Wakeboarding

From Academic Kids

nl:wakeboarden ru:Вейкбординг

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Wakeboarding_with_boat.jpg
Larger lakes attract water skiiers, wakeboarders (shown), boaters, and other people seeking outdoor recreation on the water.

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 setup, but typically at slower speeds (18 - 24mph).

Instead of skis, the rider wears a single board with stationary non-release bindings for each foot, standing sideways as on a snowboard or skateboard. The boards, which can float, are typically 130 - 147cm long and up to 45cm wide (shorter and wider than a snowboard) as well as being convex (tips 15 - 25cm) rather than concave as a snowboard.

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, with strategically placed large water ballasts tanks, to give a larger wake. The wake is used as hits or ramps would be in other boardsports. Steering the board by a combination of direction and cutting the edges into the water, the rider can move outside of the wake, then cut rapidly in toward the wake, hitting it and launching themselves into the air.

As with many freestyle sports such as snow boarding and surfing, there is almost a separate language of terms to describe various tricks (Off-axis, Tantrum, Elephant, Whirlybird, 5, 7, 9, 10).

The sport is growing in popularity as it is fairly easy to pick up, but offers a wide opportunity for self-expression. A limiting factor to a beginner wakeboarder is often the cost of the boats. One of the best boats, the Correct Craft Super Air Nautique, can fetch upwards of USD 60,000 on the "new" market.

A related variation is wake skating, which has extremely close ties to street skateboarding.

Liquid Force and Hyperlite are two leading wakeboard manufacturers. Correct Craft, Malibu, and Master Craft are the three leading wakeboard boat manufacturers.


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