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Wakeboarding Information

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The following info was borrowed fro mWikipedia under the GNU Free Documetnaiton License.

Wakeboarding is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water behind a boat or Cable System . It was developed through a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques.

The rider is towed behind xi boat or a cable park; typically at speeds of 18-24 miles per hour (29-38 km/h), depending on water conditions, rider's weight, board size and most importantly, the rider's personal preference. Wakeboarding can also be performed on a variety of media including closed-course cables, winches, PWCs and ATVs.



[edit] 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 toward the wake. When the rider goes airborne, the tightened rope launches him and while in the air, at which point the rider may attempt to do tricks.

[edit] Personalize

Different styles of wakeboards have various shapes and sizes. With this in mind, it’s important to keep personal preference and weight in mind. The larger the board (width and length), the better it floats and edges. Larger boards also make it more difficult to perform advanced tricks.

In addition, riding styles are determined by a boards camber. Manufacturers refer to this as the boards “rocker.” The two main rockers are known as the Continuous and the Three-Stage. A Continuous rocker, self-spoken, has a continuous curve throughout the top sheet. These allow for a smoother, faster ride without surface resistance. The Three-Stage rocker is made up of a flat center and abrupt changes to the tail and nose. This design was manufactured to provide more “pop” when launching off of the boats wake, allowing for more hang-time (time spent in the air).

Most wakeboards are designed and manufactured with fins. Some are molded into the board; others are detachable usually made out of aluminum, carbon fiber, or plastic. Each design determines how aggressive the board will track (“catch”) the water. Although designs cannot be altered, fins of different sizes are sold separately to better personalize the ride. Advanced riders are sometimes known to remove the fins while beginners will use them to provide better stability. [1]

[edit] Development of the sport

Wakeboarding arose in the late 1980s after the advent of Skiboarding.

Incorrectly thought to be originally created by a surfer named Tony Finn in the mid 1980's 'Ski-boarding' or 'Skurfing' then wakeboarding, was actually created in New Zealand by surfboard shaper Allan Byrne and friends such as Kevin Jarrett. Allan Byrne 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.

Recently in Wakeboard Magazine in June of 2008 a photo surfaced and was published from pre 1979 of Ron Seidenglanz and Robb Seidenglanz surfing a wake being towed behind a boston whaler in Corona Del Mar California. As an adult Ron Seidenglanz spent from age 24 on to now, over 16 years making wake board films and pushing the envelope of documentation while developing a family business as Sidwayz Films. Developing the sport with as many people as possible thou documentation and community organization and love of film making. You decide which way to look at the history of wake boarding.

Many years prior to Tony Finn and the 'Skurfer', Australian surfboard shaper and inventor Bruce McKee launched in Australia 1982, the world's first mass-produced plastic, roto-moulded construction ski-board (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 manoeuverability.

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 Chicagos '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. [1]

The term "wakeboard" was coined by Porter Daughtry (Brooks, GA), 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 "hyperlite" wakeboard, named by Eric "The Flyin Hawaiian" Perez, laid the groundwork for evolution of the wakeboard throughout the 1990s. Liquid Force was started by Finn and Redmond.

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 and blew everyone away. 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 and around the United States throughout the early 1990s. Wakeboarding was added as a competitive sport in the X Games II. The World Skiboard Association "changed its focus" and was re-named the World Wakeboard Association.

[edit] Wakeboarding maneuvers

Wakeboarding stunts

As with many freestyle sports such as snowboarding and surfing, 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 them, while more advanced riders can hit the wake both heelside as well as toeside.

[edit] Surface Tricks

Surface tricks are tricks that are performed when the rider is not airborne. Examples are:

  • Backside Butterslide- Rider turns the board backside 90 degrees and grinds the wake.
  • Backside Butterslide 180- Rider turns the board backside 90 degrees and grinds the wake. Rider then grabs the handle with opposite hand and does another 90 degree turn in the same direction.
  • Backside Start- Rider gets up in a backside position where the backside is facing the boat.
  • Body Slide- Rider lies back onto the water.
  • Butterslide- Rider turns the board frontside 90 degrees and grinds the wake.
  • Butterslide 180- Same as regular butterslide but with an additional 90 degree rotation in the same direction.
  • Perez- Rider carves outside of the wake and slides into a surface 360.
  • Potato Peeler- Body Slide with fin release.
  • Powerslide- Board is turned backside 90 degrees in the flats. Fins are broken loose. If done correctly, it creates a huge spray.
  • Surf Carve- Rider cuts back and forth in the wake in a surf-carving fashion.
  • Surface 180- A 180 degree turn on the surface of the water.
  • Surface 360- A 360 degree turn on the surface of the water.
  • Ollie- A bunny-hop out of the water.

[edit] Spins

A spin is done by the rider rotating around, like snowboarding. The name of the spin refers to the number of degrees rotated:

  • 180
  • 360
  • 540
  • 720
  • 900
  • 1080
  • 1260

[edit] Spin Terminology

  • Backside- A spin where the rider rotates with the back of their body towards the boat first. Originally referred to as blindside or blind spins, although this terminology has fallen out of favor.
  • Baller- This is a term used for when a rider does the handle pass of their spin by passing the handle between their legs. Invented by Parks and Shane Bonifay.
  • Flatline Spin/Orbital- A spin where the rider goes over the rope instead of passing the handle.
  • Frontside- A spin where the rider rotates with the front of their body towards the boat first.
  • Off-Axis- When a rider does a spin but goes off the vertical axis so the board usually gets up to shoulder level or above. Invented by Marshall Harrington. Also called "Monkey" and "Corked" spins. Will Ellis was the first rider to land an Off-Axis 900.
  • Ole- When a rider rotates with the handle above his head, not passing the handle.
  • Osmosis- When the rider performs a spin by tossing the handle from one hand to the same hand again, bypassing the other hand. Invented by Shaun Murray.
  • Rewind- A spin where the rider does a shifty one way, then back the other, then spins back in the direction of their initial shifty.
  • Shifty- Board is shifted 90 degrees in one direction and then shifted back in the opposite direction. Gregg Necrason was the first rider to land a shifty 540.
  • To Blind- The rider does a backside 180 and lands with the rope in their backs or they can do a handle pass
  • Wrapped- When the rider has the rope wrapped around their back they are going to perform a wrapped trick. It allows a rider to spin without doing a handle pass. It also allows the rider to perform unique grabs that usually cannot be done when passing the handle.

[edit] Terms

Wakeboarders have their own unique terms as mentioned above with the names for certain tricks. Other common terms are "Faceplant" "Wake grind."

[edit] Wakeboarding companies

Today, there are many wakeboarding companies some of the largest manufacturers are Liquid Force,Hyperlite, CWB, Byerly and Ronix.

If you are into wakeboarding then its best to contact your national waterski, wakeboard associations or The World Wakeboarding Federation to find recommended operators. A few more well known ones include British Water Ski SchoolExe Wake Water ski and Wakeboard canada or USA Wakeboard Lessons.

As of January 2009, you can purchase wakeboards directly from the manufacturer online then the product is shipped from the closest dealer to your location. Other respectable online dealers worth a mention are Midwest Mastercraft, Wake N Skate Wakeboard Shop and Performance Ski & Surf in Orlando.

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