Thinking about taking up wakeboarding? It's the perfect time of year to start!
Ahead of the imminent opening of Northern Ireland’s only cable wake park, Let’s Go Hydro, it got us thinking about what you can expect from learning to wakeboard. If you decide to take up wakeboarding there are two main kinds to choose from - cable wakeboarding versus boat wakeboarding.
If you're thinking about trying to wakeboard then you aren't alone. Over the last 15 years it has become one of the fastest growing watersports. Before you start, there are a couple of different wakeboarding types and variables that you might want to consider. The experiences of cable and towed riding created subtle differences in riding style. Wakeboarding boasts a combination of waterskiing, surfing and snowboarding skills. In a way, just like snowbarding was a logical progression from skiing, wakeboarding was born from waterskiing.
Cable Wakeboarding versus Boat Wakeboarding
You can wakeboard by either being towed by a boat or on a closed-course cable system. Cable wakeboarding means you are holding onto a tow rope attached to a cable mechanism that pulls you around a circuit. A circuit is typically on a body of water or lake which is generally referred to as a cable park. Traditional wakeboarding is when you are being pulled by a boat. There is a wake in the boat's shadow which can be used as a kicker for jumps and tricks hence the term wakeboarding. Also, the course you take isn't fixed, unlike time on the cable.
Of course, in a cable park you don't have the choppy waters of a wake. That can mean tricks are limited to when obstacles are purposefully placed in the water. On the upside though, the lack of wake makes cable systems and cable parks great learning environments for beginner boarders or the less confident. It can also make wakeboarding more accessible if you don't have ease of access to a wake boat. Hitting the cable park also means that you're not on the water alone as your friends can be on the cable at the same time. Compared to if you're boat boarding, when you have to take it turn about.
Getting out behind a boat and onto the water, can really get your adrenaline pumping and enhance your sense of freedom. Not only is it a great form of exercise but there are many other health benefits to wakeboarding.
Really, it's up to you!
Either way, whichever option you decide is best for you, the fun and exhilaration will still be there! It's just that both lead to slightly different wakeboard experiences. What is important, however, is choosing the right wakeboard. Read our recent post on 'Which Wakeboard is Right for Me to Buy?' to understand the various boards available.