About Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding emerged from Waterskiing and Surfing in California and changed the World of classic Waterskiing as fast as Snowboarding did with snow skiing back in the 90’s. The idea was pretty simple: being pulled by a boat while riding a surfboard.

But the regular surfboards were too long so they developed the so called “Skurfer” that established a mix of a waterski and a surfboard. The “Skurfer” was OK for a dynamic ride but it was very hard to ride these heavy boards.

1990 was the real birth of Wakeboarding.

Herb O’Brien the owner of a waterski company built the prototype wakeboard – the Hyperlite. Compared to the “Skurfer” it was a flat board with small volume that was more easy to control. The natural form of the “Hyperlites” was developed to a symmetric Twin Tip Board with fins at both board ends. The new generation of boards was more similar to Freestyle Snowboards than surfboards. In 1990, too Jimmy Redmon the guru of wakeboarding founded the World Wake Association (WWA) in Winter Park, Florida. Two years later wakeboarding became an official sport as a sport promoter from Florida founded the “Pro Wakeboard Series”. This professional series grew from year to year.

Beginning 1994 wakeboarding splashed all over the Europe. Several events were held behind the boat, mostly sponsored by boat, board and equipment companies. British guys were the first organizers to test bringing wakeboarding to the cable. They were first to produce a rule book.

The dynamic growth of wakeboarding was also watched by the International Waterski Federation. More and more young skiers looked with an interest and curiosity to this new sport with a board… In 1997 the European Wakeboard Association (EWA) was founded as a council within the International Water Ski Federation. Without doubt EWA was the voice for wakeboarding including boat and cable around Europe.

But what makes wakeboarding so popular?

In contrast to waterskiing, wakeboarding gets up into the air. The short flexible board allows radical jumps on a level never seen before. The difficulty of the expressiveness, creativity, aggressiveness and the height of the jumps are vital. This makes the spectators go crazy. In the USA wakeboarding – raised to TV reports – has got a high significance. Since wakeboarding was accepted into the American X-Games, the wave swept Europe, too. The media and the sport industry, too accepted wakeboarding as a trendsport long ago.

In 1997 Swatch and O’Neil started the Wake Attack Tour which was the first tour to open the sport to the public. Because of the big success of the Wake Attack Tour and the rapidly growing community, the European and German Federation decided in 1997 to forward the new sport and the first national and international contests were held in 1998. The first World Cup Series came to Germany in 1998 and an unofficial European Championship was held in Cable and Boat.

Further the European Wakeboard Tour, the European Cable Wakeboard Tour an the German Wakeboard Tour were created. The big breakthrough came in 1999 when the German Wakeboard Tour was held. Over 45 TV placements and 110 reports in print magazines beyond the bounds and made the people recognize wakeboarding. Thousands of enthusiastic people took part in these contests and watched the spectacular tricks.