Have you been wakeboarding yet this season? As the winter months slip past, you may find yourself imagining the ease of slipping across the waters of your favorite lake. This moment of relaxation sets the stage for the upcoming thrill of the wake. As the furrows and hills of the wake begin to form, you grip the handle of the rope and prepare for jumps, flips, and other high intensity actions. Sometimes, you may feel like you are skating on air rather than on water. With a great pair of wakeboard tower speakers, you can choreograph your tricks to the background of your favorite bands.
Athletes of all ages and skill levels can and do participate in this sport. As their level of experience builds, wakeboarders are showing off some tricks similar to those performed by skateboarders, snowboarders, skiers, and suffers. The sport is gaining a great deal of popularity worldwide and, according to USA Wakeboard, enjoys about four million participants.
A Quick Look Back
Wakeboarding made its first introduction to the sports world during the 1980s. Surfers started to “hitch” a ride on boats using the same ropes that waterskiers used. As more and more surfers took advantage of the speed and wake provided by boats, they also began to design special boards for wakeboarding.
The newly designed boards provided benefits such as:
- Improved stability
- Better balance
- Greater speed
- More power
- More control on larger waves
By the time the 1990s rolled around, wakeboarding was an established sport with its own culture, competitions, and specialized wakeboarding gear, such as the wakeboard tower speakers.
A Look at the Board
Probably the most important piece of equipment for the wakeboarder is the board itself. The first board, developed by Tony Finn, resembled the surfboard with its pointed nose and fin. Today, the boards have a blunt nose and tail. The boards have bindings to secure the boarder’s feet. Many details in the design impact the performance of the board.
Some Basic Moves
With a well-designed board, athletes enjoy some basic moves. These begin with mounting the board and holding your standing position as you skim across the water. When you are ready to add a couple of tricks to your repertoire, you’ll probably begin with the roll and the flip. Imagine doing a somersault on the water. If you can achieve on the wakeboard and return to a standing position, then you will have completed a roll. The flip is a bit more like a cartwheel. Other tricks include the tantrum, a speedball, and a whirlybird.
Before you pick up the rope, take a look at some of the physics involved in wakeboarding:
- Your ability to control your center of gravity will affect the speed and height of your jumps.
- The surface tension of the water, or the cohesion of water molecules, affects the stability of the wake and waves.
- Your ability to control the board is governed by Newton’s Third Law of Motion. This simply states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Your ability to manipulate this law will affect the angle and speed of your jumps.
Get Out on the Water
Wakeboarding appeals to athletes of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels from countries all over the world. If you are anxious to get started, round up a friend to drive your boat, feed your favorite music to your wakeboard tower speakers, and head out to your favorite lake. It’s never too soon or too late to get started.