What You Need To Know About Wakeboarding
Wakeboarding, often considered more adventurous than snowboarding, skateboarding, and surfing, is one of the coolest and funniest water sports. In wakeboarding, the rider stands on a board, which has foot bindings and is towed by a rope behind a boat, ready to perform aerial maneuvers.
The Fitness Level Required
During wakeboarding one should keep himself on the wakeboard while pulled by a boat, which is really difficult and hence requires a quite good level of fitness and especially muscular arms and feet.
Wakeboarding may be the toughest activities on the water, hence when starting you should already have an adequate level of strength and balance to be able to perform gymnastic actions to stay on the wakeboard.
Health Benefits of Wakeboarding
Although many people start wakeboarding because it’s an adventurous and thrilling activity, others start it because of wakeboarding’s health and fitness benefits.
Wakeboarding has the following health and fitness benefits:
- It gives strength to arm and leg muscles because during wakeboarding a lot of pressure is put on those parts.
- It enhances the pliability of the hands and feet, as wakeboarding demands an agile approach. As we perform quick and light movements during wakeboarding, our feet and hands gradually become more nimble.
- It improves mental focus and reinvigorates the mind from everyday distractions. If you don’t focus on what you are doing when wakeboarding, you will fall. That’s why people become more focused due to wakeboarding.
- Enhances adaptability and improves reaction times, owing to the unexpected shifts of direction and posture demanded. For sure you are going to be vigilant and responding faster when you are speeding across the water tugged by a boat.
- Establish hand-eye coordination, as the rider should stay concentrated and steady.
- Improves swimming capability, as you will definitely fall into the water many times no matter you are an experienced wakeboarder or a beginner.
So as we can see, wakeboarding has lots of health benefits, which make it worthier to try.
If you wish to start being engaged in wakeboarding professionally, you will definitely need to find out what wakeboarding equipment includes.
- The most important part of your wakeboarding gear, which will make or break your wakeboarding experience, is the wakeboard. Make sure to purchase a wakeboard having superior quality with fins for maneuvering with constant rockers for the greatest outcomes.
For beginners, we recommend buying a double-ended wakeboard with upturned lips at two ends. The modern double-ended wakeboards are much lighter, more stable, and easier to jump with. Regarding the length of the wakeboard you should choose, it highly depends on your weight and height. And concerning the fins, always ask retailers to give you advice on the kinds of fins that will best fit your level of expertise in wakeboarding.
- Another mandatory equipment for wakeboarding is a boat. The kind of boat you have will have an undeviating influence on your activity. With regard to its affordability, a boat is too expensive, hence renting a boat instead of purchasing it, is a better choice.
- Regarding the rope, the less experienced you are, the shorter the rope should be, as it is easier to control. In contrast, for professionals, who are adrenaline seekers wishing to do tricks, longer rope (approximately 55-60ft) is a better solution. Actually, the best option is buying an adaptable sectioned rope, so that you can easily change its length.
- Handles are also important components of a wakeboarding kit. Owing to having wide handles, new tricks will be a lot easier to learn.
- You will also need bindings for wakeboarding to keep your feet on the wakeboard. There are 3 types of boots you can choose from. For beginners, velcro bindings are preferable, as they are rather adjustable and keep sportsmen stable. Adjustable boots provide a bit more assistance and fit various foot sizes, while high back boot bindings provide the best level of support and are designed mostly for those who enjoy doing tricks.
- Another essential component you will need to buy for wakeboarding is a wetsuit. The first thing you should consider when purchasing a wetsuit is its thickness. The thickness of the wetsuit varies for different temperatures of the water you are wakeboarding in.
For places having warm water, you can put on a thinner wetsuit, while for places with cold water you will need your wetsuit to have more thickness. However, it should be mentioned that the thicker your wetsuit, the harder it will be for you to move. That’s why some designers have started to make thick suits, which have more lightweight arms so that your movement isn’t limited and you are warm meantime.
- The next thing you will need to ensure your safety when wakeboarding is a buoyancy vest. Although many people confuse them with life jackets, they aren’t the same. Life jackets are created with the intention to keep a person afloat when he falls from a board. Whereas a buoyancy vest is designed to allow better swimming when you appear in the water.
There are two different kinds of buoyancy aids available now, that are light enough to not restrict your movements. The first quite cheaper and long-lasting one is the nylon vest. The second, more expensive one, is the neoprene vest. It’s produced of the same substance as wetsuits and is more comfortable and warm.
- The next safety component you will need is a helmet. It will help you avoid serious injuries you may get if accidents happen while wakeboarding.
Now after reading this, you might start thinking about how you can afford to buy the full set of gear for wakeboarding. That could be too expensive. The truth is there is no need to worry. In the beginning, you can just rent the wakeboarding equipment you need from a rental center and start practicing. Only when you find you enjoy the adventure very much and wish to engage in it professionally, you will need to consider purchasing all the necessary equipment.
Wakeboarding Tips for Beginners
- Find out the right equipment. Prior to getting started one has to ensure he is using the proper wakeboarding equipment. Instead of purchasing professional wakeboards, go and search for the ones that are best for beginners. Wondering what to look for? Choose a larger board with larger fins and a shorter rope, to be closer to the boat and to make it easier for you to control the board.
- Footing. Then you need to learn to get up on the board. First figure out which of your feet will go first and be the ancillary one and which will be the back foot.
- Practice on land. Then you need to practice on land. Bend your knees, extend your arms, as if you are holding a rope and ask someone to help you to feel as a boat is pulling you up through the rope.
- Practice in the water. Now you need to do the same you did on land this time in the water. Make the one who supports you stand on the boat and hold and pull the opposite part of the rope to help you stand on your board. After successfully practicing in the water, you are ready to start wakeboarding.
- Learn Hand signals. To ensure your safety you need to learn hand signals to know how to explain to the boat driver to decrease the speed, go faster, stop or move during your wakeboarding adventure.