Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index


Wakeboarding is a relatively new boardsport, created from a combination of water skiing, snow boarding and surfing techniques. As in water skiing, the rider is towed behind a boat, or a cable skiing lift but typically at slower speeds (20 - 35kph). Instead of skis, the rider wears a single board with bindings for each foot, standing sideways as on a snowboard. The boards are shorter in length that a snowboard (typically 130 - 147cm) and wider (up to 45cm) as well as being convex (tips 15 - 25cm) rather than concave as a snowboard. And they float.

A wakeboarding boat is similar to a water ski boat except that the rope is normally mounted on a tower about 2 metres above the water line and the boat is also weighted and trimmed to give a high wake. The wake can be used to perform various jumps. Steering the board by a combination of direction and cutting the edges into the water, the rider can move outside of the wake, then steer rapidly in, hitting the wake and launching themselves into the air (with various degrees of success).

As with many freestyle sports such as snow boarding and surfing, there is almost a separate language of terms to describe various tricks (Tantrum, Elephant, Whirlybird) and how good (Sick) a rider is.

The sport is growing in popularity as it is fairly easy to pick up, but offers a wide opportunity for self-expression.

Orlando, Florida is wakeboarding's birthplace

A more advanced variation is wake skating.