As USA Water Ski reports, wakeboarding is the fastest growing water sport worldwide. While wakeboarding, you use a short, wide board that resembles a surfboard to maneuver through the water as you are being pulled behind a motorboat. Your wakeboarding experience will differ depending on whether your boat is a V-hull or a flat-bottom model.
Wakeboarding combines elements of water skiing, surfing and snowboarding, and evolved into a sport beginning in the 1980s. The sport is known for the rider’s use of acrobatic moves on the water’s surface and during air launches. The board you would ride on usually has a floatable foam center/core and comes in varying sizes to accommodate a rider’s size and weight. Cables and bindings are used to connect you to the boat.
The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission reports that although flat-bottom boats are stable in calm weather and are well suited for fishing, they provide rough rides with balance issues at high speeds and, therefore, have low horsepower motors. Because wakeboarding is done at high speeds, it’s possible to go wakeboarding with flat-bottom boat -- which has a flat base that sits in the water -- it’s not recommended. As the name implies, V-hull boats do not have a completely flat bottom, but instead, have a V-shaped formation as their base. This allows V-hull boats to ride through water at high speeds with ease, making them the better choice for wakeboarding. Like the term “flat bottom,” “V-hull” refers to a general structural base for boats. But there’s a variety of boat designs that you can choose from, all developed on the V-hull base.
Wakeboarding Health Benefits
As a competitive and recreational sport, wakeboarding is a physical activity that offers a number of health benefits. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to get the maximum health benefits from physical activity, adults need at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity. Additionally, adults need a minimum two days of muscle-strengthening activities per week that employs all major muscle groups. Wakeboarding has both aerobic and strength-training components. In addition to burning about 350 calories per hour, wakeboarding relies heavily upon and helps improve the tone of your abs, biceps, triceps, back muscles, calves, quads and hamstrings.
Preparing Your Body for Wakeboarding
Because wakeboarding can be physically demanding, Wake HQ advises that warming up through dynamic stretching exercises may reduce the risk of injury. Back and chest stretches, as well as squats or lunges are recommended. Wake HQ also advises that additional strength training that focuses on your legs, shoulders, back and core is effective in preparing your body for wakeboarding.
- USA Water Ski
- Oxford Dictionaries: Wakeboarding
- Dixon Taylor, DDS, MSD: The Benefits of Wakeboarding
- Water Ski & Wakeboard British Columbia: History of Wakeboarding
- iDID Adventure: Wakeboarding
- Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission – FishandBoat.com; Boat Hull Design
- Wake World: How to Buy a Wakeboard Boat
- Center for Disease Control: How Much Physical Activity Do Adults Need?
- WakeHQ: Wakeboard Fitness
- Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Getty Images