ExtraHyperActive: Wakeboarding
Showing posts with label Wakeboarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wakeboarding. Show all posts

What Is Wakesurfing ?

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Being ExtraHyperActive, I have tried a lot of outdoor activities/sports over the past few years. Yet, there are a few that I still hope to try ! And wake surfing is one of them.

You Could Be Wakeboarding Right Now In Alaska

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For many "underprivileged" states, including Washington, wakeboarding is a seasonal sport. When days get shorter, and the weather gets colder, for many people around the state boating and wakeboarding season is over...

Not in Alaska ! And not for the UpDown Productions crew, who brings you the beauty of the area, and the incredible skills of a professional rider Andy Hurdman in this episode of Catching Air TV Show:

Alaska Wakeboarding Teaser from Catchin' Air Tv Show from UpDown Productions on Vimeo.

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Cable Wakeboarding

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My introduction to the sport of wakeboarding was over a year ago. It was brief , but fun. It's not really a sport you can do on a regular basis , unless you owe your own boat ( or some of your friends do).

Snow Wakeskating In Bosnia

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Check out this amazing video of one of crazy Red Bull sponsored athletes Brian Grubb shredding the waters ( and occasional snow ) of the Studeni Potok (translation: 'Icy Creek').

Located in the mountain of Bjelasnica, 25km from Sarajevo and former host to the Winter Olympics, the Studeni Potok is known to the locals as the 'Dragon's Tail', supposedly left in the ground as a mythical beast lumbered toward a nearby village.

Whitewater wakeboarding

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Whitewater wakeboarding is a new water boarding sport born in Slovenia in 2008 with the inaugural Red Bull Upstream event.

Unlike "regular" wakeboarding, that takes place on a lake, and a wakeboarder is pulled by a boat, WW ( whitewater) wakeboarders are pulled upstream a river by a winch.

WW boarders do not only have to perform tricks, jumps and slide over artificial obstacles, but they also have to dodge rocks and fight whitewater.

I think whitewater wakeboarding is going to be a great addition to rapidly growing adventure water sports like river surfing, whitewater SUPing and river boarding.



Wakeboarding... Russian Style

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...in the country of eternal frost and snow-covered streets where bears roam, the word "prohibited" means "challenge accepted"...

...check out nine-time Russian wakeboarding champion Nikita Martyanov battling the icy cold waters of the St. Petersburg canals and producing some stunning imagery. Courtesy of , who else but, Red Bull...









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Back To Mc'Cormick's Cable Waterski, Wakeboard, and Cable Park, FL

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Last year, during my visit to Tampa, FL, I had a a lot of fun trying out cable wakeboarding for the first time !

This time, I invited my friend to join me. He's a complete beginner. As a matter of fact, he's never been on any board before. Zero skills, zero experience.

As I wrote before, the park has two areas : the main cable and Lil Bro, made for less experienced/beginners and/or younger riders. This is the best place to learn how to ride on a wakeboard if you've never been on one before.

It literally took him less than an hour to learn the basics. He told me that before he had tried to wakeboard behind a boat, and couldn't even pop up. After less than an hour of lessons at the cable park, he could pop up, ride, edge, and was ready for the main cable.

Two hours of riding was more than enough for us to get a great workout and have tons of fun !

So if you've never tried wakeboarding before, or failed wakeboarding behind a boat, try cables. It's easier, cheaper, and more fun !




Cable Wakeboarding ( might be ) coming to Washington !

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After my first introduction to cable wakeboarding in Florida, I was hooked ! It was so much more convenient, cheaper, and even easier than "traditional" ( behind a boat ) wakeboarding.


Cable wakeboarding is big in Europe, but unfortunately in US just a handful of states have cable parks. And soon, Washington might be added to this list...

The City of Monroe might soon become the home of a wakeboarding park, the first of its kind in the western United States.

H3O Development, a company that develops cable parks,would pay for the installation of the facility, which is not inexpensive--the cable alone costs $350,000--and would pay the city a portion of revenue.


It could take a couple of months before all permits and approvals can be given. Though,this project is still in its infancy, I have a good feeling about it !

They are planning to open the park in summer of 2012. The park would be open for people of all ages and skill levels, with one area of the lake for more skilled riders.

For the city it's a perfect win-win deal.

If you've never been to Monroe, the area is already known for great hiking, mountain biking, rafting, WW kayaking, climbing and skiing. The cable park will be an additional draw to Monroe ( not to mention % of the park's profits ).

Wakeboarding at ... a Coal Mine

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I think the time of GoPro and shaky amateur videos has long gone ( I really hope so ). Nobody wants to see another ski/surf/wakeboard/climbing Youtube video. You can do it, we got it. Now tell us a story.
http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif
How was it ? Where was it ? Any details ?

That's what today's videos ( aka documentaries ) are designed to do. Tell a beautiful, inspiring story appealing not just to hard core/wanna be athletes, but also to an Average Joe.

Before I saw a video of Dominic Gührs and Frederic von Osten - two wakeboard pros, shredding a beautiful glacier lake somewhere in Austria. This time, Red Bull sends them to "The Zollverein", known as “the world’s most beautiful coal mine” and today the most famous industrial monument and center of the creative industry in the Ruhr area.

Awesome Video : Wakeboarding a Cranberry Bog

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The first thought that comes to any normal person's mind is : " Why the hell would anybody wakeboard a cranberry bog ? " ( FYI - cranberries are a fruit crop that is grown in wet, marshy areas called bogs )...

The second question - why the hell would anybody drink a Red Bull ?

Drink a Red Bull, watch this video of Josh Tranby and the Red Bull crew in Tomah, Wisconsin shooting a visually stunning wakeboarding session in this cranberry bog:

Cable Wakeboarding is the Future of Wakeboarding

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Ironically, my first introduction to cable wakeboarding was through a Youtube video about the Orlando Watersports Complex Cable Park. I didn't know that a year later I'd get to try cable wakeboarding in Florida.

I was looking for kiteboarding lessons in/around Tampa, FL when I was reffered to McCormick's Waterski Wakeboard and Cable Park.


Though, Central Florida is a phenomenal location for the growing sport of
kiteboarding, June thru Sept the wind is very inconsistent, and lessons are not taught during the summer months for this reason.

Many kiteboarders use this time to practice with a trainer kite or work on their wakeboarding skills.

I wrote before that cable wakeboarding was less expensive than boat wakeboarding. Now I can add that cable wakeboarding is much easier to try/learn.

As you might have heard before it takes an average of 3 attempts, before you can get up on the board. Remembering my first experience, I was really worried about being out of my league.

The park has two cables – the main cable and Lil Bro, made for less experienced and/or younger riders. This is the best place to learn how to ride on a wakeboard if you have never been on one before.

Though I'd only been on a wakeboard once before, it was super easy to pop up with a cable. After just 2 rides I was ready to move on to the main cable.

The main cable holds up to five riders at a time and runs clockwise around a man-made lake with numerous sliders and kickers of almost every size and shape along the way.




My only concern was falling down far away from the starting dock . Then you would have to swim to the shore, and walk back to the dock.

You can rent everything from the shop ( board, helmet,vest) or bring your own gear. They offer two types of boards - slider and non-slider wakeboards. The main difference is that you can't use non-slider wakeboards on obstacles.

Cable wakeboarding is convenient, safe, affordable and a great work out ! Many action sports enthusiasts ( skiers/snowboarders/surfers/kiteboarders/skaters...) as well as other people who like new challenges and experiences will greatly benefit from cable wakeboarding.

With more and more people discovering cable wakeboarding, and more cable parks being build around US, it has a terrific future!

I's compare cable wakeboarding to skiing/snowboarding. With the growing popularity of skiing and snowboarding came a greater number of ski resorts. We can expect the same for cable wakeboarding.

Because more and more people are finally discovering its many efficiencies and environmental advantages, the market potential for construction of more cable parks around the world, particularly in the United States is absolutely huge!



Iceberg Wakeboarding With RedBull

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Red Bull has long associated with extreme sports. As a matter of fact, they've redefined the meaning of the words "extreme sports" by taking those sports to a new level.

In this post I wrote about one of Red Bull's sponsored athletes Will Gadd conquering icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland in 2006.

In July 2008, Red Bull came back to the same place, but this time instead of climbing those floating monsters, they decided to do wakeboarding tricks using icebergs as artificial kickers.

Extreme, insane, crazy, psychotic ? You decide...

Winch wakeboarding

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In my post " Whitewater wakeboarding " I introduced you ( and myself ) to a "new water sport " - WW wakeboarding. As it turned out, it's not really a new sport, just a new concept. One of the hottest new items on the wakeboarding scene in the last few years has been the introduction of the wakeboard winch.

Before the introduction of the wakeboard winch, wake boarders were pretty much relegated to wide-open bodies of water. Wakeboard winches are bringing wakeboarding and wakeskating to places you never thought possible - rivers, ponds, swimming pools, ocean shores, fountains :)
They have revolutionized the sport by making the wakeboarding experience available to anyone and anywhere.

The wakeboard winch can be set-up almost anywhere, which has made wakeboarding accessible to a much larger audience. It consists of an engine, spool, rope, handle, frame, and some sort of simple transmission. The person being towed walks (or swims) away from the winch and pulls out all of the rope. When the winch is engaged, it pulls the boarder usually between 15 to 25 miles per hour (24 to 40 km/h).



A high quality wakeboard winch is priced between $1600 to $2000. For sure you can buy a boat for this money, but for a boat you need a trailer, wakeboard tower, permission, have to pay assurance and other taxes. The winch can either be mounted on the trailer hitch of a vehicle, set into the ground by stakes, or tied to a tree.

Wakeskate/wakeboard winching, which is the popular term today, is a growing hobby for many watersports enthusiasts. It's no surprise that in a sport already known for its heart-pumping excitement, the addition of the wakeboard winch would gain momentum as quickly as it has.

Wakeboarding

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This year the weather spoiled us with unusual for Northwest high temperatures and lots of sun.The summer arrived earlier this year, and according to a radio announcement I heard recently, we had the hottest Memorial Day weekend over the past 40 years.
With the temperature in high 70, going hiking or bike riding wasn't very appealing to me. Looked like the only appropriate activity for such hot weather would be something on the water. Having done kayaking and rafting, I wanted to try something new.


Wakeboarding has displaced water skiing in many areas of the U.S. as wakeboarding is seen as hip and trendy akin to snowboarding and skateboarding on the water.Though I was told that water skiing was a bit easier for beginners to master than wakeboarding.Popping up (getting up) is difficult for new riders to learn as the physics of the board riding above the water is opposite of what the rider anticipates (i.e. the rider pulls against the boat like he/she is on skis rather than allow the boat to pull the rider up over the board). Turning is also difficult for someone not accustomed to a board, as skiing involves the rider favoring one side of the skis to turn where else on a board the rider has to maintain and transition the edge of the board in the water or else wipe out from a caught edge.


If I was an instructor I would brake wakeboarding roughly in three stages: popping/standing up,riding the board and falling.


As I was told, it takes an average of 3 attempts, before you can get up on the board.I wasn't the exception. After three failed attempts I finally figured out the "know-how" of popping up. In my defence I can note that a boat driver can make or brake a beginner. It's important ( at least it was for me ) to get the feeling of being dragged behind the boat , before you stand up.

Once you are up, maintaining your balance is your next challenge.Though I found wakeboarding and snowboarding very similar, being dragged behind a boat at 25 mph was a bit intimidating at first.


But the scariest part ( again, for me ) was falling. Having asked about proper technique on falling, I was told " Just let it go ". Probably the right thing to do.
Though to me, it looked like slowing down the boat would be an easier ( and less intimidating ) way.


After just about 30 or so minutes , I felt exhausted, out of breath,every muscle in my body ached. Yet, it was a lot of fun, challenge and great memorable experience.


If you are thnking about trying out wakeboarding this summer, check out this site or better , get out and play.