Wakeboarding: a Popular or Dying Sport? We Find Out!

Wakeboarding

Published: July 15, 2021

Wakeboarding is a water sport that consists of the rider being towed by a boat while riding a board that resembles a large skateboard with foot bindings.

It is often referred to as a combination of surfing, snowboarding, and water skiing.

This sport began in 1985 when Tony Finn created the “skurfer” for skiboarding. It is a combination of water skis and a surfboard, but because it lacks foot straps, a rider can stand anywhere on the board. Foot straps were then implemented in the summer of 1985. In Texas, Jimmy Redman drilled foot straps into his board around the same time, without knowing about Tony Finn’s design.

Today, we find out if wakeboarding is still eminent or if it is a dying sport. We have also written down some facets that make wakeboarding a good water sport.

 

Is wakeboarding a dying sport?

Wakeboarding is still a well-known water sport, but many have seen a decline in sales of wakeboarding equipment, which could be explained by:

  1. How expensive a wake boat is.
  2. Boat traffic; the rise in boat hobbyists.
  3. The fact that some find it harder to learn than other water sports.
  4. The rise of wakesurfing.
  5. The fact that some find it more dangerous.

 

In conclusion, wakeboarding may be a dying sport but cable wakeboarding is still popular. That is because you do not have to purchase an expensive boat, it is environmentally friendly due to the lack of carbon monoxide emission and disturbance of fish habitats. Cable wakeboarding does not contribute to noise pollution either and it is a much safer option.

 

Is wakeboarding a good workout?

Wakeboarding is a great workout that will require a lot of strength. It is a highly efficient exercise for the whole body and is a great way of keeping the body and mind healthy and fit.

Wakeboarding strengthens your arms and legs and helps improve flexibility in your hands and feet, as well as your reaction time and ability to adapt to direction, differences of water, and more.

Additionally, it can develop good hand-eye coordination and balance. Overall, it is a fun workout you can do outdoors and on the water and that will positively affect your mental and physical health.

 

Is wakeboarding an extreme sport?

Wakeboarding is an extreme sport, and like any other water sport, you should always be careful. If you are a beginner, you should try it with an instructor or authorized personnel, in good surroundings, and with the use of proper safety equipment.

 

Benefits of wakeboarding

  1. Full body exercise
    Wakeboarding requires you to have a lot of strength in the arms, core, and legs because they are used to trying to stay up, jump the wake, and perform tricks. It will require you to use numerous muscles throughout your body.
  2. Flexibility
    If you are already performing jumps, turns, and grabs, you will become more flexible.
  3. Balance and hand-eye coordination
    Performing tricks is difficult and demands a lot of body movement. That will then allow you to have great balance and hand-eye coordination.
  4. Mental benefits
    Some studies have found that people who spend more time participating in outdoor activities are healthier and less likely to suffer from depression or anxiety than those who don’t.
  5. Sunlight
    Sunlight will increase your exposure to vitamin D, which is important to remain healthy. Indeed, a vitamin D deficiency has been linked to obesity, mental disorders, various types of cancers, and other health problems.

Tips to easily get up on a wakeboard

  1. Tie the rope as short as you possibly can.
  2. Make sure you have a proper board set up.
  3. Get lined up with the boat, with your arms straight while resting on your knees.
  4. As the boat begins to move, keep your knees bent as much as you can.
  5. Hold this position until you are over the top of your board.
  6. Lastly, you have to slowly stand up.

How dangerous is wakeboarding?

There is a chance of physical injury when engaging in any sport, including wakeboarding. However, wakeboarding accidents can always be avoided, as evidence suggests. These are the most common wakeboarding injuries you can avoid:

  • Head and neck lacerations and concussion

A ruptured ear due to a sudden fall and a blow to the head are common injuries when wakeboarding.

  • Arm injuries

These include shoulder displacement, arm contusions, abrasions, fractures, sprains, and strains.

  • Back/trunk injuries

These include lower back pain, rib injuries, fractures, strains, and sprains.

There is no substantial evidence that suggests injury occurrence at various skill levels. However, injuries vary with an increase in skills and the attempt to perform tricks and twists.

 

Is wakeboarding bad for your knees?

Wakeboarding is bad for your knees if you make these common mistakes, such as keeping your legs straight or locking your knees, which further increase injury risk. To protect your knees, keep them bent at all times.

On the other hand, if you’ve had knee injuries in the past, consult a physiotherapist so they can assess your physical condition and ensure you’re ready for this sport. A physiotherapist can also implement an exercise plan to strengthen the muscles around your knees.

 

Tips to prevent wakeboarding injuries

  1. Protect your knees

Do exercises that strengthen your knees.

  1. Stay focused

When wakeboarding, pay attention to your surroundings rather than trying to impress your friends and family. Wakeboarding requires coordination and balance, and since you are moving at a great speed, it is important to stay focused.

  1. Do not wakeboard at night

Wakeboarding when it’s dark outside is not safe because it is difficult to spot hazards.

  1. Wear a helmet

Wearing a helmet can literally save your life. Therefore, you have to choose one that is specifically designed for wakeboarding. Make sure to choose the right fit and feature an adjustable system with ventilation holes, chin closure, and mesh pads.

  1. Get in shape

You have to take some necessary steps to get in shape. For instance, exercise to strengthen your muscles, especially your glutes, quads, calves, and hamstrings. Also, improve your lower body strength and enhance core stability.

Tips a beginner should know

  1. Buy a wakeboard for beginners
    Get the right size for your body and choose a comfortable board rather than one that just looks cool.
  1. Be patient
    It will be difficult at first, but be patient and you’ll get better soon enough.
  1. Wakeboarding is tough on the arms and knees
    Strengthen your whole body, especially your arms and knees, before starting with the sport.
  1. It is okay to fall flat on your face
    If you are just getting started, you are most likely going to fall flat on your face, but do not be afraid as there is plenty of time to learn.
  1. Hitting the water can hurt
    Just a heads up, landing in the water can hurt, like when you do a belly flop in the pool.
  1. Shorter ropes are best for beginners
    Short ropes are more comfortable to practice with when you are a beginner because they will make you stand up better.
  1. Do not pull or tug on the rope
    Pulling the rope will cause your board’s nose to sink and will lead you to fall.
  1. Always look straight ahea
    Gaze straight ahead and do not look at your feet because this will cause you to put too much weight on your front foot and – fall.

There are still more or less hundreds of wakeboarding clubs all over the world, so we cannot say that wakeboarding is a dying sport. And if you are interested to try this sport, our tips above can help you get started.

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