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Boating Know How
Wakeboarding 101
Wakeboarding is a water sport in which one rides a wakeboard over the surface of a lake, sea or any other body of water. The sport comprises techniques derived from those of surfing, water skiing and snowboarding. For easy wakeboarding and to get best result, wakeboarding is usually done in lakes but people have in recent times begun to do it in intercoastal waterways. ... read more

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When riding a wakeboard , one is towed by a motorboat which is often at speeds of between 17km/h to 25 km/h .The speed is determined by the size of the board, the rider's weight, the speed at which the rider is comfortable, and the type of tricks. The make, model and year of the boat can also influence the speed since some boats that are not specially designed for wakeboarding produce a different size wake, and the rider may not be comfortable with it. But other means such as personal watercrafts, closed-course cable systems and winches can also be used to tow a wakeboader.

Boards

Boards used in wakeboarding are usually buoyant, with their core made up of honeycomb, foam, or wood (usually mixed with resin) and a coating of fiberglass. The bindings and fins are attached by inserting metal screws. Depending with the preference of the rider, the configuration of bindings and fins may vary and can be adjusted as necessary.

A wakeboarder can use different fins for each type of trick. For instance, shallow fins are preferred for surface tricks like flat spins. Most of the recent board models have small molded fins which help reduce drag, and also allow a rider to use smaller fins.

Board hardware is usually set up in such a way that it allows the wakeboarder to ride the "Fakie," or "Switch" with one foot forward. Such setups typically have a symmetrical layout. A new rider can set up their board so that they're comfortable to ride the board while their "natural" foot is put forward. This usually does not allow one to ride Switch without making modifications.

Boats

Оne of the main differences between a wakeboarding boat and a normal runabout is the presence of wakeboard tower on the former. The tower is usually made up of aluminum- tubing or thick-walled stain steel, placing the "pull point" approximately 2m off the surface of the water. This high tow point helps avoid the rope pulling downward, allowing one to jump and launch into air.

Many newer wakeboarding boats also contain variable ballast systems that allow for pumping of water into and out of the ballast tanks. The addition of ballast helps increase displacement, resulting in enlargement of the wake produced.

Riding techniques

A rider can use edging techniques either to move to the outside of the wake or cut quickly in towards it. A jump is normally done by riding toward and up the wake, then launching into air, though it can also be performed by riding up a jump (kicker). As the rider learns the sport, they can start performing tricks high in the air.

These tricks are performed when riders move toward the wake and against the rope's pull, consequently building pressure against water on the bottom of their boards. The wake's energy will launch the riders airborne as they ride up the wake, and they can attempt to do several tricks while in the air.
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Wakeboarding Cable Parks
Wakeboard Cable Parks have been popping up like Mushrooms over the last few years and with several new/updated parks in the works to be released Spring of 2014, the trend doesn't seem to be slowing. ... read more

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But whose complaining? Those who can afford the luxury of a $70k wakeboarding boat are few and far between, leaving the rest of us in hopes of making the right friends (the kind with $70k wakeboarding boats), or in dreams of someday making 6-figure-plus incomes. Alas, no more!

Entree pricing for Wakeboard cable parks closely resembles that of snowboarding or skiing, but are usually broken down into more time increment options. For example, an hour on the wakeboard cable park may cost $25, while four hours might cost $50. And with the price of wakeboards starting at a bill fiddy, wakeboarding can become a realistic sport for almost anyone interested.

As it stands, the parks have been dominantly opening in Texas, Florida, and the mid-east, but, much like skateparks, you're likely to see a wakeboard cable park sometime in the next few years in a location near you.

If you're in Florida, Texas, Connecticut, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan, or Nevada, you're in luck as your state already has a Wakeboard Cable Park, which you can gather information on here.

Photo by tegioz

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Over the last 20 years, wakeboarding has slowly taken over the watersports industry with not only youth, but water-sports enthusiasts as a whole. Some people are so passionate about wakeboaring that they'll put a years salary into a boat designed to give them a slighly smoother/larger wake, and some extra lift on jumps. Why has wakeboarding gotten so big? Because it's really, really fun. Our rapidly expanding Wakeboarding category is a great place to come if you're looking for cheap prices on quality wakeboard gear, with a selection of wakeboards and bindings that are made to be used by a variety of riders. If you're new to wakeboarding and don't want to spend a lot of money on your first board, we have wakeboards from recognized brands such as World Industries, Liquid Force, Airhead, Body Glove, and Hydroslide, starting around $120. If you're a serious wakeboarder looking for a board to give you every slight advantage available in modern wakeboard technology, keep your eyes peeled for our pro-line boards from brands such as CWB, Byerly, Ronix, Hyperlite, CWB, Straightline, Slingshot, and more.

Wakeboarding Is A Social Activity

Wakeboarding Is A Social Activity

By Raimi Merritt



The well-known saying "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" holds true with wakeboarding. If you just work on learning new tricks or making tricks you already know how to do, you will miss out on a lot more fun you could be having; with your friends.

For most riders, learning a trick like a grab, spin, or invert is always the goal. That's when riders try hard; you can see the overly determined look on her face. But besides being focused on working on your drills and new tricks that we have talked about in past months, having just pure and simple fun riding should be part of what you do. Yes, fun time on a wakeboard is important not only because of the enjoyment: in reality, you are expanding your realm of ability without being aware of it. So in this session, let's take a break from learning drills and think about tips that make your riding more fun.

First, vary up who you invite in the boat to watch you. Yes, my coach is in the boat when I train and work on drills. But on the days I'm just having fun, I like having my brother and sisters in the boat along with mom and dad. It's great to have a different audience in the boat to watch you ride. My family and mom and dad are my cheerleaders and everyone should have encouragement and support that helps you to get better.

Ride with more friends, especially if they are more skilled than you are. Just watching a better rider will give you confidence to try new tricks.

Conversely, teaching someone who has less skill helps you to understand the technique better and to see the positives and negatives when learning.



Besides my family and friends, I ride with male and female riders who compete at the pro events with me. Though we all want to do best at the contests, the camaraderie on fun days is great, and we learn so much that it's a positive experience for all.

So just get out behind the boat and just have fun popping the wakes and carving both inside and outside the wakes. Not only is it fun to let yourself go but having fun on your wakeboard helps to develop a sense of style as a rider and every rider no matter what level should have style riding.

Make a point of varying things up to make your riding more exciting and fun. Get out of the routine of using the same line length and try some of the riding using different line lengths. See how this affects how you carve the wake and see if you can clear the wakes at those lengths.

Try different fin sizes for a different feeling board. You can even go finless to see how it is to edge with the pressure of your feet. Going finless is great for riders who are just learning to turn the board around on top of the water from basic stance to switch and then back to basic.

You can come up with a lot of little contests with your family and friends to make it fun and boost the camaraderie. You can see who clears the wakes the best or get a stop watch and see who gets the most air time. If one rider is a lot better, then just build in a handicap score for the others. It's about pushing yourself and expanding your boundaries but in a very fun way.



These little contests are great for making your switch stance riding better. Most riders favor the same foot forward. But you can improve your switch stance in fun way by doing all these contests with your friends in switch stance. See who gets the most air time and clears one or both wakes the farthest or who can make carve the wake the longest time in switch stance. With these friendly contests, you will be assured of increasing your skill and comfort level in switch stance without knowing that's what you are doing. Instead you will just smiling and enjoying the camaraderie.

To boost the fun meter, add a line or more and have family and friends with you at the same time. (Just make sure the lines are the same lengths.). It's a blast to carve the wakes either inside the wakes or outside the wakes with a friend. The friendly competition definitely pushes you to get out of your comfort zone.



Especially after the last contest of the year, I like to cross train. Just because you are serious about riding doesn't mean you can't do other tow sports behind the boat.

For fun, I'll ride a wake surfer and wake skate and even do some barefooting with my dad. By spending time with the various others sports, you add a dimension of understanding about being balanced over the board and over feet. But besides improving your balance, trying the other events will take you out of your routine. You will have a lot of fun with them and you will bring back insight to wakeboard riding.

Although understanding body position and technique is important to becoming a better wakeboarder. At the end of the day the most important aspect of getting better on a wakeboard is having fun and really enjoying your time. So get out on water with your family and friends, vary things up, and have a lot fun -- and let's see some big smiles.



Raimi Merritt, 2013 Wakeboard World Champion (second consecutive), 2013 Masters Wakeboard champion and 8-time World Cup champion, is sponsored by MonaVie, Nautique, Hyperlite, Smith Optics, Breathe Boardwear and Fly High. Raimi also offers personalized coaching in Orlando, Florida. Email raimi@stevemerritt.com to schedule a lesson. For all the latest news, check out www.raimimerritt.com or on facebook.
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