Written by: Bjorn Tonne 990-202777 Due monday, February 03, 1997

Wakeboarding is a fun and challenging sport. A couple of years ago I
was boating with some friends when one of them pulled out something I had never
seen before, a wakeboard. In the past I had tried water-skiing and kneeboarding,
but until then I had never heard of wakeboarding, I haven\'t picked up a water-
ski or kneeboard since that day.
A wakeboard is shaped a lot like a snowboard. It is 150 cm long and
about 60 cm wide. Riding a wakeboard has been compared to surfing,
skateboarding, waterskiing, and snowboarding.
At first I was nervous about learning a new watersport at age 18,
because I remembered how hard it was to get up one ski. My friends convinced me
to give it a try and I loved it. At first it was hard to get up, but after four
try\'s I could get up almost every time on the first pull. One of the reasons
this sport is so great is that once you get up you can learn and excel very
quickly. By the end of that same day I was almost able to jump over the wake. I
have friends who are able to do backflips, so this gives me a goal. But for now
I have to be content with jumping the wake. I like this, because while there is
always another level that I\'m aiming for I still feel and look competent on a
While jumping is the first skill that I learned, the second skill I
began working on was riding fakie. Riding fakie consists of riding with the
opposite foot on the back of the wakeboard. Normally I ride with my right foot
on the back of the board, this riding stance is referred to as regular. While
riding with your left foot back is called riding goofy. When I first started
going fakie it was like learning to wakeboard all over again. Just recently I
have gotten to the point where I can ride regular or goofy in any water
conditions, choppy or smooth as glass, and feel like I am doing well. Just
recently I was able to land a jump that I started in the regular position
executed a 180 degree turn and landed in the goofy stance. This took me hours
and hours of practice, but overcoming the challenge was so exhilarating that it
was worth the time and effort, and made me even more excited about the sport.
The next skill I have been working to acquire is grabs. A grab is
contorting your body into different positions then grabbing the board with one
of your hands while jumping. The most complicated grab that I can currently land
is starting the jump in the regular stance, while in the air I reach through my
legs grab the back of my board and execute a 180 degree turn landing in the
goofy position.
I\'m excited about continuing to improve and learning to tweak big air
in this new and exciting sport. I am working towards a goal of being able to
land a backflip within the next year. Currently I am really good at landing on
my head. But for some reason when I am wakeboarding even landing on my head
doesn\'t hurt. I am totally stoked about this awesome sport that I have found,
the thing that will continue to bring me back to boarding is that it is a sport
of never ending challenges and I will never be at the point where I can\'t get
better anymore, there will always be something to improve on.

Category: Miscellaneous