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Old     (bandit628)      Join Date: Feb 2016       05-17-2019, 9:43 AM Reply   
I love wakeboarding.
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This is the start of my 5th*full season wakeboarding. Last year I finally landed my first inverts. I don’t know why I fell in love with wakeboarding so much. I learned to snowboard 5 years ago and loved the feeling of being on a board. I moved back home and the closest thing to it was wakeboarding….so I bought a boat. Also, at the time I would have been 24, I realized wakeboarding is a young man’s game, so I might as well do it now while I can.
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At first, I thought all my friends would want to go all the time on the weekends, get to the lake in the afternoon, wakeboard, hang out, swim, and just have a good time. Boy was I wrong. As young adults everyone’s schedule is busy. To get to the lake it takes a lot of time and you have to make it a priority. So, I quickly found out which friends of mine loved boating (or rather wakeboarding and watersports) as much as I did and because of that have become a lot closer. I don’t hold it against my non-boating friends at all, it’s just not what they’re into or don’t have time, I get it.
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Another thing I quickly learned, was that prime-time boating time is not the same as prime-time wakeboarding time. If it’s a nice weather day on the, weekend in the summer before 10AM everyone and their brother is on the lake. This makes for some very rough water and about impossible to wakeboard. So early mornings on the weekends and late nights through the week after work have become the norm. I wish I had easy access to a lake like Cumberland or Norris where you can find glassy water anytime of the day because of the sheer size and geographical features of the region, but alas I do not. The closest lake is a roughly a 1000-acre city owned lake that gets busy in the summer, but overall, I’m blessed with this lake because it has about a 2-mile run and doesn’t catch an exuberant amount of wind.
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Wakeboarding is hard. Let me reiterate:* wakeboarding is so hard. But damn it is so much fun, when everything (your brain and body) is working right it’s amazing. I have tried countless times to try and land a new trick, and when you finally do it is so rewarding. To quote Jimmy Dugan, “It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” He was talking about baseball and not wakeboarding, but this can be applied to a lot of sports and different ambitions in life.
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Besides the adrenaline rush of flying through the air 70 feet behind the boat I think the reason I like wakeboarding so much is all the physics and factors involved. When I first got into it, I had no clue. Speed of the boat, model of boat, how much ballast is in the boat, how many people are in the boat, ballast distribution throughout the boat, rope length, boat prop, body weight, board size, board curvature, line tension, handle control, and water conditions are all part of the equation. I’m sure most guys just fill the ballast tanks up, grip it and rip it. But my over analytical mind takes over along with my OCD, so I want to be able to repeat things every time and know why I can’t land a trick on a certain day. That being said, I think one of the reasons wakeboarding is so hard is because all of the factors involved. On any given day one or more of the factors have changed, thus changing the equation.
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Another aspect of wakeboarding and watersports I enjoy is the family and social aspect of it. The whole family can be involved. Everyone is in the boat and can witness and congratulate each other on their successes behind the boat. And unlike snow-sports, everyone can hang out together no matter their skill level. Also, through wakeboarding I have met some awesome people, made some great friends, and have met some outstanding wakeboarders that I have had to privilege to watch ride. Everyone has their own riding style and bag of tricks they can land. It’s surprising how much you can learn by just watching another skilled wakeboarder ride. The team aspect of the sport is wonderful because everyone wants you to progress and vice versa.
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Sounds like all unicorns and rainbows, right? Well remember that I said wakeboarding is a young man’s game. The bad part about wakeboarding is that it involves some inherent risk, stamped on every wakeboard is a warning “use of this product could cause injury and possibly death.” While I haven’t heard of very many wakeboarding deaths (they do occur rarely, mainly due to drowning and not wearing a proper CGA lifejacket), injuries are fairly common. Half or more of the pro-wakeboarders wear knee braces which is indicative of an ACL tear. In my crew, we have yet to have an ACL tear (knock on wood), but we have had our share of injuries including: concussions, perforated ear drums, torn meniscus, chipped teeth, and the common pulled muscles. It might sound like a daunting list of injuries but for almost 5 years of riding it is pretty small. When you think about any sports, injuries occur, it’s just part of life. For myself and my crew the risk is worth the reward. The key, like with anything, is to use common sense and ride within your ability level. For me the benefits of exercise and staying in shape far out weight the negatives. I’m positive that wakeboarding has kept me in shape better than it has injured me, because now I go to the gym to stay in shape so that I’m able to wakeboard better.
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Another factor that goes into wakeboarding is the boat itself. I know cable parks are becoming more common throughout the country that make wakeboarding accessible without a boat, but I do not live close to one, so a boat is a necessity. While I overall enjoy owning my boat and using it, it is a financial burden. The upfront cost, fuel costs, and maintenance costs all add up. My friends regularly help with fuel cost which helps, but it still costs to own and maintain a boat. Not only monetary cost, but a boat requires a lot of time to keep it in good condition. My wife jokes with me that I am boat crazy, I always retort that no I’m wakeboarding crazy and the boat is just the necessary evil. Don’t get me wrong I like my boat but if I were given the option of to just wakeboard without the hassle of owning a boat it would be hard to pass up.
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In closing, I don’t really know what compelled me to write this essay, I guess my love for the sport of wakeboarding. It is by far the hardest but most rewarding sport I have done. I hope you enjoyed the read and can relate to some of topics I mentioned.
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Old     (ScottyP)      Join Date: Jul 2016       05-17-2019, 10:35 AM Reply   
This guy gets it. Love it. Could have written all that myself.

(And most of what you wrote is why wakesurfing is NOT appealing to me as a serious hobby.)
Old     (dyost)      Join Date: Jan 2007       05-17-2019, 11:19 AM Reply   
Very well said. Gets me amped up as I have a riding date tomorrow 8am dragging the whole family along and again Sunday at 6am with just the boys.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       05-17-2019, 2:57 PM Reply   
Since this is wakeworld, how do we turn this awesome thread into an argument? Who loves wakeboarding more?

Just turned 40, one turn acl, 2 ruptured ear drums, one black eye, and many pulled muscles, but still love it.
Old     (theloungelife)      Join Date: Jun 2012 Location: Salt Lake City, UT       05-17-2019, 3:41 PM Reply   
Covers all the bases. I agree completely on how the addiction to the sport is due to how hard and risky it can be. For me a huge part of the reason why I wakeboard as much as possible and snowboard as much as I can in the winter is focus. Due to how hard and risky they can be, when you're pushing yourself, it makes you 100% present minded. Very few things in life are as effective at doing this.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       05-17-2019, 6:54 PM Reply   
That was excellent. The addiction of wakeboarding is real! Those words hold true for me as well. There is just a feeling you get wakeboarding that you can’t replicate, especially wake surfing. Those who have been “addicted” know. You watch the weather daily, sometimes hourly, and plan all your meetings and outings around the calm and sunny days. You think about wakeboard tricks all the time. You watch “how to” videos on tricks and boat videos daily.

Enjoy the ride.
Old     (tripsw)      Join Date: May 2006       05-17-2019, 7:01 PM Reply   
It is a wonderful sport isn't it?!
I started riding about 22 years ago and still love it like I did day 1. More now, probably
Cheers for your post, always stoked to see people falling in love with wakeboarding, and always good to see people with passion.
Old     (bandit628)      Join Date: Feb 2016       05-18-2019, 11:46 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 501s View Post
That was excellent. The addiction of wakeboarding is real! Those words hold true for me as well. There is just a feeling you get wakeboarding that you can’t replicate, especially wake surfing. Those who have been “addicted” know. You watch the weather daily, sometimes hourly, and plan all your meetings and outings around the calm and sunny days. You think about wakeboard tricks all the time. You watch “how to” videos on tricks and boat videos daily.



Enjoy the ride.
So I'm not the only one that has tried to become an amateur weatherman?? Lol. This is so true. I'm always looking at the weather and planning my next trip. I've learned that at my lake, anything but a south wind more than 10mph with gusts around 15 to 20 I might as well stay home.

This is one reason why i think living at the lake is so intising. You don't really have to worry about the weather, you just take the boat out and grab a set when it's nice and calm. I'm sure the calm after a big storm in the summer is great because no one else is out. Plus you could grab a set in the morning on the weekend, put the boat up and do whatever the rest of the day. Instead of feeling like you have to stay at least 4 hours to get your money's worth from trailering the boat there. .... dreaming I guess. Again I guess I love wakeboarding, and like boating.
Old     (501s)      Join Date: Feb 2010       05-19-2019, 4:45 AM Reply   
Trust me, I know the addiction. For 10 years we were the very first boat on the lake each spring and always wakeboarded. (Usually the same day as ice off or the next day). And we were always the last boat on the lake, sometime riding into November which for Alberta, Canada is rare.

Family summer vacations revolve around boating and the lake. Local contests were a blast to attend and we met a lot of great people too. For a few years we even had a little wakeboard school and coached the junior provincial team. Then there were the Spring trips to Florida to ride at wake schools which was another high point. Getting to ride on Danny Harfs G, and watch him take a set was an experience I’ll never forget.

Those are just some random thoughts of all the good times wakeboarding has provided us over the years. The life style is a blast. But having a lake front house or a slip in a marina definitely makes it easier to get more riding in.

Good luck chasing the dream. I can remember a time almost 20 years ago when we first moved to the lake and I saw my first wake boats and I thought “someday I hope to own one of those”. And in what seems like a flash, 10 years went by and with a LOT of hard work and planning I had a brand new wakeboat on the driveway.
Old     (bcd)      Join Date: Jun 2012       05-19-2019, 2:37 PM Reply   
https://youtu.be/Xs-IMFGLWI8

How can you not be pumped on wakeboarding after this video?
Old     (theloungelife)      Join Date: Jun 2012 Location: Salt Lake City, UT       05-21-2019, 9:00 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 501s View Post
I can remember a time almost 20 years ago when we first moved to the lake and I saw my first wake boats and I thought “someday I hope to own one of those”. And in what seems like a flash, 10 years went by and with a LOT of hard work and planning I had a brand new wakeboat on the driveway.
Feel you there. Ended up taking my career much more seriously to obtain my boat. Set me on a good path I think.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-21-2019, 10:10 AM Reply   
Started at 37 and have been riding for 26 years now. I am lucky to live where I can ride the cable and the boat. It's still one of the most important things in my life to be able to enjoy something that keeps me healthy (minus the few parts that get broken occasionally) and not feeling like you have to work at it or tell yourself to go do it. It might be a young man's game at the competitive level, but not at the enjoyment level.
Old     (bandit628)      Join Date: Feb 2016       05-21-2019, 10:28 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by fly135 View Post
Started at 37 and have been riding for 26 years now. I am lucky to live where I can ride the cable and the boat. It's still one of the most important things in my life to be able to enjoy something that keeps me healthy (minus the few parts that get broken occasionally) and not feeling like you have to work at it or tell yourself to go do it. It might be a young man's game at the competitive level, but not at the enjoyment level.
That's awesome! I hope to still be riding into my 60s.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-22-2019, 5:13 AM Reply   
Yup, you GO John (fly135)! I'm 5-6 years behind you, and not quite as frequent, but still boarding consistently with all the stoke of the OP. Great thread.
Old     (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       05-22-2019, 9:26 AM Reply   
It's only frequent because of the easy access to riding at the cable park. Getting friends to come over to wakeboard at our age seems a bit difficult. I find the cable to be relaxing and therapeutic. It's kind of like you can meditate while you're riding. But when I get behind the G23 with a beefy wake my adrenalin definitely picks up.
Old     (ottog1979)      Join Date: Apr 2007       05-22-2019, 9:52 AM Reply   
WISH I had a cable park near me. My only option is the boat but thankfully I'm in a crew that gets out regularly. And, we all own boats, trading off. My crew is made up of a guy in his early/mid 30's, a guy in his early/mid 40's and ME - 58. Often, I'm the oldest guy going out behind the boat. I don't mind - love it and can't get enough.
Old     (greg_nelson)      Join Date: May 2009       05-23-2019, 11:24 AM Reply   
Great Thread - GN
Old     (tre)      Join Date: Jul 2002 Location: WI       05-28-2019, 6:33 PM Reply   
Great post! I'm in my mid 40's approaching upper 40's. Started wakeboarding 21 or 22 years ago. Love it as much now as I did then. We've been one of the first boats out on our lake in the early morning 3 days per week (during summer) for as long as I've been into wakeboarding. Once everyone in my family takes a couple sets and the water is too rough, we switch to surfing just to stay out a little longer. When I started, inboards were 35k loaded. My first inboard wakeboard boat with factory ballast was a 2 year old boat I purchased for 25k . 10 years after that, they were 85k loaded. Now, another 10 years have gone by and they are 150k. Still love it but it is no longer as affordable as it once was.
Old     (Kurzinator)      Join Date: Aug 2017       06-27-2019, 5:50 AM Reply   
Great post. I'm 46 and still ride, still blast inverts. I will say though, that I haven't progressed in years; and I haven't been pushing myself. I have my staple tricks but haven't really pushed out past my comfort zone. I know I'd like to, but I also don't want to get hurt.

Last day of summer last year, I hit a transfer and got hung up on a rail and broke my AC joint. It required a couple surgeries to fix. I'll still hit the cable park but I am primarily a boat rider.

Anyways, I loved your post. keep shredding and having fun!!

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