakeboarding
Overview
 
Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing
Water skiing
thumb|right|A slalom skier making a turn on a slalom waterski.Waterskiing is a sport where an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water, skimming the surface.-History:...

, snow boarding and surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

 techniques.

The rider is usually towed behind a motorboat
Motorboat
A motorboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a...

, typically at speeds of 17-24 miles per hour, depending on the water conditions, board size, rider's weight, type of tricks, and rider's comfort speed.
Discussions
Encyclopedia
Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. It was developed from a combination of water skiing
Water skiing
thumb|right|A slalom skier making a turn on a slalom waterski.Waterskiing is a sport where an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water, skimming the surface.-History:...

, snow boarding and surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

 techniques.

The rider is usually towed behind a motorboat
Motorboat
A motorboat is a boat which is powered by an engine. Some motorboats are fitted with inboard engines, others have an outboard motor installed on the rear, containing the internal combustion engine, the gearbox and the propeller in one portable unit.An inboard/outboard contains a hybrid of a...

, typically at speeds of 17-24 miles per hour, depending on the water conditions, board size, rider's weight, type of tricks, and rider's comfort speed. This speed could also depend on the year, make, and model of the boat because some boats, which are not designed for wakeboarding, create a different size wake which the rider may not feel comfortable with. But a wakeboarder can also be towed by other means, including closed-course cable systems
Cable skiing
.Cable skiing is a way to water ski , where the skier's rope and handle are pulled by an electrically driven cable, whereas traditionally a waterskier is pulled by a motorboat. The mechanism consists of two cables running parallel to one another with carriers between them every 80 metres. The...

, winches, PWCs
Personal water craft
A personal water craft , also called water scooter, is a recreational watercraft that the rider rides or stands on, rather than inside of, as in a boat....

, trucks/cars, and ATVs
All-terrain vehicle
An all-terrain vehicle , also known as a quad, quad bike, three wheeler, or four wheeler, is defined by the American National Standards Institute as a vehicle that travels on low pressure tires, with a seat that is straddled by the operator, along with handlebars for steering control...

.

Basics and History

Wakeboarding is organized by the International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) founded in 1946. Previously called the International Waterski Federation (Renamed the IWWF in 2009). The IWWF has been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as official partner since 1967. Wakeboarding is part of the World Games (Non Olympic Games patronized by IOC) since 2005. The IWWF has more than 90 Member Nations all over the World and is organizing the Nationals Championships together with this Federations all over the globe. IWWF also hosts IWWF World Championships, the IWWF World Cup, the IWWF World Trophy and hundreds of international competitions. With more than 90 affiliate countries, hundreds of clubs and thousands of members the IWWF is the global leader in the sports of waterski and wakeboarding.

The IWWF and its Cable Wakeboard World Council (CWWC) is a rider formed voluntary nonprofit working council which organizing and promote the sport on a worldwide level. It is the group for organizing competitions, developing the Cable Wakeboard World Rules, formats, judging criteria, educating Judges and helping organizers to running the competitions. The CWWC is specialist in running the sports part of events under fair conditions for all riders, fair and fast judging, perfect just in time timetables, live and online results and TV Production Results Interfaces for Live Streaming or Live TV Productions. For more Information and upcoming events please look at IWWF or Cablewakeboard.net.

There are also other independent competitions run by for profit companies around the world including Red Bull and the World Wakeboard Association (WWA).

Beginnings of wakeboarding

Wakeboarding arose in the late 1980s after the advent of skiboarding (now snowboarding).

"Skurfing" was actually created in Scotland by an extreme sports pro called Lochlan Snowie. He lent a 'Skurf board' to Jeff Darby and friends in Queensland, Australia who started to make their own and who later came in contact with Tony Finn who was to later produce their brand 'Skurfer' under royalty. On the other side of the world in 1983, Howard Jacobs created several wakeboards by mounting windsurfing foot straps and partial hydroslide pads on some smaller surfboards that he had shaped; by 1984, he was throwing backflips on the St. Johns River in Jacksonville, Florida.

Many years prior to Tony Finn and the 'Skurfer', Australian surfboard shaper and inventor Bruce McKee along with associate Mitchell Ross, launched in Australia, the world's first mass-produced plastic, roto-moulded construction 'Skurfboard' named the 'Mcski', later 'SSS' skiboard and later 'Wake-snake'. The board had adjustable rubber foot-straps, concave tunnel bottom and a keel fin. Two smaller side fins were later added for greater hold and more maneuverability. McKee and Ross also applied for and were granted two patents, one in 1984 for a basic adjustable binding system and the other in 1985 for a patent for their adjustable plate type foot strap system.

Bruce McKee and associate Mitchell Ross negotiated with USA's Medalist Waterskis and the first American production was launched. The launch of the product, American version being named the 'Surf-Ski' was in 1984 at Chicago's 'IMTEC'show. At the show McKee also met Tony Finn who would be the proposed Californian representative. Tony Finn went on to do his own negotiations with Darby and company from Australia and the result as mentioned above were the US boards later launched under the 'Skurfer' brand name. The name was supplied by the guys from Darby who also supplied the first board designs.

The term "wakeboarding" was coined by Paul Fraser(Vancouver, Canada), as well as the concept and design, along with his brother Murray and a Pro snowboarder they sponsored. Paul approached Herb O'Brien with the idea and the introduction of the "liquid force" boards, named by Eric "The Flyin Hawaiian" Perez, laid the groundwork for evolution of the wakeboard throughout the 1990s.

The World Skiboard Association was founded in 1989 and the First World Skiboard Championships was held on the Island of Kauai, Hawaii, on the Wailua River. The next year Eric Perez defended his title against Darin Shapiro. This is when the Hyperlite wakeboard was introduced. The first US Nationals were held later that same year in Colorado Springs, CO on Prospect lake, hosted by Tommy Phillips. Competitions began popping up around the United States throughout the early 1990s. Wakeboarding was added as a competitive sport in the X Games II
X Games
The X Games is a commercial annual sports event, controlled and arranged by US sports broadcaster ESPN, which focuses on action sports. The inaugural X Games was held in the summer of 1995 in Rhode Island....

. The World Skiboard Association "changed its focus" and was re- named the World Wakeboard Association (WWA).

Boards

Boards are buoyant with the core usually made up of foam or honeycomb mixed with resin and coated with fiberglass. Metal screws are inserted to attach bindings and fins.

The configuration and positioning of the fins and bindings varies according to rider preference and is adjusted for a variety of reasons. A wakeboarder will change the type of fins they use for different types of tricks. For example, shallow fins (which do not protrude into the water very far) are better for surface tricks, such as flat spins. Many newer board models contain small moulded fins on the board which allows the rider to use smaller centre fins and also to create less drag.

Board hardware is often set up to allow a rider to ride "Switch" or Fakie, with either foot forward. Such setups are usually symmetrical in layout. New riders normally set up their boards to be comfortable to ride with their "natural" foot forward, which does not allow for riding Switch without modifications.

For best results and easy wakeboarding, this sport is normally done in lakes, though the intercoastal waterways are also becoming popular.

Boats

The most common difference between a regular runabout and a wakeboarding boat is the wakeboard tower, normally constructed of thick-walled stainless steel
Stainless steel
In metallurgy, stainless steel, also known as inox steel or inox from French "inoxydable", is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5 or 11% chromium content by mass....

 or aluminum tubing, which places the "pull point" about 2 metres (7 ft) off the water's surface. The high tow point gives the rider more control and ease jumping up onto the board. Most modern wakeboarding boats also have a variable ballast system, which allows for water to be pumped into and out of ballast bags from the surrounding water. Adding ballast increases displacement
Displacement (fluid)
In fluid mechanics, displacement occurs when an object is immersed in a fluid, pushing it out of the way and taking its place. The volume of the fluid displaced can then be measured, as in the illustration, and from this the volume of the immersed object can be deduced .An object that sinks...

, and consequently enlarges the wake
Wake
A wake is the region of recirculating flow immediately behind a moving or stationary solid body, caused by the flow of surrounding fluid around the body.-Fluid dynamics:...

 produced.

A significant portion of wakeboarding boats utilize V-drive
V-drive
V-drive is a propulsion system for boats that consists of two drive shafts, a gearbox, and a propeller. In a "V-drive" boat the engine is mounted in the rear of the boat and the front of the engine faces aft. Connected to the rear of the engine is the transmission. The first drive shaft connects...

 propulsion. These boats have a regular inboard engine, but are turned 180° such that the transmission
Transmission (mechanics)
A machine consists of a power source and a power transmission system, which provides controlled application of the power. Merriam-Webster defines transmission as: an assembly of parts including the speed-changing gears and the propeller shaft by which the power is transmitted from an engine to a...

 is in front of the engine, rather than behind, which is the more common layout. The prop shaft exits the transmission towards the rear of the boat, so that the prop is placed directly under the engine. When viewed from the side, such a layout appears as a "V" lying on its side. This layout allows for better weight distribution(with the engine farther aft), and places the prop farther forward, which reduces the danger of the spinning prop near the stern
Stern
The stern is the rear or aft-most part of a ship or boat, technically defined as the area built up over the sternpost, extending upwards from the counter rail to the taffrail. The stern lies opposite of the bow, the foremost part of a ship. Originally, the term only referred to the aft port section...

 of the vessel, where riders enter and exit the water.

Riding

Using edging techniques, the rider can move outside of the wake or cut rapidly in toward the wake. Jumps are performed by hitting the wake and launching into the air. This can also be done by hitting a kicker (a jump). There is also the slider (a rail bar)in which a rider approaches and rides along keeping his balance. Once a rider improves in the sport, he or she can progress to tricks high in the air. As the rope tightens the rider gains speed and momentum toward the wake. When the rider goes airborne, the tightened rope launches him. While in the air the rider attempts to do tricks. Tricks vary from beginner to intermediate.

Rocker

The "rocker" is the bend in a wakeboard from tip to tail. There are many various types of rocker shapes, but the most common are the continuous and three-stage rocker. A continuous rocker is a smooth curve that does not change from tip to tail, while a three-stage rocker has two distinct bend points, almost like a skateboard
Skateboard
A skateboard is typically a specially designed plywood board combined with a polyurethane coating used for making smoother slides and stronger durability, used primarily for the activity of skateboarding. The first skateboards to reach public notice came out of the surfing craze of the early 1960s,...

 deck but not nearly as drastic.

Wakeboards with continuous rocker are faster to ride because the water flows without disruption across the bottom of the wakeboard. Wakeboards with a three-stage rocker push more water in front of the wakeboard, making the ride slower, however riders are able to jump higher off the water because of the three-stage rocker which increases the "pop" off the wake.

Length

Throughout the years different riders have been known to ride wakeboards that may seem too big or too small for them according to the manufacturer’s sizing chart. The reason is that wakeboards a size smaller or a size bigger can help distinguish a certain style of riding. Using a smaller wakeboard will make the wakeboard feel lighter, spin faster and seem more aggressive but also make landing neatly more difficult. Using a larger wakeboard lends a slower, smoother style.

Width

The width of a wakeboard directly affects how high it sits in the water. There are three places to check wakeboard widths: tips and tails – those are generally the same – and in the middle. Narrower tips and tails sit lower and make the wakeboard turn more aggressively. Wider tips and tails allow for more surface tricks, and a better release for spins off the wake. However, the main variable that changes with the width of the middle of the wakeboard is the height that can be gained off the water - the wider the middle of the board, the higher it will sit in the water and the harder it will bounce off the wake.

Bottom design

There are many different bottom designs in wakeboards – it is a feature wakeboard shapers use to express their own style. On the bottom of the wakeboard you will see concaves, channels or maybe nothing at all. Each performs a different function, fine-tuning how the wakeboard rides through the water according to its width from tip to tail, fin setup, rocker and tip and tail shape.

Concaves create lift and make the wakeboard sit higher in the water. Ever so simply, concaves in different areas of the wakeboard created lift in different areas of the wakeboard. For instance, a double concave in the middle and a single concave in the tip and tail keep the wakeboard riding higher in the water overall. But the double concave in the middle will always sit higher than the single concave.

Channels act like long fins. It’s something for the water to run into and along to help the wakeboard edge harder. If there are channels through the middle of the wakeboard and not at the tip or tail, it will be a hard-edging wakeboard but will still release well through the wake, depending on the fin setup. On a wakeboard with channels running through the tip and tail, the fins will hook better and the wakeboard will not release as well through the wake. Finally, a featureless wakeboard bottom basically lets the tip and tail shape, and the width throughout the rocker and the fins determine the nature of the board.

Fins and placement

The closer the fins are placed towards the centre of the wakeboard, the quicker and better the wakeboard releases from the wake. The farther out towards the tip and tail they are placed, the longer the wakeboard will stay hooked into the wake and it won’t release as well.

Long based fins
Their effect is almost the same as a short fin with a long base because they have a similar amount of surface area. Long-based fins release better, give the wakeboard a loose, snowboard-like feel when riding flat through the water, and they hold up better on rails and ramps.

Moulded fins
These are just big channels in the board that act like fins and hold up on rails and ramps. Moulded fins are slippery, but most boards have a removable centre fin.

Multi-finned set-ups
These capture the maximum edge hold and aggressiveness into the wake and through the wake.

Canted side fins
These are fins that lean out on an angle. These fins are not as active when the wakeboard is riding flat through the water, but the more you lean on edge the more the wakeboard hooks up. The inside fin digs while the outside lifts, creating leverage to help the wakeboard edge hard. Great for 50-50 grinds, nose presses and tail presses.

Cupped side fins
They have the same effect as canted fins but add more of a push-pull effect. The cupped fin allows you to use a smaller fin but still get the hold of a bigger fin due to the increased surface area of the cupped side of the fin. These fins are very deceiving – they look small and loose but really aren’t.

No Fins
Some riders prefer to ride finless, as some boards are specifically designed for cable parks or other uses, some uses of which can benefit from a finless design.

Wakeboarding maneuvers

As with many action sports such as snowboarding
Snowboarding
Snowboarding is a sport that involves descending a slope that is covered with snow on a snowboard attached to a rider's feet using a special boot set onto mounted binding. The development of snowboarding was inspired by skateboarding, sledding, surfing and skiing. It was developed in the U.S.A...

 and surfing
Surfing
Surfing' is a surface water sport in which the surfer rides a surfboard on the crest and face of a wave which is carrying the surfer towards the shore...

, there is almost a separate language of terms to describe various tricks. The more height, the more "pop". So therefore the rider's edge is very important to the height of the jump. Heading towards the wake chest facing the boat is known as a heelside edge; approaching from the other direction with chest facing away from the boat is known as toeside edge. A typical beginner to intermediate rider will tend to have an easier time hitting the wake heelside because it tends to come more naturally to the rider, while more advanced riders can hit the wake both heelside as well as toeside; and progress into switch stance as well.

  • Fashion Air - the rider curls the board behind towards the butt while keeping knees pointing down, arches back, and throws back hand up behind the head for a stylish vanity pose.
  • Air Raley - the rider hits the wake and allows their body to swing backwards, up overhead, parallel to the water. The rider then swings the board and his or her body down and lands on the other side of the wake.
  • 911 - Backside tweaked out Raley.
  • Blind Judge - Heelside raley to backside 180.
  • Krypt - Heelside raley to frontside 180
  • Batwing - Toeside raley with Indy grab with the board perpendicular to the water as opposed to parallel.
  • Surface 360 - a rider spins the board 360 degrees while riding the surface of the water.
  • Tantrum - a rider approaches the wake heelside and back flips over the wake on an axis perpendicular to the direction of the board.
  • Tantrum to Revert - Tantrum to frontside 180.
  • Tantrum to blind - Tantrum to backside 180.
  • Whirlybird - Tantrum with a backside 360 (no handle pass).
  • Moby Dick - Tantrum with a backside 360 (handle pass).
  • Tweety Bird - Whirlybird without using wake for air.
  • Heelside Backroll - a rider approaches the wake heelside and flips (or rolls) over the wake on an axis parallel to the direction of the board, as if he/she were following it around like a continuous loop.
  • Heelside Roll to Revert(Malt-O-Meal) - Heelside backroll frontside 180.
  • Back mobe - Heelside backroll frontside 360.
  • Heelside Roll to Blind - Heelside backroll backside 180.
  • KGB - Heelside backroll backside 360
  • Toeside Backroll - a rider approaches the wake toeside and flips (or rolls) over the wake on an axis parallel to the direction of the board, as if he/she were following it around like a continuous loop.
  • Toeside Roll to Revert - Toeside backroll frontside 180.
  • Pete Rose - Toeside backroll frontside 360.
  • G-Spot - Toeside backroll backside 180.
  • Blind Pete - Toeside backroll backside 360.
  • Toeside Frontroll - a rider approaches the wake toeside and flips forward (or rolls) over the wake on an axis parallel to the direction of the board.
  • Tootsie Roll - Toeside front roll backside 180.
  • Dum-Dum - Toeside front roll backside 360.
  • Scarecrow - Toeside front roll with frontside 180.
  • Crow Mobe - Toeside Frontroll with a frontside 360 (Scarecrow with an extra 180).
  • Toeside Front Flip - a rider approaches the wake toeside and flips on an axis perpendicular to the direction of the boat.
  • Fruit Loop - Toeside front flip backside 180.
  • Dev-glass - Butter slide one side of the wake and from that side jump all the way to the other side of the wake landing on a Butter slide.
  • Bel Air - Tantrum without using the wake for air.
  • Air Krypt - Toeside air raley with 180 degree turn, land opposite direction from take off.
  • Hoochie Glide - Air Raley with melon grab.
  • OHH - (Other Hand Hoochie) Hoochie glide, but with your backhand instead of your front hand.
  • Basket flip - Double Beer flip.
  • Osmosis 540 - Frontside 540 where instead of passing the handle behind the back, the rider pops the handle and catches it again upon the end of the rotation.
  • S-bend - Heelside raley with hands overhead spinng a backside 360 horizontally.
  • S-Bend to Blind - Heeliside raley with handside overhead spinning a backside 360 horizontally finishing with a quick 180 with one hand behind your back
  • S-Bend 720 - Heelside Raley with hands overhead spinning 2 quick backside 360 horizontally landing in triumph. Chris Nolan was the first person ever to land this trick.
  • Boardslide - a rider approaches an obstacle and slides the board—perpendicular with the obstacle—along the obstacle,with the obstacle in between the rider's feet.
  • Half-cab - Switch stance fronside 180.

Grabs

Crail: The back hand grabs the toe edge in front of the front foot.
Indy: The back hand grabs the toe edge between the feet.
Japan: The rider bends their legs, lifting the board up so that the front hand can grab the toe edge of the board.
Melon: The front hand grabs the heel edge between the feet.
Method: The front hand grabs the heel edge between the feet, Melon, then tweaks the board.
Mute: The front hand grabs the toe edge of the board between the feet.
Nosegrab: The front hand grabs the nose of the board.
Nuclear: The back hand grabs the nose of the board.
Slob: The front hand grabs the toe edge in front for the front foot.
Stalefish: The back hand grabs the heel edge between the feet.
Tailgrab: The back hand grabs the tail of the board.
Taipan air: The front hand reaches behind the front foot and grabs the toe edge between the bindings.

See also

  • Artificial wave
    Artificial wave
    Artificial waves are man-made waves usually created on a specially designed surface or in a pool.Artificial waves are created in one or two ways. First, if the wave is created on a designed surface, water is shot over the surface at a high speed to create a wave...

  • Skurfing
  • Surface Water Sports
    Surface water sports
    The following is a list of surface water sports; these are sports which are performed atop a body of water.-Discing:Discing consists of standing on a circular wooden disc and being towed behind the boat. The disc supports the rider by means of spreading the weight out evenly across the water...

  • Wakeskating
    Wakeskating
    Wakeskating is a water sport and an adaptation of wakeboarding that employs a similar design of board manufactured from maple or from fibreglass. Unlike wakeboarding, the rider is not bound to the board in any way, which gives the sport its own unique challenges...

  • Water Skiing
    Water skiing
    thumb|right|A slalom skier making a turn on a slalom waterski.Waterskiing is a sport where an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water, skimming the surface.-History:...

  • Wakesurfing
    Wakesurfing
    Wakesurfing is a water sport in which a surfer trails behind a wakeboard boat, surfing the boat's wake without being directly attached to the boat. The wake from the boat mimics the look and feel of an actual ocean wave...

  • U.S. intercollegiate wakeboarding champions
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