- Once upon a time, in 1984. a surfer and enthusiast from San Diego Tony Finn produced a Skurfer – predecessor of wakeboard. Skurfer was very much like surf, only shorter, without bindings. And so the crowd went on skurfing until 1990. when Herb O’Brien, a man with a vision, knowledge and a waterski company, appeared. He designed the very first neutral buoyancy wakeboard, Hyperlite, with bindings, which allowed easier water starts and better control over it. As a result, a sport ceased to be reserved for a skillful few and became accessible to everyone. Later development of sport and gear led to the modern “twin tail” wakeboard with fins on both ends which made all kinds of new and different tricks possible – a rider was finally able to combine both regular and fakie position (left or right foot front). Tony Finn is still one of the most influential people in wakeboarding. He’s also a co-owner of the Liquid Force Wakeboards company.
Jimmy Redmon founded in 1990. WWA (World Wakeboard Association) and began developing rules and formats of the sport to it’s present form. Later on IWSF (International Waterski Federation) also embraced wakeboarding under it’s watersports roof. At that point began en era of two global wakeboard governing bodies that still goes on. As you can imagine, it caused many problems, like the dual world titles, different sets of rules and the recognition of the authority. However, WWA has much more influence in Americas, and IWSF in Europe. Also, IWSF put much more effort (if not all) into the discipline that Croatians mostly practice – cable wakeboard.
- Wakeboard globally has two main directions – boat wakeboard – being towed by a boat, and cable wakeboard – riding on cableway systems. Another important wake sport is wakeskate (without bindings), again boat and cable. Recreational riders are people of all ages and skills, but the pros are generally younger group, between 15 and 25. Wakeboarding is more than just a sport, like other “extreme” sports, it’s a lifestyle and grows every day more popular worldwide. Certainly, for the development of sport is important that the cable parks continue to pop up all over the world, since that is the only affordable way for many people to ride.
- There are over 100 wakeboard and waterski cableway parks around the world, more then 40 of it in Germany, on natural and artificial lakes. Cableways are ecologically acceptable – the electric drive influences environment much less than the boats.
- In conclusion, let me underline a recent founding of the Cable Wakeboard Council in IWSF, region EAME (Europe, Africa, Middle East), which brought our sport for the first time on the level with other divisions inside this organization. On the world level of IWSF functions the WWC – World Wakeboard Council – responsible for both boat and cable wakeboarding. Now, I wouldn’t babble so much about IWSF if there wasn’t something I wanted to tell you.
- The thing is that the very author of this historical document (that’s me, Varna) was one of the seven elected members of the newly formed Council which now administers cable wakeboard justice in EAME land..
Wakeboard – Life Style !