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Go Back   WakeWorld > >> Wakeboarding Discussion Archives > Archive through August 21, 2008

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Old    B Poser (bbr)      Join Date: Apr 2002       08-14-2008, 8:17 PM Reply   
Just starting thinking about how the idea came about. Anyone know the history?
Old    Stephen Higgins (srh00z)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-14-2008, 8:22 PM Reply   
I think it started in Hawaii. Here is the Wiki article. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakeboard#Development_of_the_sport
Old    Jeigh Krupp (balr54)      Join Date: May 2004       08-15-2008, 6:42 AM Reply   
Watch Retrospect, has alot of great history on the sport and about the pioneers who first helped progress the sport.
Old    eric (eas)      Join Date: Nov 2001       08-15-2008, 7:18 AM Reply   
I think it started when Chuck Norris held a secret meeting with Tony and Scott.....
Old    D.F.T.R. Josh (downfortheride)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-15-2008, 8:06 AM Reply   
The Skurfer!
Old    pickles (pickles)      Join Date: Jul 2008       08-15-2008, 8:09 AM Reply   
Awesome question dude.
This is exactly why forums exist.
Very interested to see the ansmwers.
Old    Soli (nsolis220)      Join Date: May 2007       08-15-2008, 8:24 AM Reply   
i saw a bit posted on here a while back that aired on the history channel. I really enjoyed first decent that really showed the start and history of snowboarding. It was awesome
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       08-15-2008, 8:29 AM Reply   
I'd like to think I had a hand in it, surfing behind my parents old tri-hull in the mid 80's.

I am pretty sure Tony Finn, and the other guy (his name escapes me right now) who were shredding the gnar in mission bay back in the 80's is pretty much where it all began.

I am sure esnow will come along and set everyone straight though.
good thread Brandon.
Old    Timothy (timmy)      Join Date: Jul 2001       08-15-2008, 8:30 AM Reply   
I have a coworker that used to ride behind a boat on small thin surfboards with windsurfing straps on them. He has an old VHS tape with them riding, doing all sorts of airs, 180's, 360's etc, it is wild! I can't remember specifics but I think the date on it was sometime between 1986 and 1988.
Old    Chris (committed)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-15-2008, 9:06 AM Reply   
Where's the Snow when you need him?

I think it was a natural progression, not a single act. Some would for sure lay it on the Skurf, but back in the day, a slalom trick ski if you turned the foot binding, would sure mimic a wakeboard. People have been surfing behind boats for decades, and Tony just decided to up the game and strap you in. From there, it's pretty history.....more natural progression.
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       08-15-2008, 10:00 AM Reply   
"Where's the Snow when you need him?"

SHE is probably too offended now to come on and post. haha.
she is probably writing up a huge piece about it as we speak.
Old    the not so naked chef (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       08-15-2008, 1:58 PM Reply   
Yeah, I'm a lady lass....with a JOB. :-)

To be honest, I really don't think you can pin point a specific point in time and a place for its origin. Another factor is what you really consider "wakeboarding." Is it the strict skurfing stuff from tony and jimmy, or do you also include surfing behind boats (which had a number of names, including wakeboarding). Some other industry person cited the aquaplane--it's one of those things where you stand facing forward and there's a rope that attaches to the front. I really don't consider that to be wakeboaridng, but again, to each his own.

I guess keeping that in mind, I haven't focused too much on trying to figure out the first place...people say mission bay, and again, that's modern. There's also some old footage of riders surfing behind boats in hawaii. Instead, I've just looked at when the riding went down, how they were riding, what it was called, what they used and I guess who was doing it.

The one thing that can be said is that there was a boom in the early 60s where people/surfers were riding behind boats. I have a surfer magazine article from 1964 dedicated to that, and it included some legendary surfers (mickey munoz and hobie alter). At this time, they were riding longboards, but into the 70s and early 80s, they started to use short boards and some of the riding closer resembled wakeskating. Some of those guys didn't just slash--some were actually working on ollies (fins out), etc. They also made custom boards that were in the 4'8 range. So that part is particularly interesting to me because at that point, it seems like the progression or direction could have gone either way, like in the wakeskate direction, or the "big air" direction that the straps eventually took it.

I also find it extremely difficult to say "so and so invented wakeboarding" because of stories like tim's. People screwed around and I'm sure there were people experimenting in their garages as well. But you can look at people who've done a lot to take wakeboarding past a simple surfing spin off and actually make it SOMETHING. Two people for sure I always cite are tony and jimmy, just because they focused on it when nobody else did, and both did so in their own way. Again, there are others, like that bruce mckee guy. There's always something else out there, information wise. The main thing is being lucky enough to find it.

I think retrospect is sick, but it focuses more on modern day wakeboarding, or skiboarding as well (whatever). Just know that wakeboarding's history goes well beyond the first issue of wakeboarding magazine, or what was covered in retrospect.

Also, if you do a site search I'm sure you could find other bits of useful information because there have been similar, history-oriented topics on here that have been a good read.
Old    the not so naked chef (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       08-15-2008, 2:03 PM Reply   
I should add that that wiki entry is filled with obvious errors. Wikipedia can be a basic guide...but I would not consider that entry as reliable. I don't know if someone was screwing around on there or what.
Old    Chris Butler (xistential)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-15-2008, 2:15 PM Reply   
" am pretty sure Tony Finn, and the other guy (his name escapes me right now) who were shredding the gnar in mission bay back in the 80's is pretty much where it all began"

Jimmy Redmon
Old    Alpha_Beast (socalwakepunk)      Join Date: Dec 2002       08-15-2008, 2:17 PM Reply   
If you ask him, Al Gore would take credit for it...
Old    Ken Land (bulletlines)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-15-2008, 2:59 PM Reply   
Wakeboarding began in the 1980's with Tony and Jimmy. However, Paul Fraser coined the term Wakeboard...

In my opinion wakeboarding as we know it today did not truly begin until the sport became organized... The sport became organized and was started on Lake Mcqueeney Texas by the start of the World Ski Board Association; which is known today as the World Wakeboard Association... One of the founding fathers is Pat McElhinney. Alot of older people in the sport know who Pat is, but the younger generation of riders really dont know him... More people today know who Pat's protege is; Gabe Lucas.

Little more information: There is a little ski/country club on Lake Mcqueeney that has a very impressive list of famous people who have been or are currently members.
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       08-15-2008, 3:05 PM Reply   
thanks Chris.
I believe Jimmy started up redline boards, after the skurfer??
Old    Matt Simpson (slob02)      Join Date: Mar 2004       08-15-2008, 3:07 PM Reply   
I have a video from 1992 of ESPN's Hot Summer Nights Knee and Ski boarding.
Old    Josh (romes)      Join Date: Sep 2006       08-15-2008, 3:14 PM Reply   
ahh i remember HOt Summer Nights...that was some good ish right there.
Old    Captain OA (cptoafficiency)      Join Date: May 2006       08-15-2008, 3:14 PM Reply   
Yes, Collin Wright invented "backside." Way to go, Collin!
Old    John Haile (waterdork88)      Join Date: Aug 2005       08-15-2008, 3:15 PM Reply   
thanks chuck norris, tony, and scott :-)
Old    Chris Butler (xistential)      Join Date: Jul 2007       08-15-2008, 3:31 PM Reply   
"I believe Jimmy started up redline boards, after the skurfer??"

Apparently they were both working on the same concepts at the same time without the other knowing about it?
Old    the not so naked chef (electricsnow)      Join Date: May 2002       08-15-2008, 6:04 PM Reply   
people can say paul fraiser coined the term wakeboarding, but I have an ad from the early 60s where a board designed for riding behind a boat is called a wakeboard.

Also, I'm kind of curious as to why some thing tony finn's riding at mission bay was more legit than some of the older documented footage that exists? Is it because he eventually started a brand? Drilled straps into his board?

I always feel a bit frustrated when the history gets short changed like that. I feel it's been proven more than once there were people riding behind boats long before tony finn (though that's not to say he's not done a lot for wakeboarding, because that's far from the case).

Even though that older riding doesn't resemble what's going on today, that doesn't mean it's irrevelant to our history. I always cite snurfing vs snowboarding--snowboarding fully accepts the snurfer as its first board, and obviously the equipment and riding has evolved well past that stage and style.

(Message edited by electricsnow on August 15, 2008)
Old    Gene Williams (gene3x)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-16-2008, 1:39 PM Reply   
Was the skurfer the first time a board had been marketed to the masses? I remember when it came out, I then was a big slalom skier, and it was so hard to get up on that I never tried it again and told myself "that thing will never make it"
I soon after quit sking to play football and never got back on the water until like 2004. I ended up working in the corporate world and never even knew wakeboarding was developing...... damnit!
Old    Da MOOSE (da_moose)      Join Date: Feb 2004       08-16-2008, 2:38 PM Reply   
Well let me think about this.It's been a long time.
Old    Dave (knarbar)      Join Date: Nov 2006       08-16-2008, 3:19 PM Reply   
Tony Finn on a surf board with bolt on bindings
Old    Chris H. (04gravitygames)      Join Date: Jan 2006       08-17-2008, 2:58 AM Reply   
I know back in the day 1984 we used a old surf board, very small like an old knee surfer it was 4' and would be pretty cool to still have, used it behind our 20' glastron.
Old    David Miller (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       08-17-2008, 9:05 AM Reply   
I think that it evolved at multiple times at different spots ,not just one person's idea. Now listen to this , My father in law used to ski in the Tampa area with people that skied at Cypress Gardens. Shoe ski's , trick skis etc,. They would mount a boot on the trick ski (Before store bought trick ski's) at a angle and kick one trick ski off & ride & jump Like we wakeboard.(Way Before a Skurfer) So if this was happening here in the 60's & 70's, It was planted into others minds who carried the idea all over....

(Message edited by otown_dave on August 17, 2008)

(Message edited by otown_dave on August 17, 2008)
Old    Brock Landers (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-17-2008, 10:33 AM Reply   
If you count the first record of someone riding a board behind a boat as the advent of wakeboarding then the truth might suprise some of you.

I would like to read a paragraph from a surf mag circa june 1964.The issue was a dedication to wakesurfing.

Dick Pope says,
BOAT WAKE SURFING!!THE DUKE LED THE WAY.
while boat surfing explodes into great popularity all over the country this summer(1964) we would like to prove that there is really nothing new under the sun.Exactly sixty years ago Duke kahanamoku of Hawaii,the man who first introduced wave riding to the U.S.Put on a boat wave surfing demonstration in coronada bay,San Diego.Quite a bit of interest was shown,but the heavy unwieldy boards of that day prevented the sport from becoming very popular.



That would place wakesurfing at 1904 invented by a Hawaii native.
Old    Brock Landers (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-17-2008, 10:39 AM Reply   
http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/grip01/wakesurf.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/grip01/wakesurf005.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/grip01/wakesurf004.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/grip01/wakesurf003.jpg

http://i57.photobucket.com/albums/g240/grip01/wakesurf001.jpg
Old    David Miller (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       08-17-2008, 11:12 AM Reply   
WOW, wakesurfing is old! Still not wakeboarding,
Old    Brock Landers (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-17-2008, 11:30 AM Reply   
First guy riding behind a boat on a board.
Old    David Miller (otown_dave)      Join Date: Dec 2007       08-17-2008, 11:34 AM Reply   
In the 1800's I'm sure someone rode a log behind a paddle wheel boat on the Mississippi,
Old    Brock Landers (formfunction)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-17-2008, 11:54 AM Reply   
His name was huckleberry fin
Old    Ryan Siebring (lostkgb78)      Join Date: Oct 2005       08-17-2008, 12:03 PM Reply   
I was at the first two Skurfer worlds in 90 & 91.

I have a friend who has the 91 worlds on VHS. I should see if I could get it on youtube.

It's pretty classic to see 17 year old Shapiro do a wrapped 360 and almost eat it.
Old    Clubjoe (clubjoe)      Join Date: Sep 2005       08-17-2008, 4:23 PM Reply   
Wasn't the video "the perfect (or endless) wave" made in the 50's? Some kids were traveling the world in search of the perfect wave (I think Africa won), and during one of their stops got pulls behind a boat and used their surfboards... It was a narrated documentary, and the earliest film I've seen of the use of a board rather than skis...
Old    Ronnie (ronnie)      Join Date: Sep 2001       08-18-2008, 7:44 AM Reply   
I think that vid was called "The Endless Summer".
Old    Jeremy Byrom (wakerider111)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-20-2008, 8:37 PM Reply   
Wakeboarding officially began when Randall Harris was born...

...not sure how good a Vandall joke that'd be...
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       08-20-2008, 9:14 PM Reply   
esnow, correct if i'm wrong pls. but didn't Tony Finn and Jimmy Redmon start LF??

anyway, loving the tutorial. keep it coming.

BTW, one of my bro's has driven a surf sesh for Jimmy. kinda cool, wish I was on the boat.
Old    JK (justridin)      Join Date: Oct 2002       08-20-2008, 9:35 PM Reply   
I would suggest that the beginning of wakeboarding was the introduction of the compression molded board which was the Hyperlite by HO. Herb O'Brien brought it to the market as the surfer style boards were so difficult to get out of the water on. More people started trying it when that style of board became common.
Old    Nacho (denverd1)      Join Date: May 2004       08-20-2008, 9:46 PM Reply   
^surely you jest
Old    Trevor (hawk7)      Join Date: Apr 2007       08-20-2008, 11:40 PM Reply   
[http://alliancewake.com/video_details_extreme.php?id=3389]

[http://alliancewake.com/video_details_extreme.php?id=2837]

I figured it's relevant...

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