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Wakeboarding

A Beginner’s Guide to Wakeboarding

If you’re intimidated by wakeboarding, don’t be! Although watching the pros can be intimidating, wakeboarding is a sport with a surprisingly quick learning curve. Wakeboarding is a great alternative to traditional water skiing. For those use to other water sports, wakeboarding is a fun challenge.

A Little History About Wakeboarding…..

In 1985 a surfer in California, Tony Finn, invented and created the first wakeboard. The Skurfer — a cross between a water ski and a surfboard. It is said to have been born out of surfer frustration, when there were no waves there was no surfing. The Skurfer enabled frustrated surfers without waves to achieve some level of surf style relief while being pulled behind speedboats that made their own wakes.

There are three basic types of wakeboards……

∗  Boat Boards

∗  Park Boards

∗  Hybrid Boards

If your goal is wakeboarding behind a boat, then a Boat Board is right for you. They typically have stiff flex patterns, heavy duty construction, features on the base, as well as your choice of either molded on or bolted on fins.
If a Wake Park is more your style, then go for a Park Board. Park Boards usually have softer flex patterns giving a more relaxed feel on  the water. They also tend to have featureless bases, that are more durable and reinforced sidewalls to help withstand everyday park riding. Wake Park Boards have either removable fins or no fins at all. This feature vastly cuts down the chances you’ll get hung up on rails but at a cost. No fins means you lose a lot of traction control.
For those that would prefer the best of both worlds and want to do both wakeboarding behind a boat as well as spend time with their board at the Wake Park, a Hybrid Board is what you need. Most all their features fall right between a Boat Board and a Park Board. Most have a softer flex at the nose and tail with a stiffness in between. Hybrid Wake Boards are typically built durable, with simple design, and removable fins.

Ready To Get Started?….

The first thing you should look for is the wakeboard itself. It is not uncommon to find wake board rentals. However, if you plan to consistently wakeboard, it is much more cost-effective to buy a board outright.
What better place to do so than YH Watersports?! At Lake Oconee Wake Shop as well as our newest location, Lake Chatuge Wake Shop, we carry a wide selection of top of the line water sport equipment like wake boards
Choosing a board can be quite a challenge. That’s why it’s a good idea to visit one of our wake shops where you can consult with our knowledgeable staff. They can answer any questions you may have and recommend the beat boar that best suits your needs.
Some search local listings like Craigslist for a used option. If you do decide to purchase a board second hand, make sure you do a fair amount of research beforehand. This will assist you in purchasing a board that is the correct size and specification.

Don’t Forget Your Gear…….

It also may be a good idea to buy a wet suit. This is especially important if you plan on wakeboarding in colder seasons. You will also need a life vest to stay afloat without having to tread water. Wakeboarding can be a pretty physically taxing activity; you don’t want to expend more energy than is necessary, especially in deep water!

Optional Protective Gear……..

There are also impact vests designed for water sports which offer a bit less buoyancy but more protection from hard impacts. Many people chose to also wear a helmet while wake boarding. If you are renting a wake board, the rental center will probably provide one at no extra cost.

The Fun Begins……..

Now we can get into riding your wakeboard. One of the most valuable wakeboarding tips, especially for a beginner, is to make yourself as relaxed as possible.
Wakeboarding is a water sport. This means that there is a very high degree of balance and flexibility required. Allowing yourself to relax allows your body to make changes and shift weight far easier than if you are tensed up.
Before you are towed, you will start with the cable in hand and your knees drawn up as far as possible to your chest. Your arms should be stretched out in front of you.
Wakeboarding is all about going with the flow; once you feel the cable being pulled, allow yourself to roll forward slightly and keep your knees locked as your speed increases. Before you know it, you will be standing upright!
This is often the most difficult part for beginners to master, so don’t be discouraged if it takes a few tries.
Once you are standing, keep your arms stretched out and your knees bent. This will help you to maintain your balance. Make sure your body is at a slight sideways angle. From there, you will be cruising along the wake of the boat!
Get used to the feel of being pulled along the wake! Don’t be afraid, it is common to crash a few times! (This can be the most fun part.) Once you master getting up and cruising along the boat’s wake, you can try out a few fancier skills like crossing the wake, a surface 180, or even getting some air doing an ollie!