Wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing sports in the United States and elsewhere. It is quite easy to start and its fun from the beginning on. So it’s no wonder it’s getting so popular. Wakeboarding is also a big crossover sport for snowboarders since it is really easy to pick up if you are one. And it gives you something to do in the summer. So where does wakeboarding come from?
A boring definition would be: Wakeboarding is a surface water sport, involving riding of wakeboard over water while being pulled behind a motorboat or a cable lift. Wakeboarding was developed from the contribution of surfing, water skiing and snow boarding techniques. Wakeboarder is towed behind the boat at speeds of 16 to 22 miles per hour depending on situations and the conditions.
A more fun definition would be that wakeboarding in snowboarding on water. Going sideways is always more fun.
The history of wakeboarding goes back to sports from which wakeboarding evolved. There is no exact date or person who invented wakeboarding. Since decades surfing was a favorite sport for beach goers. When the sea was flat surfers were towed behind a boat with a ski rope. One thing started another nad now we call this sport wakeboarding. In 1985 two surfers Tony Finn of San Diego and Redmon of Texas made small surfboards that were designed to be towed behind a boat. Finn called his board a “skurfer” as it was a cross between a water ski and surfboard. Originally it was called “skiboard” but the name was dropped in favor of “wakeboard” in order to avoid confusion with the snow skiboard. The term “wakeboard” was coined by Paul Fraser of Canada.
Herb O’Brein owner of H.O.Sports and a successful businessman in water skiing introduced the compression molded neutral buoyancy wakeboard the Hyperlite. This innovation grew massively into what is today popularly known as wakeboarding. This Hyperlite’s neutral buoyancy made it accessible to everyone from age of 4 to 80 years. The boards were getting better as the sport grew and Redmon made the final improvement of the board in 1993 by developing the twin tip wakeboard which is now the standard one.
Wakeboard boats also improved. At the start normal motor boats were used to pull the wakeboarders. Now there are specialized wakeboard boats engineered to maximize the size of the wakeboarding wake. Higher wake means more air and more time to do different tricks.
World Wakeboarding Association
The World Wakeboarding Association (WWA) was founded by Redmon in 1989 which is the world wide governing body of the sport. He is considered the ‘guru’ of the sport, also responsible for developing rules and formats, keeping the integrity and essence of the wakeboarding.
Since 1992 WWA has been conducting professional wakeboarding tours also conducts and sanctions the amateur and professional competitions in both national and world championships. The Vans Triple Crown of wakeboarding and the Wakeboard World cup, the two new series were added in the year 1998. Wakeboarding is added as the competitive sport in the X Games II.