Water Sports - Wakeboarding

Wake up to Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding is said to be the fastest growing water sport in the world. Practiced on lakes or the sea, it's like a combination of snowboarding, waterskiing and skateboarding or a cross between mono skiing and surfing. Although it may contain an essence of all these activities, wakeboarding is most definitely a water sport in its own right. If you can waterski, then it's likely that you'll pick up wakeboarding without too much trouble and Andalucia has the perfect all-year-round climate and surroundings to learn or improve your wakeboarding skills.

The wakeboard is like a small surfboard (average size 4.5 feet long by approximately 16 inches wide at the central point) and has foot straps fitted to the upper side. Although the foot straps look like built in ski boots, they are called 'bindings' and keep the feet fixed in one position, while the body has a sideways stance.

In the States in the mid-1980s, a Skurfer and then later a Water Ski Board led the way for the now hugely popular wakeboard. The design of the board has evolved along with the sport itself, which now even has a governing body - the World Wakeboard Association. Similar to the snowboarding fraternity, to begin with this extreme sport attracted thousands of young males between the ages of 13 and 25, but is now becoming popular with both sexes of most ages. There is a strong movement among the many thousands of enthusiasts to make wakeboarding an Olympic Event, in view of the fact that the sport has taken off, especially over the last five years.

Riders are pulled by a specially weighted boat, causing a large wake behind it. The wakeboarder swerves and cuts the water by rocking the board. The boats tend to be slightly less expensive than those used for waterskiing, making the sport even more attractive. Your credibility in the world of wakeboarding includes a whole new language, especially where the many moves are concerned. These include; Whirlybird, Tantrum and Slob 360 - none of which are for the fainthearted. On a large wake, a rider can jump 25 feet above the water. A top move is the 1080, which entails doing three full 360-degree flips in the air - seldom seen and only once caught on camera in America.

If you can waterski, then you should try wakeboarding to give yourself more of a challenge. Skateboarders, windsurfers and snowboarders should also catch on easily, but if you've never tried any of the above, it might be an idea to try waterskiing on two skis before you strap your feet into a wakeboard.