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Kid's Review
Wakeboarding
August, 2005 - Issue #10
Jolie showing off her wakeboarding skills at the lake
Jolie showing off her wakeboarding skills at the lake
The summer season is in full swing and I have been wakeboarding for weeks now. For those of you who have never heard of this marvelous water sport, here is the 411.

When you wakeboard, you put your feet into boots that are attached to board that is similar to a half-sized surfboard. Then, you hold onto a rope that is attached to a boat and off you go. Well, not quite. Most people wakeboard at a lake - my personal favorite is Lake Nacimiento near Paso Robles - although a few adventurous wakeboarders go out on the ocean, yikes!

The word "wakeboarding" comes from the action of steering the board up and down across the boat's wakes, sometimes throwing in a jump or a 180-degree turn. I think it is much more fun than waterskiing, and it is a lot easier.

Steps to getting up on the wakeboard:

  • Once in the water, square the board up to the back of the boat and hold on to the rope handle.
  • The rope should go over the board and lay between your legs so you can grasp it easily.
  • When you're ready, holler at the boat driver and say, "Hit it!"
  • As the boat starts moving, stay in the water, but let your body be pulled into a ball.
  • If you stay in this position for a few seconds, the pull of the boat will make you stand up, turning the board as you rise.
  • Don't worry - it takes a while to find your balance and figure out how to steer yourself around.
Once you get the hang of it, it really is easy!

Helpful hints:

  • The longer the wakeboard, the easier it is to balance.
  • Find out which foot you want to go forward before you get in the water.
  • As you get up, watch the front of the board and make sure it does not go under the water.
  • Don't think you'll get up on your first try; it's going to take a day's worth of boarding to get the hang of it.
After you have worked out the kinks, you can try some new stunts. The easiest is going in and out of the wake. All you do is steer to the side and keep your wakeboard from going under water, simple! Some "crowd pleasers" are waving to your audience or bowing at the beginning of your performance. Leaning down to touch the water always attracts some ooohs and ahhhs. As you become more experienced, tossing in a jump is forever fun. There is no end to the list of tricks you can learn. So, what are you waiting for? Get out there and wakeboard!
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