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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Wakeboarding Discussion Archives > Archive through February 21, 2007

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Old     (maliburider456)      Join Date: Nov 2006       02-06-2007, 2:10 PM Reply   
who invented wakeboarding and when?
Old     (board2death)      Join Date: Apr 2006       02-06-2007, 2:18 PM Reply   
some dude in Texas going to college that missed the Cali surf
Old     (the_bug)      Join Date: May 2004       02-06-2007, 2:20 PM Reply   
Al Gore invented wakeboarding in the late 60s after a particularly colorful 250 mike trip in the delta with members of the Grateful Dead. It was around the same time he invented the internet.
Old     (woreout)      Join Date: Aug 2006       02-06-2007, 2:20 PM Reply   
Hugh G Rekshun did in 1993. He took Skurfing a step further.
Old     (jakoerber)      Join Date: Jul 2004       02-06-2007, 2:34 PM Reply   
Tony Finn is widely known as the creator of the sport of wakeboarding. He invented the Skurfer in 1985. He was responsible for sales and marketing and successfully sold Skurfers to over 500 water sports stores domestically and to twenty foreign countries. Sales reached $500 thousand dollars in 1987. He also published the first wakeboard instruction manual with World Publications titled Skurfer's Guide to Water Ski Boarding
Old     (maliburider456)      Join Date: Nov 2006       02-06-2007, 2:36 PM Reply   
yah i just looked it up and tony finn invented it pretty much. he and his friends took the skurfer and put straps on it and did slide tricks behind the boat. this is for a project at school. if anyone has any websites that shows how the wakeboard has evolved over the years it would be greatly appreciated.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       02-06-2007, 2:38 PM Reply   
Even though Tony Finn is usually the guy correctly credited with the invention of wakeboarding, Jimmy Redmon was working on his Redline boards at around the same time in Texas. Jimmy never marketed his product as successfully as Tony did. I guess it was fate that these guys would end up together at Wake Tech and now Liquid Force.
Old     (proho)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-06-2007, 4:14 PM Reply   
depends what you consider a wakeboard. people were shredding on surfboards in lakes since the 60's. early wakeboards were just surfboards with one little strap keeping your foot down. Do these guy's really get credit for adding a little strap to what people were doing for decades??? I'd like to think of it more as an evolution than an invention.
Old     (mitchj)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-06-2007, 4:24 PM Reply   
A single trick ski was riden by myself and friends as early as 1968 I dont think we invented any thing just making conversation but we did do some of the basic stuff that wakeboarders do today.As mentioned before we got our first Skurfer in the mid 80s
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       02-06-2007, 4:35 PM Reply   
I see a very big difference between a Skurfer and a surfboard. However, probably the biggest part of the invention was the way you rode it. I don't there were many jumping wakes on surfboards back in the days of early "wakesurfing."

I used to stand up on the Hydroslide with the strap over my feet. Although the pieces of wakeboarding were essentially there, the attitude was not.
Old     (ponte_06_x2)      Join Date: Jan 2006       02-06-2007, 6:10 PM Reply   
It was John Wake from Boarding Cali. It was in 1986.
Old     (the_dunit)      Join Date: Jan 2007       02-07-2007, 6:50 AM Reply   
The name "wakeboarding" was created by Paul and Murray Fraser who run Hyperlite Canada. Before then it was widely known as "skurfing" or "ski boarding". That was probably back in '92 or '93, I'm not really sure.
Old     (brhanley)      Join Date: Jun 2001       02-07-2007, 9:36 AM Reply   
tony finn also apparently invented the fashion (h)air, a timeless classic. do a search or try to PM electricsnow...she'll hook you up.
Old     (proho)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-07-2007, 3:26 PM Reply   
Matt, actually it was around before then. that was just the time when they started calling skurfers wakeboards. e-snow posted an article a while back where they were using the term wakeboarding. I believe it was from the 60s.

Dave, What's the differences between a skurfer and a srufboard other than straps. There might be some minor changes in shape in fins but for the most part they are the same.
Old     (wakeworld)      Join Date: Jan 1997       02-07-2007, 4:07 PM Reply   
I'm not surfer, but I'm pretty sure that 99% of surfers couldn't take a Skurfer out and have any kind of success in the ocean. Smaller, thinner, heavier, more buoyent. I don't see much that's the same other than the point on the front.

I have a 1968 Popular Mechanics magazine with an article on "Wakeboarding," but it's really just using a surfboard behind a boat, so you really have two different generations of wakeboarding. I think I've heard of people getting pulled behind boats on surfboards as far back as the 30's.
Old     (lostkgb78)      Join Date: Oct 2005       02-07-2007, 5:05 PM Reply   
Daves correct- the name wake boarding has been around for a long time. The name Wakeboarding as we know it today was adopted from Wakeboarding Magazine "the Word in Ski-boarding & Knee-boarding". It just sounded a lot cooler than Ski-boarding.
What Tony Finn did to get credit as the grandfather of wakeboarding was market the sport. Ya the skurfers were pretty bad but Finns a marketing mad man.
My 2 cents...
Old     (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       02-08-2007, 2:36 AM Reply   
I heard from someone that at one of the old skurfer worlds, they had a meeting for what the criteria for a wakeboard should be for competition, and it was also at that meeting that the riders decided to change the name from skiboarding to wakeboarding. I should mention that this person was actually there, so it's not internet hooey or anything. ;)

In my opinion, the early wakeboarding term (even though it was surfing behind a boat, and was also called "freeboarding" and whatever else) is completely relevant and I would still group it in the same category as today's "wakeboarding," albeit a more archaic form of it (and it closer resembles today's 'boat surfing'). Where we're at is a result of evolution and people seeing some sort of promise in a hobby they took seriously when others weren't quite there yet. That is where I'd give jimmy and tony HUGE credit. They didn't invent "wakeboarding." And even with their early boards, they were shorter, strapless surfboards (much like "freeboarding"). But they began to invest their time into what they loved, and from what I can tell, that belief and time invested in wakeboarding is what helped it get to the next level. That in itself is a HUGE deal in my eyes.

There were surfing companies that made "wakeboards" and called and marketed them as such (inland surfing or what have you), but why did this activity really not go anywhere from the 60s to the mid 80s? It takes someone with foresight and dedication to improve it, and show people what's possible.

Anyway, "freeboarding" seems very far off from what our modern day wakeboarding is, but I'd compare it to snurfers being credited as the first snowboards, and wacky pieces of wood with crates on top as being a precurser to skateboarding. They all started out primitive and they don't closely resemble where each respective art is at now, but they were all certainly beginnings--key beginnings at that. (because you have to start somewhere, right?)

And yeah, I have a number of pieces of literature and adverts where these boards were called wakeboards. At this point, I'm kind of over the copy and paste info from all of the articles on the internet, crediting so and so with this or that when it simply isn't true.
Old     (borka)      Join Date: Jul 2006       02-08-2007, 3:29 AM Reply   
-Ancients egyptians.
Old     (brody)      Join Date: Jul 2006       02-08-2007, 4:44 PM Reply   
So technically wakeskating was first
Old     (lmtwa)      Join Date: May 2001       02-09-2007, 6:26 AM Reply   
I'm going with DC - Al Gore!!
(Belmont) Lloyd
PS But I well remember driving an old tri-hull in Foxies Lagoon (1985) where (apparently) we passed Tony finn in the water on this strange device. Shaun (9) and Chris knew what it was and said "Dad, we have to get one." To which I replied "Read my lips... we'll never have one of those."
Old     (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       02-09-2007, 6:40 AM Reply   
I remember when the Skurfer showed up at Mission bay and we were standing up on kneeboards then. We thought they were stupid because you couldn't do surface 360's on them! We didn't give in until we saw people doing stuff in the air.

You can thank the sport of surfing.
Old     (da_moose)      Join Date: Feb 2004       02-09-2007, 12:50 PM Reply   
Tom Morey{he invended the Boggie board} ,was at my shop last week and he told me how He & Hobie used to FreeRide behind a boat 45 years ago.Check out the Movie "Endless Summer"
But we all Know who invented Da step Down Rail,Bat tail ,double concave bottom ,arh bar foot pad.
Old     (piranha)      Join Date: Aug 2004       02-09-2007, 4:55 PM Reply   
Al Gore invented it the same year he invented the Internet. I'll go with dc and Lloyd.
Old     (nj_alex)      Join Date: Aug 2002       02-09-2007, 7:09 PM Reply   
Back in 2005 a good friend of mine and passionate wakeboarder, Mark Johnson, died suddenly. Mike Schwenne and I even wrote a little memorial here on wakeworld.
http://www.wakeworld.com/getarticle.asp?articleid=482
Any hoo, Mark grew-up on a lake in Wisconsin and he, his siblings and his parents were always out on the water. Here's a picture of Mark Johnson's mother circa 1955 riding what the family likes to call "an early wakeboard." This picture was sent to me by Mark's sister Kimberly.
Upload

This isn't verified, but this picture may have been taken by Lloyd flying overhead in his biplane.
Old     (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       02-09-2007, 7:57 PM Reply   
that's a very cool picture...but it's more like one of those disks showskiers use in their ski shows.

another thing to look for would be aquaplanes. I don't really like those things...like I wouldn't really say they're "early wakeboarding" but it closer resembles wakeboarding than most other things. you can find REALLY old pictures of people riding those things. I have an ad for some company that dates back to the 30s, and one invention (which was patent pending, I believe) was called a "skiboard" and it was an aquaplane with an outboard motor on the back! hahaha...totally outrageous. But I think it's interesting that it was called a skiboard...I pretty much hadn't tracked that word down until tony finn and the skurfer.

anyway, I don't think the invention of wakeboarding is something that can be owned or credited. Surfers have been riding behind boats for quite some time, and obviously some people helped progress the art more than others. One thing seems consistent though...you'll always have someone saying they were building boards in their garage before so and so. :-)
Old     (drewsy)      Join Date: Mar 2003       02-12-2007, 10:57 AM Reply   
Alex, My Mom also rode what is shown in your picture. My parents called it a "disk" This was also in the late 50's and 60's. I also learned to get up on it. Andrew
Old     (greenpinky)      Join Date: Apr 2004       02-12-2007, 11:31 AM Reply   
Is that a prototype of the wrapped handle??
Old     (breadbutta)      Join Date: Dec 2003       02-12-2007, 2:01 PM Reply   
I thought DA MOOSE invented wakeboarding.
Old     (proho)      Join Date: Aug 2005       02-12-2007, 2:27 PM Reply   
mike, thats just a float to keep the handle from sinking. It was not meant to be held afaik.

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