Wake up

When is a wake­board not a wake­board?

Men's Fitness - - Contents -

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.”

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