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Highest governing bodyInternational Waterski & Wakeboard Federation
Mixed genderNo
TypeAquatic sport
EquipmentWakeboard, motorboat, towline
VenueBody of water
World Games2001 – 2017

Wakeboarding is a towed surface water sport or leisure activity where a participant is towed on a small board behind a motorboat over a body of water. The participant rides wake produced by the towing boat, and attempts to do tricks.


Environmental impact includes noise, pollutants, shoreline degradation, and disturbance and dislocation of wildlife,[1] and the governing body, the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) has been acting to reduce this impact. The IWWF also governs the related sports of barefoot skiing, cable skiing, cable wakeboard, disabled ski, racing, show ski, water skiing, and wakesurfing.[2]

The IWWF is been recognized by the International Olympic Committee as an official partner since 1967. Wakeboarding has been part of the World Games since 2001.[3] Events are organized by the World Wakeboarding Association (WWA), founded in 1989.[4]

The notion of being towed across water while standing on something like a monoski has existed for a long time, and surfers have used motorboats to be towed out to sea. In the late 1970s boots were attached to the board, and the activity was known as skurfing. In 1984 patents were granted for a basic adjustable binding system and the other in 1985 for a patent for a adjustable plate type foot strap system.[5] In 1990 Skurfer championships were first televised by ESPN.

Skurfers were narrow and difficult to plane. In the 1990s innovations to the board made the sport more accessible. In 1993 the twin-tip design was introduced which allowed the board to be ridden in both directions.[6] Pro events have been held since 1992.

Boards are buoyant with a core of foam, honeycomb, or wood mixed with resin and coated with fiberglass. Metal screws are inserted to attach bindings and fins. They vary according to fins, rocker, length, and width.

A wakeboarding boat has wakeboard tower, which places the "pull point" about 2 metres (7 ft) off the water's surface. The high tow point makes it easier to jump and get air as the rope is not pulling downward as when it is attached to the low tow point used for skiing. Most modern wakeboarding boats also have a variable ballast system, which allows for water to be pumped into and out of ballast tanks from the surrounding water. Adding ballast increases displacement, and enlarges the wake.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "International Water Ski & Wakeboard Federation Environmental Handbook for Towed Water Sports" (PDF). www.iwsf.com. Retrieved 2018-12-30.
  2. ^ IWWF. "What is the IWWF". International waterski and wakeboard Federation. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  3. ^ "Wakeboard History". www.iwwfwakeboard.com. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  4. ^ "Welcome". World Wake Association. Retrieved 2018-12-29.
  5. ^ "Ski board having angularly adjustable binding - Patent 4604070". Freepatentsonline.com. 1984-01-25. Retrieved 2010-06-07.
  6. ^ "The History of Wakeboarding". www.wake.co.nz. Retrieved 2018-12-29.

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