When is a wakeboard not a wakeboard?
Want to try a new sport? Find inspiration in Turkey with Brian Grubb
There’s something unusual about
this picture of Brian Grubb on a board – and it’s not just the unique location, Cleopatra’s Pond in Hierapolis, Turkey. Experienced wakeboarders will notice that Grubb isn’t wearing any bindings. That’s because he’s actually wakeskating.
“Wakeskating is essentially skateboarding on the water. You even wear shoes,” says Matt Gleason of board company Liquid Force. The sport originated in the US in the late 1970s, when surfers rode behind boats to cover distance quicker. Soon boards started getting shorter, allowing for more control and agility.
Wakeskating focuses on technical tricks rather than maximum time in the air like wakeboarding does. And rather than using big, expensive boats to create a wake to use as a ramp, wakeskating often uses jet skis or even high-speed winches as tows, so it’s perfect for shallow pools and small lakes.
While tricks require a lot of practice, the basics are straightforward. “I’d argue it’s easier to get started with than wakeboarding,” says Gleason. “If you’ve ever surfed, skateboarded or snowboarded, you’ll pick it up quickly.”