Wakeboarding began as a vision of bringing the joys of surfing to lakes and rivers. First known as "skurfing," the sport was inspired by snowboarding, with a hint of waterskiing, skateboarding, and windsurfing added into the mix. Wakeboarding has since evolved into one of the most exciting extreme sports, with many enthusiasts capable of catching big air and doing all sorts of incredible tricks. When it comes to wakeboarding the gear doesn't necessarily make the wakeboarder, but having quality gear is essential for getting the most out of the sport.
Finding the Perfect Wakeboard
Wakeboards have come a long way since the first models, which were small surfboards with windsurfing foot straps. Boards are now available to meet every skill level and riding style, ranging from the occasional casual rider to those who spend their days on the water doing flips and 900 degree spins. Beginner and more casual wakeboarders might want to opt for a board that has square edges, as these are easier to control and provide better balance for basic riding.
Wakeboards are available in various types and formats, with lighter models usually oriented for faster speeds and tricks. Boards made entirely of fiberglass tend to be the most durable, as well the most expensive. Wakeboards that are oriented towards the beginner and casual rider are typically built with a core beneath layers of fiberglass and other materials; this core may be constructed of wood, foam, resin, or honeycomb. Selecting a board that fits a rider's skill level is vital.
Choosing Proper Bindings
All board based sports require the rider to have their stronger foot facing forward, whether it is normalâ€”meaning the left foot forwardâ€”or goofy foot, meaning the right foot faces forward. Foot placement boils down to what feels more natural; the bindings on the board should be adjusted to favor the appropriate foot.
Wakeboards are available for sale with or without bindings; more experienced riders tend to purchase separate bindings. The introduction of the snowboard style boot based bindings brought wakeboarding to a new level, offering greater control and balance. Boot based bindings are available in models that directly attach to the board and models that strap the boots in.
Comfort and support are the most important factors to consider when purchasing boots and bindings. Most binding boots feature a combination of laces and Velcro based straps; strap only models are available as well. Boots should be a perfect fit for the rider, not too big or not too small, and able to be tightened to a proper level of support.
Ill-fitting and loose boots make controlling the board much more difficult, as well as present greater risk of ankle sprains and other injuries. Bindings should be inspected before every ride to ensure that they are functioning properly. One should always have a wakeboarding professional inspect and repair them.
Wakeboarding is a thrilling sport that is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels. Learning basic skills and focusing on safety is the most important part of the sport, and having proper gear is essential for this. Taking the time to choose the proper gear pays offâ€”both in fun and safety!
Presented by Big Air Wake Towers