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Ride the Wake: Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is like snowboarding on water. If you have experience with surfing, water skiing, snowboarding, or skateboarding, you'll have to try wakeboarding. It's one of those sports that you can really get into if you like to work on cool tricks. Why is it called "wakeboarding?" The wake is the wave that the motorboat's engine kicks up behind the boat as the boat moves forward. It's a little rockier than still lake water, and that's what makes it fun to ride.

Basically it's a lot like water skiing, where a rider gets towed behind a motorboat, but instead of facing forward, the rider is sideways. This is a little bit obvious because of its name, but another major difference is you ride on a board not a pair of skis. This makes doing flips and spins easier since both your feet are attached to the board (instead of being separated on 2 skis). People don't really do tricks on water skis unless they're using trick skis that are shorter and have no fins.

All you need is a big open lake, a motorboat, a life jacket, a tow line (the rope you hold onto), a wakeboard, a driver, and someone else in the boat to watch the rider. This person's job is very important - they let the driver know if the rider has let go of the tow line, and point out where they are floating in the water (sometimes it's tough to see the bobbing person).

You don't have to have any water skiing experience in order to wakeboard, just like you don't have to ski before you snowboard. I definitely recommend taking a lesson so you can learn some basic skills, like getting up since this can be the hardest part. Like with everything, practice is the key.

You've got to check out this video of a woman using a trampoline to practice her wakeboard tricks, so


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