Cable parks spread the wakeboarding fever

May 9, 2011 | Kiteboarding
Aaron Hadlow: testing his wake style

Wakeboarding is a fast growing sport. These days, thousands of kiteboarders are turning their stoke to an extreme brother, when the wind's not helping. But, are there so many similarities between the two sports?

Actually, yes. Wakeboarding exploded in the 1990s when wakeboard clinics and cable parks started to open all over the world. You don't need a motor boat anymore if you want to go wakeboarding. The wake enthusiasts have also developed several disciplines. There's wakeboarding, wakeskating, wakesurfing and a few other younger brothers.

Inspired by water skiing, surfing and snowboarding this thrilling sport has many tricks, moves and maneuvers that reminds us of kiteboarding. Wakeboarders jump, grab rails and slide through obstacles.

The International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation rules the sport, but there's an independent competition too: the WWA Wakeboard World Series.

There are many industry brands working with wakeboarders and kiteboarders. Liquid Force is betting hard in wakeboarding and even sponsors its own tour and riders. Wakeboarders can put an incredible spectator-friendly show and if the tickets are sold media crews appear too.

In 2006, more than 25,000 people attended the 4th Cable Wakeboard World Championships in Linz, Austria. Every year, more than two million US citizens older than six years have tried wakeboarding, at least once. The average wakeboarder is male and is aged 16-30 years old.

Being towed is not as easy as it seems. If you're curious, try it in one of the more than 150 cable parks installed all over the world. USA and Germany have 50% of the cableway share. Expect to pay between 20 and 50 dollars for one hour of pleasure. It's cheaper than owning a boat.

Aaron Hadlow, one of the biggest names in kiteboarding, is a frequent wakeboarder. The British rider has even launched a wakestyle pro board model.