outdoor Lake Tahoe Wakeboarding

Wakeboarding Lake Tahoe is a great way to combine your need for speed with your frustrated inner surfer. Why wait around for the big wave? Why swallow all that salt water? Just get yourself a speedboat and a wakeboard, and practice your butter slides or, if you're a real hot shot, work on your boardslides. With over 192 square miles of surface area, water skiers, wakeboarders, and wakeskaters will have all the necessary trick room to show their stuff.

Wakeboards, for those of you just getting started, are somewhat oddly shaped, but are similar to snowboards in that they are permanently fixed to the rider's boots. Hence, the board is going to follow your feet. They are shaped more like surfboards than snowboards, however, made of plywood or fiberglass, but much shorter. They tend to be somewhat wider in the center than at the ends and are rocker shaped. That is, if you set the board on the ground the center will touch the ground and both ends will not. How deep this bend in the board is is called its "rocker." (You know, as in rocking horse. Get it?) As with all boards with stationary bindings for your feet, riders' toes point to one side of the board and their heels to the other. When describing maneuvers, reference is made to the toeside and heelside edges of the board.

Also, wakeboarding requires a specially outfitted speedboat, usually with a tower from which the line is played out to the wakeboarder. If you didn't bring your own, where can you rent one? At virtually any of the marinas, wakeboards and wakeboarding boats can be rented or purchased. If you like taking lessons, there are ski schools located at several marinas.

The idea is similar to water skiing in that as you are pulled along behind a speedboat you can use the boat's wake to launch yourself into the air, landing on the other side of the wake. This is known as your basic Air Raley. Of course, as one becomes more advanced, all sorts of tricks can be attempted. Fakies, Air Krypts, Surface 360's, Tantrums, Back and Front Rolls, are just some of the colorful names the more common tricks have been given.

So what is wakeskating and how is it different from wakeboarding? The wakeskating board is not attached to your feet with bindings. Rather, an easy to grip material, similar to that used on skateboards, helps keep the rider's feet in contact with the board. Riders wear shoes that provide traction when wet. Wakeskating boards are smaller than wakeboards. Also, when performing maneuvers, riders have to reach down and hold the board adjacent to their feet, much as land based skateboarders do. Wakeskating is somewhat more technical than wakeboarding, requiring a bit more skill getting started.

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