"The Inverted Tee" celebrates the birth of wakeboarding

April 25, 2019 | Wakeboarding
The Inverted Tee: the World Wake Association is celebrating its 30th anniversary | Photo: WWA

The World Wake Association (WWA) announced the launch of "The Inverted Tee," a t-shirt that celebrates one of wakeboarding's defining moments.

In November 1987, Jimmy Redmon, the founder of the WWA and one of wakeboarding's greatest pioneers, was about to hit the water at Lake Austin, in Texas.

Alongside Redmon was his brother, John, driving their father's 21-foot center console Mako. And world renowned photographer Jimmy Metyko.

The young wakeboarder had Redline Design's first skiboard strapped to his feet. Once inverted, the design forced him to curl all of his toes back to hold on to the board.

But that was not a problem. They all wanted to try something new.

Metyko was in ankle deep water ready to capture the visual essence of a sport that was about to become a huge hit.

A few moments later, the photographer of WaterSki Magazine takes the legendary photograph that many see as the "legitimizing force behind wakeboarding."

WaterSki Magazine: Jimmy Redmon's innovative aerial loop as shot by Jimmy Metyko in 1987

The Photo That Changed Everything

The original image was shot in color, but Jimmy was starting a business and had to save money and improvise.

So he ran a high-contrast, two-color ad in WaterSki Magazine, and surprised all readers and the industry. He had just pushed the limits of waterskiing forward.

A few months later, the magazine republished the photo in full color and added words by Jimmy which only confirmed the rise of wakeboarding as a full-grown sport.

"As I hit the wake, time froze. I felt the skiboard lift underneath me as it rose up over my head. Upsidedown, I felt weightless, crossing the wake," Redmon wrote.

"With a tug on the rope, the board came around underneath me and then - boom. I land on the board, rope in hand. My eyes were open now. And now I know - anything is possible."

WWA's tribute to the origins of wakeboarding can be bought for $20.

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