Wakeboarding is a fun and challenging sport. A couple of years ago I was boating with some friends when one of them pulled out something I had never seen before, a wakeboard. In the past I had tried water-skiing and kneeboarding, but until then I had never heard of wakeboarding, I haven’t picked up a water-ski or kneeboard since that day. A wakeboard is shaped a lot like a snowboard. It is 150 cm long and about 60 cm wide.
Riding a wakeboard has been compared to surfing, skateboarding, waterskiing, and snowboarding.
At first I was nervous about learning a new watersport at age 18, because I remembered how hard it was to get up one ski. My friends convinced me to give it a try and I loved it. At first it was hard to get up, but after four try’s I could get up almost every time on the first pull. One of the reasons this sport is so great is that once you get up you can learn and excel very quickly.
By the end of that same day I was almost able to jump over the wake.
I have friends who are able to do backflips, so this gives me a goal. But for now I have to be content with jumping the wake. I like this, because while there is always another level that I’m aiming for I still feel and look competent on a wakeboard. While jumping is the first skill that I learned, the second skill I began working on was riding fakie.
Riding fakie consists of riding with the opposite foot on the back of the wakeboard. Normally I ride with my right foot on the back of the board, this riding stance is referred to as regular. While riding with your left foot back is called riding goofy.
When I first started going fakie it was like learning to wakeboard all over again. Just recently I have gotten to the point where I can ride regular or goofy in any water conditions, choppy or smooth as glass, and feel like I am doing well. Just recently I was able to land a jump that I started in the regular position executed a 180 degree turn and landed in the goofy stance. This took me hours and hours of practice, but overcoming the challenge was so exhilarating that it was worth the time and effort, and made me even more excited about the sport.
The next skill I have been working to acquire is grabs. A grab is contorting your body into different positions then grabbing the board with one of your hands while jumping. The most complicated grab that I can currently land is starting the jump in the regular stance, while in the air I reach through my legs grab the back of my board and execute a 180 degree turn landing in the goofy position. I’m excited about continuing to improve and learning to tweak big air in this new and exciting sport. I am working towards a goal of being able to land a backflip within the next year.
Currently I am really good at landing on my head. But for some reason when I am wakeboarding even landing on my head doesn’t hurt. I am totally stoked about this awesome sport that I have found, the thing that will continue to bring me back to boarding is that it is a sport of never ending challenges and I will never be at the point where I can’t get better anymore, there will always be something to improve on.
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