Friday, 20 July 2007

Wakeboarding Competitions: By Eric Hartwell

Wakeboarding had its humble beginnings in the late 80’s by a couple of water sports enthusiasts in Orlando, Florida. Since then, the sport has taken off wildly and wakeboarding is now an official sport and part of many action sport festivals and competitions. The boarder can be seen thrashing the waters from the Philippines to Canada to Germany to New Zealand. With International interest, televised events, major corporate sponsorship and stars of the sport competing in these events, wakeboarding has become a mainstay in the action-sports genre with millions of people all over the world participating. The sport now has competitions and events for men, women and young adults who participate to win coveted trophies, prize money and corporate sponsorship.

It seems that all that is needed is a body of water, a boat, a board, a tow line, a swimsuit and the passion and desire to excel at this ever-expanding sport. Many of the wakeboarding and water sports competitions include not only the competition and the premier participants showing off their skill and agility but incorporate multiple-day events with live music concerts, parties, workshops with pros and fun for the boarder and spectator alike.

World Sports & Marketing, a sports promotion and event organization based in Florida, included Skurfing (the archaic name for wakeboarding, also previously known as kneeboarding or skiboarding) in pro wakeboard competitions in the early 90’s. These events were covered by ESPN and ESPN2, giving substantial coverage to the new sport. In 1993, Wakeboarding Magazine was born and provided a platform for the sport to gain exposure and provided information to interested athletes. When ESPN included wakeboarding in 1996’s X-Games, millions of viewers were indoctrinated with the sport and wakeboarding’s popularity exploded and enthusiasts and pros continue to flourish throughout the world.

Women have a prominent position in the sport with athletes like Dallas Friday (winner of every pro women’s wakeboarding event since winning the National Championship in 2002), Emily Copeland (first place winner in the 2002 Philadelphia X Games) , Maegan Major and Tara Hamilton making a big splash on the scene. In men’s competitions, Danny Harf, Tino Santori, Phillip Soven, Andrew Adkison and Rusty Malinoski are wakeboarding’s top male champions.

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1 comment:

Bryan Norman said...

Thanks for promoting the awesome sport of wakeboarding. You're right, it really is just a matter of getting wet and wild, keep jumping back onto the horse... well, board when you get thrown.

Once you've got it down, you're hooked.

If anyone wants to give wakeboarding a go, try it in Tanjung Resang, try it at Malaysia Sea Sports.

Wake's up!

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