The list of options for fun, physical activities during the summer time is an extensive one. There are many great outdoor options in existence that can provide a great workout while being a pleasurable time for those involved.
One of the more unique options available during the summer is wakeboarding. This sport combines the thrill and fun of water sports with the skill and technique associated with other variants of the same theme, which makes for a time that can be enjoyed by casual participants while remaining a challenge for professionals.
Wakeboarding is accomplished by having an individual strap themselves into bindings that are embedded on a streamlined board, and then have a boat drag them through the water. The individual is responsible for standing up and controlling themselves while on the water, with the boat providing all of the motion needed to stay up.
Because of the speed of the boat, the water around the participant takes on the properties of more solid objects, transforming the water around the person into a playground or obstacle course. The disturbances created by the boat take on the properties of a safe zone inside the wake, with the obstacles largely falling outside of the safe area.
Additionally, the rider can use the water behind the boat itself as an impromptu ramp, creating a cycle where the rider will cut outside of the safe area, and then quickly veering back in to make the wake a jump. This rhythm is augmented by how the driver of the boat chooses to proceed through the water.
Once the rider falls down or lets go of the tow rope, then the boat circles around, bringing the rope and handle back to the individual for another run. The best types of boats to select for the sport are lightweight ones with a shallow draft, preferably with a tower attached to it so that the person can more easily get out of the water.
Compared to other water sports like waterskiing or tubing, wakeboarding is a more dynamic experience. There is a delicate balance of speed and technique that need to be employed by the driver in order to ensure success.
For example, skiing requires nothing less than ramming the throttle down and maintaining a high speed, while tubing is comparatively slow so that the passengers on the tubes are not put in any danger. However, wakeboarding requires a very quick start, then a slowing that allows the rider to balance and adjust themselves; and the driver modulates speed and course based on the desires of the boarder behind them.
Control of the board lies with the rider, who needs to assume proper positioning and employ the proper technique to stay up. The sport does have a learning curve attached to it, because of the need for every individual to find their stride and secure a rhythm that will allow them to consistently get up and stay up long enough to maneuver.
The technique involved in the sport is part instruction, and part trial and error. If possible, seeking professional lessons is encouraged, because getting up can be a frustrating experience otherwise.
Along with being a challenging physical experience, wakeboarding is also a social sport. It is impossible to participate in the activity alone, and many times there are several observers in the boat.
Being encouraged by others and watching others can be one of the best ways to learn how to be better at the activity. The support that others offer can also keep people engaged in the sport even is they don’t immediately adapt to it.
Because of the seasonal nature of the sport, it is important that the times during the summer that are open are taken advantage of, as it is impossible to improve without practice. Making the most of the time available with a good support network of friends that can help with form and technique is the quickest way to improve.
Wakeboarding is a fun, physical activity that combines a unique summer experience with the physicality associated with working out. Regular sessions over time will not only improve technique and skill on the water, but will also improve strength and coordination in the individual as an added result.
Ronald Pedactor is a personal trainer and has authored hundreds of articles relating to physical training and home fitness equipment. He has been a health expert and physical trainer for over 15 years.