What is Wakeboarding?
Wakeboarding is a sport derived from waterskiing that arose in Australia in the late 1980’s. It essentially involves moving across a body of water using techniques that are adopted from surfing and snowboarding. The rider is traditionally towed by a boat, but can be towed in a variety of other ways including closed-course cable systems, winches, personal water craft, trucks/cars, and all-terrain vehicles. Wakeboarding is rapidly growing as a sport, and is currently shortlisted to be in the 2020 Olympic games. People may choose to Wakeboard instead of Waterski if they like the idea of being able to do tricks; as wakeboarding has arguably taken over from Trick-skiing.
The wakeboarder can ride the board flat to follow the cable or boat in a straight line; they can also get the board on its edge in order to move from side to side, a little like monoskiing. Jumps are performed by riding towards and up the wake of a boat and launching into the air. This can also be done by riding up kickers (ramps) which are found at cableskis. Once a rider improves in the sport, he or she can progress to aerial tricks and flips. As the rider edges towards the wake against the pull of the rope, the rider builds pressure against the water on the bottom of the board and gains speed and momentum toward the wake. When the rider rides up the wake the energy of the wake launches him airborne.
What is Kneeboarding?
Kneeboarding involves being strapped to a board in a kneeling position and being towed by a boat or cable. It is not typically as popular as waterskiing or wakeboarding even though many tricks can be performed whilst kneeboarding. Kneeboards are used by most cable parks to get people used to traveling around the cable system before getting on a wakeboard because the stance adopted to ride one is more stable than that used when wakeboarding.
Wakeboarding has traditionally been performed behind a boat, which involves using the wake of the boat to perform tricks off of. There are a variety of lakes within the UK that provide tuition behind boats. People also wakeboard in the sea behind boats, particularly abroad which is how many people first encounter wakeboarding.
Cable riding is becoming increasingly popular world wide due to it’s accessibility and lower price. It’s essentially a skate park on water; a variety of obstacles used to perform tricks. Cables can be described as being 2, 4, 5 or 6 point in reference to the number of corners there are, which naturally relates to the shape of the course; 2-point being a straight line, 4-point being rectangular, and 5-point being a pentagon. A System 2 is the newest type of cable, and is one of the easiest ways to learn to wakeboard. A 5-point cable is the next easiest due to the number of corners making the angles less sharp to follow. All cables in the UK travel anticlockwise, but cable parks in other parts of the world have additional cables that travel clockwise.
The winch is a mechanical device with a small horizontal shaft engine that holds a spool of rope and pulls the rope in at riding speed.This invention has given wakeboarders, and particularly wakeskaters, the opportunity to ride in places never imagined possible before