You’ve seen it on the water—perhaps for years now. Human torpedos flying along the wake behind the boat, and soaring through the air as if powered by jetpack. No, jetpacks haven’t gone mainstream yet. It’s just the fun and excitement of wakeboarding, a water sport that’s been on a meteoric rise since the 1980s (just like its sister sport, snowboarding).
In this article, we’ll give you a high-level overview of what you must know to dip your toe into wakeboarding.
- Ensure you have the right boat. While some boats are made specifically for wakeboarding – i.e. getting the biggest waves possible—it isn’t necessary to get such a boat to get started. Crownline’s I/O engines and inboard models will do the trick, offering solid wake with numerous upgrades available to increase your output. Just steer away from outboard models when wakeboarding.
- Get the board that’s right for your body. Here’s a size chart that can help you fit your body weight to the correctly sized board. The gist: The longer the board, the more weight can be sustained, and the smoother the ride (these are usually recommended for beginners).
- Rope up! Wakeboarding requires a strong, non-stretch material (unlike water ski ropes) to pull along a rider on water. Recommendations vary from 30 to as much as 80 feet, but longer ropes are intended for more advanced riders looking for jaw-dropping pops. When starting out, a shorter rope will ease the effect of topples and tumbles.
- Be safe. Besides getting the right boat, wearing a life vest is a must-do safety measure (including casual rides) that even the pros use. Similarly, make sure you exercise care in tying your rope securely to the pylon or tower, and that your rope is in good enough shape to withstand the stress of wakeboarding.
- Be patient. The wakeboard learning curve is a bit steeper than other water sports, so expect plenty of tumbles in the beginning. But once you’re over the curve, the fun you can have is virtually endless.
Many Crownline boats excel at providing an unforgettable water sport experience, and wakeboarding is certainly no exception. Be sure to speak with your Crownline dealer to ensure your boat is designed for this use, and have a ball!