USA Water Ski & Wake Sports



While not currently affiliated with a sport discipline organization of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports, wakesurfing is a popular activity among many members of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports. In addition to sanctioning wakesurfing events, USA Water Ski & Wake Sports also offers wakesurfing as a membership preference when joining the organization.

In wakesurfing, a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled by the boat. After getting up on the wake, typically by use of a tow rope, the wakesurfers will drop the rope, and ride the steep face below the wave's peak in a fashion reminiscent of surfing. Wakesurfers generally use special boards, designed specifically for wakes.

The origins of wakesurfing are somewhat disputed with multiple people and companies claiming to be at the genesis of the sport. Some claims have set the dates for the origins of boat-surfing or wake-surfing as far back as the 1920s. However, no credible evidence of this is available. Footage and print media from the 1950s and 1960s show ocean surfers actively riding surfboards behind motor boats. By the mid 1960s numerous surfboard manufactures laid claims to building wake specific boards.

The practice of riding surfboards behind boats continued through the 70s and 80s with the boards being ridden evolving to shorter forms right along the shortboard revolution in Surfing. As boards progressively shortened in length, taking a page from windsurfing or sailboarding many practitioners started using devices mounted to the board to strap and secure their feet in place. Aided with a tow rope, hard carving and launching off wakes lead to sports like skurfing, skiboarding, and eventually wakeboarding.

Wakeboarding's growth and mass appeal led the watercraft industry to advance technology to increase the size of wakes. This, in turn, provided an opportunity for wakesurfing to emerge from the shadows.

Many riders perform a wide array of tricks while wakesurfing, with most owing their origins to surfing, skating (both vert and street) and snowboarding, Some of the most well-known tricks are:

Pumping – Turning up and down the face of the wake to gain speed.

Stalling – Applying pressure to the back foot to slow down or “stall”.

Floater – When a rider and board “floats” on top of the wake.

Lip slide – Just like a floater, but the board is sideways.

Spray – Gouging into the face of the wake to create the water under the rider to explode and spray.

Fire hydrant – Placing one hand on the board and taking the front foot off.

Posing – Doing hand and body positions while riding for cool style points.

Hang 5 – Rider extends front foot (toes) over front of board.

Rail grabs – Grabbing the board’s rail while the board is on the wake – one or both hands.

Cutbacks – Bashing off the lip of the wake with the board – the more extreme and risky the better.

Paddle back in – Going to the extreme rear of the wake, throwing down on the board and paddling back into the power zone. This can also be done by pulling the outside rail of the board to bring it back to the power zone.

Tubing it – Throwing down on the board and sliding back into the tube until covered up – the deeper the better, and then popping out and standing back up on the board.

Switch stance – Riding with the opposite foot forward.

180 spin – Spinning 180 on the wake – Board and rider spin.

Airs – Launching off the lip with board into the air and landing back on the wake (toeside or heelside).

One-hand grab air – Grabbing one rail of the board while the board is airborne above the wake.

Double Grab Air – Grabbing both rails of the board while the board is airborne above the wake.

Hang 10 – Rider extends both feet (toes) over end of board.

360 spin – Spinning 360 on the face of the wake – Board and rider spin.

540 spin – Rider spins continuously 1 1/2 times until he is riding switch stance forward.

720 spin – Rider spins continuously 2 complete 360′s.

Air 180 – Doing an air while spinning 180 the blind direction.

180 air – Doing and air and spinning a 180 in the air and landing in with a switch stance.

180 shove it – Spinning just the board 180 under your feet and landing with the board “backwards”.

900 spin – Rider spins continuously 2 1/2 times until he is riding switch stance forward.

360 shove it – Same as a 180 but you spin the board a full 360 under your feet. Note: rider does not spin only the board spins.

Big Spin – Same as a 360 shove-it, only the rider spins a 180 at the same time the board does a 360.