Wakeboarding is a water sport during which the rider is 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.
Wakeboarding season usually starts when the weather gets warmer. However, it depends on the location. While some areas may still have frozen lakes at this time, others may offer nice weather all year-round.
Before the season starts, you have to be prepared and get in shape to ensure your best return. You should focus on strength, flexibility, and nutrition. Read along and let our guide below help you prepare for the next wakeboarding season.
Nowadays, there are a lot of activities that can be enjoyed in the water. One of the said activities is wakeboarding. Some consider this watersport as a dying activity, but is this really the case? Is wakeboarding a popular or dying sport? Read our article to find out.
What is wakeboarding?
Wakeboarding is a sport that combines waterskiing and other land and snow-based board sports. While wakeboarding, you are riding a board that is a bit bigger than a skateboard, fatter than a snowboard, and smaller than a surfboard, while being towed across the water by a boat or cable system.
What is cable wakeboarding?
Cable wakeboarding appeared in 1962 — and it is simply wakeboarding. However, you are not being pulled by a boat but by an overhead cable skiing system. It is also categorized as an extreme sport that combines all the best nature of wakeboarding but without the need to purchase an expensive boat. This is ideal for riders who have little to no access to a boat. Besides, it is a less expensive way to enjoy the sport, and it is clean, efficient, and environmentally friendly.
When does the wakeboarding season start?
The wakeboarding season ideally starts when the temperatures begin to be warmer, therefore, during spring and summer. It may vary each year and in every state. Therefore, we created a chart that shows when spring and summer actually start in every state.
|Alabama||March to May||June to August|
|Alaska||March to May||May to September|
|Arizona||February to April||May to June (dry), July to September (wet)|
|Arkansas||March to May||June to August|
|California||March to May||June to August|
|Colorado||March to May||June to August|
|Connecticut||March/April to May||June to August|
|Delaware||March to May||June to August|
|Florida||March to May||May to September|
|Georgia||March to May||June to August|
|Hawaii||***||May to October|
|Idaho||March to May||June to August|
|Illinois||March to May||June to August|
|Indiana||March to May||June to August|
|Iowa||March to May||May to September|
|Kansas||March to May||June to August|
|Kentucky||March to May||May to September|
|Louisiana||March to May||May to September|
|Maine||April to May||June to August|
|Maryland||March to May||June to August|
|Massachusetts||March to May||June to August|
|Michigan||March to June||June to September|
|Minnesota||March/April to May||June to August|
|Mississippi||March to May||June to August|
|Missouri||March to May||June to August|
|Montana||April to May||July to September|
|Nebraska||March to May||June to August|
|Nevada||March to May||June to August|
|New Hampshire||March to May||June to August|
|New Jersey||March to May||June to August|
|New Mexico||March to May||June to August|
|New York||March to May||June to August|
|North Carolina||March to May||June to August|
|North Dakota||March to May||June to August|
|Ohio||March to May||June to August|
|Oklahoma||March to May||June to August|
|Oregon||April to June||July to September|
|Pennsylvania||March to May||June to September|
|Rhode Island||March to May||June to August|
|South Carolina||March to May||June to August|
|South Dakota||March to May||June to August|
|Tennessee||March to May||June to August|
|Texas||March to May||June to August|
|Utah||March to May||June to September|
|Vermont||March to May||June to September|
|Virginia||March to May||June to August|
|Washington||March to May||June to August|
|West Virginia||March to May||June to August|
|Wisconsin||March to May||June to August|
|Wyoming||March to May||June to August|
|*Washington DC||March to May||June to August|
|*Puerto Rico (Tropical)||April to June||May to October|
**Hawaii only really has two seasons, which are summer (kau) and winter (ho’oilo), the latter being from November to April.
Wakeboarding is a good workout for the whole body and mind, but it also poses some risks of injuries. To avoid accidents on the water, the best thing that you can do is to be prepared for the worst. Read our article to discover everything you need to know about wakeboarding dangers.
What equipment do you need for wakeboarding?
This is the most essential equipment you need to invest in. For beginners, it is advisable to either choose a “double-ended” or “twin tip” board.
Boards are categorized as beginner, intermediate, and advanced and are characterized by different intensities and materials. The right board for you also depends on your height and weight, so it is best to check manufacturers’ sizing charts before choosing a board.
Types of wakeboards (depending on the rocker design)
- Five-stage rocker
This will give you a kickoff which is straight up at the wake without the brake encountered with a traditional board’s curve.
- Five-stage rocker
- Continuous rocker
This has a smooth curve from the nose until the end. It will allow for more room for extra maneuvers.
- Continuous rocker
- Three-stage rocker
It is ideal for use if being towed by a boat. It has a stiff structure to give you more pops at greater speeds.
- Three-stage rocker
- Hybrid rocker
It has the features of a continuous rocker and three-stage rocker to allow you to wakeboard over big wake hits and allow smooth landings.
- Hybrid rocker
Wakeboard bindings and boots
This equipment will keep your feet fastened to the board. If you are a beginner or just someone looking for a cheaper alternative, it is best to have a sandal or bungee binding. This is also ideal if you are to share a board with other people with different foot sizes. Adjustable wakeboard boots are advisable for those looking for bindings that can fit different foot sizes.
A high-back boot is the most supportive type of boots and is perfect for tricks or maneuvers, while snowboard-style boots with tension straps can support one or two foot sizes.
This is essential for your safety when wakeboarding. Some vests are designed specifically for wakeboarding and thus provide a wide range of movements and are lighter than standard buoyancy vests.
Nylon vests can last a long time and are cheaper. They can also be used for kneeboarding and skiing. Meanwhile, neoprene vests offer much more comfort and flotation because they are made of the same material as wetsuits.
Wakeboarding wetsuit or drysuit
Choose the thickness of your wetsuit based on the temperature of the water. Keep in mind that thicker suits can further restrict movements. However, some designs are made of thinner material on the arm to give you a wider range of movements while keeping you warm.
A membrane drysuit is suitable for extremely cold conditions because it has tight seals preventing the water from entering the suit. You can also wear an undersuit underneath for more insulation. However, it can be uncomfortable, in part because of the tight seals.
A crash helmet is another safety equipment that will protect you from many serious accidents.
If you are a beginner, a shorter rope about 50 feet long is best. As you progress, you will need longer ropes, about 55 to 60 feet long.
Adjustable, sectioned ropes are a good option because you can easily change their lengths when you need to. Keep in mind that traditional water ski ropes have a level of spring, thus are not designed for wakeboarding.
A good, wide wakeboarding handle is ideal for learning new tricks easily.
If you wakeboard occasionally, you may also want to consider wakeboarding clubs that can rent you equipment for the day. This will allow you to try the sport whenever you want without having to buy any gear yet.
How much does it cost to go wakeboarding?
If you are to wakeboard at a cable park, it will cost you anywhere between $30 to $50. These cable parks are ideal for any level of riders, from beginners to pros. They will allow you to try the sport without spending much money because you do not have to purchase any equipment. It is also a great place to learn the sport since there are instructors to help and teach you how to ride.
What do you wear to go wakeboarding?
To have a safe and comfortable wakeboarding experience, you have to wear the following equipment. Although, you can always wear whatever feels more comfortable.
- A pair of boardshorts or a swimsuit (one-piece suits)
- A wetsuit or drysuit (depending on the water temperature and advisable for beginners)
- A wakeboard vest
- A wakeboard helmet
Water skiing and wakeboarding are fun and exciting sports that offer a lot of health benefits. If you are new to water sports, chances are you need to decide whether you want to go water skiing or wakeboarding. For beginners, it’s better to start with the easier activity. The question is: which is harder, water skiing or wakeboarding?
Is wakeboarding hard to learn?
Wakeboarding is relatively quick to learn, especially if you have previous board experience. Although, it depends on your level of confidence.
Learning at a cable park is a whole lot easier than being pulled by a boat. You probably won’t be able to get it at first as it takes a little bit of practice, but you’ll get there.
Tips to get on your wakeboard
- Position yourself like if you were seating on a reclining chair while pointing your board out of the water.
- Bring your knees towards your chest. Do this as much as you can and stay like this while the boat starts to pull.
- Push your legs with your knees straight and do not fight the push of the water against your rope as it will make it much harder for you to get up.
- Stay in a squatted position with your rear down and as close to the wakeboard as possible. Follow this tip until the board is fully planed because if you don’t, your board will sink, which will cause you to let go of the rope.
How long does it take to learn wakeboarding?
For a beginner, it will take just 15 to 20 minutes to learn the basics, and about 4 to 5 sessions to be able to start jumping wake-to-wake. As far as tricks go, it might take you a whole summer or a full year to learn flipping and other tricks.
When the weather gets warm, one way of cooling down is enjoying water activities. If you want to give water sports a chance, we definitely urge you to try wakeboarding.
One of the things that we like about this sport is that you can enjoy it even when you don’t have access to the ocean. Wakeboarding is also perfect for those who are environmentally conscious because there are ways to enjoy this activity that don’t produce any kind of pollution.
Some may say that wakeboarding is a dying sport. But if you want to try it, then you should just go for it. It’s an amazing summer activity that not only provides fun but also benefits for your physical and mental health.