Wakeboarding Around the World
Combining the thrills and skills of snowboarding, surfing and water skiing, wakeboarding is an exciting water sport in which the rider skims and soars over the surface of a body of water, usually towed behind a motorboat or other craft. Originally called “skurfing”, wakeboarding was born among water sports enthusiasts in the 1980s; Australia, New Zealand and the United States are all home to pioneers in the then-new sport.
Today, wakeboarding is recognized internationally as a sport and more than 400 events involving wakeboarding, along with its cousins wake skating and wake surfing, are sanctioned every year by the World Wakeboard Association (WWA).
Best Countries for Wakeboarding
The United States is home to some of the most well-known wakeboarding locales in the world, including the Colorado River, a major water-ski center with calm, cool waters and hot summer temperatures.
- Lake Havasu, Arizona – a popular south-west boating destination with warm water, beautiful desert scenery and the excitement of Las Vegas nearby.
- Lake Shasta, California – considered by many to be the best waterski and wakeboarding lake there is.
- Bow Lake, Washington – which offers training and equipment for wakeboard and water-skiing enthusiasts of all skill levels.
With water like a sheet of glass and the intoxicating fragrances of tropical flora, Costa Rica’s AquaSki Park offers the ultimate water sport experience in Latin America. The man-made freshwater lake is 3.500 feet long and is set among groves of coconut palms and orange trees all within view of the Arenal Volcano.
A number of fine wakeboarding locations are situated in Australia. Considered by many to be the best wakeboarding spot in the world, Stoney Park in New South Wales, Australia, was specifically built for this adrenalin-rush sport. Consisting of two man-made lakes, the spot was carefully constructed to use the unique sun and wind conditions and changes in the area.
Other popular and renowned spots for wakeboarding and other water sports include Lake Baikal, located in Siberia, and Anapa, situated on the Black Sea in Russia; Switzerland’s Lake Geneva; and Neorian Bay in Greece.
Best Time of the Year to go Wakeboarding
Naturally, the warm weather of summertime is ideal for wakeboarding and other water sports, but the locale may also dictate when to go.
While May to September may be ideal for visiting Lake Baikal or Lake Shasta, it may not be for southern hemisphere locations such as Stoney Park. However, summer may not be ideal for some areas such as Lake Havasu, which can have temperatures reaching 38C on a daily basis.
A late-autumn or winter trip to areas like this may be more pleasant, as well as increasing the possibility of finding cheap hotels for the duration of the trip.
Staying safe when wakeboarding is important for beginners, intermediate and experienced wake boarders alike. Wearing a lifejacket is the most important safety tip; falling into the water from a wakeboard can be very dangerous due to the speed of the boat so having a personal flotation device or PFD on at all times is a life-saving precaution.
Another important tip is to always use a spotter; having someone in the boat to keep track not only of the wakeboarder’s position but also of other boats in the area is vitally important.