The Growing Sport of Wakeboarding in South Africa
Wakeboarding in South Africa is growing more popular every day. It is a water sport that started with just a few interested parties, but has since produced world champion South African wake boarders and a rapidly increasing number of wakeboarding enthusiasts. With South African Championships and other events, and wake boarders that are representing their country, it is no wonder that so many people are interested in wakeboarding in South Africa.
If you think that wakeboarding is nothing more than standing on a board and clutching your old water-skiing rope, you would be wrong. Wakeboarding has its own range of specialized equipment to ensure the safety of the wake boarder, and to make the breathtaking rolls and loops through the air possible. In order to begin your own wakeboarding journey, it is recommended that the correct gear is purchased and maybe a few lessons are taken before heading out onto the water of the lakes and dams in South Africa.
To start with, it is important to wear the correct boots and bindings while wakeboarding. They are there to protect the wake boarder’s ankles during the ride. Knowing the correct signals for communication is also vital, as the driver of the boat will be able to understand when you are ready for him to start moving forward, to slow down, and go faster, when the boat is going the speed you are comfortable with or any other safety communications. Speed is not the key element in wakeboarding and the average speed, used by even the professionals, is only about thirty to thirty-five kilometers per hour. Other accessories such as a knee brace for the wake boarders’ leading knee can prevent serious injury. But the most important to remember is to wear a life vest at all times. As in any other sport, wakeboarding can be dangerous.
The reason why ski ropes are not used in wakeboarding is because of their ability to stretch. Ropes used in wakeboarding, are made of Tak, Spectra and Spectra-Fusion, which produces a thinner, lighter and shorter rope. Handles that are used in water-skiing are smoother and narrower than wakeboarding handles. Wake boarders do not wear gloves, so grip is essential. Wakeboards are also specifically designed for the sport and for the tricks and aerial acrobatics done on the water. They also vary in style and size to accommodate the wake boarder’s weight and height.
Being prepared by having the correct gear and equipment will ensure a safe and addictive experience. With the amount of interest and growing numbers of wake boarders that are taking to the waters in South Africa, wakeboarding has proved to be a sport and a culture that has come to stay, and will being luring many more South Africans to join the fun.