Wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing extreme sports. Cooperman (2003) indicated that “wakeboarding is a combination of snowboarding and waterskiing whereby an athlete rides on a wakeboard by standing on it” (p. 5). Wakeboards have bindings so that the feet of the athlete does not slip off hence as wake boarders are towed behind motor boats at speeds of up to twenty miles per hour and one can do tricks such as flip, roll, grind and spin (Cooperman, 2003). Cooperman (2003) further said that “by using the boats wake as a ramp, the boards can fly through the air and lad safely on the water” (p. 5).
Wakeboarding is said to be fun to learn according to Cooperman (2003). This is because one can learn some cool sounding tricks like the roast beef or the back scratcher however the athlete has to be safe to wakeboard properly. One has the obligation to practice also and have the right equipment. McKenna (1999) also says that wake boarders stand on their boards in the wakes of power boats. In this case a wake is a v-shaped set of waves that tails behind a moving boat (McKenna, 1999).
High level performance and training characteristics of the sport or activity
High level performance training enables the wake borders doing tricks in the air. McKenna (1999) found out that wake boarders during training practice to ride over wakes to jump into the air which they call catching the air. During the training wake boarders must lift their entire wakeboards off the water to catch air. McKenna (1999) says that “they do this by starting outside the wakes were they hold onto rope handles which are attached to power boats” (p. 6). McKenna (1999) continues to say that during the training wake boarders must position their bodies to land safely and keep their knees bent. This in turn helps the knees absorb the force of the landing.
In order to train for high performance McKenna (1999) says that “wake boarders must hold tightly onto rope handles as they land because the ropes may become slightly loose while wake boarders are n the air” (p. 6)
Aerobic and anaerobic demands and training techniques
Aerobic training techniques enable wake boarders to do tricks such as grabs, flips and spins in the real sport competition. Grabbing the rail is one of the easiest aerobic techniques. McKenna (1999) says that to train grabs wake boarders have to grab their wakeboards while on air with one and hold their rope handles with the other hand. On the other hand in order to train for flips and spins wake boarders have to learn slowly to go upside down or spin all the way around (McKenna, 1999). This type of training is achieved by using a boat which is moving at a moderate speed while the wake borders pass their rope handles from hand to hand. This type of training takes time until a wake boarder is able to land with his or her hands behind their backs.
Anaerobic training tricks enable wake borders to train on surface tricks. This type of training is much easier than aerobics. McKenna (1999) says that wake borders learn can learn the butter slide anaerobic trick by slowly sliding their boards sideways across the water to do butter slides.
Training for endurance and speed with specific drills
According t the article Total Skiing (2000) training for endurance helps a wakeboarder to “have maximum core stability for astounding body control on the water and the air and have extraordinary leg strength and stability for amazing riding endurance and landing absorption” The article Total Skiing (2000) “further says that training for aerobic flips and aerial grabbing helps the wakeborder to have explosive power for catapulting him or her self through the air”. Total Skiing (2000) also says that training for this type of drills are very important to the wake border for spins because they help them to develop a “remarkable balance to help him stay on his feet and learn mind blowing tricks” Besides this Total Skiing (2000) says that “training for incredible trunk mobility is helpful for enabling he wake border to perform crazy tricks later in his or her professional wakeboarding”
Training for Muscular strength, endurance and power
According to the article “Learn about wakeboarding and how to wakeboard” (2009) “the training tricks on a wakeboard requires more from the individuals physical state and the only way to keep up with this and train for endurance is to stay in shape”. The article further says that the most important muscles used in wakeboarding are those in the back and ones core. The article “Learn about wakeboarding and how to wakeboard” (2009) also indicated that “shoulder muscles, arms and legs muscles play important role during wakeboarding”.
Training for the strength of the shoulders, arms and legs muscles can be done in the gym and performing other type of field exercises before engaging in wakeboarding. In addition, the article Total Skiing (2000) says that training for training for muscular strength, endurance and power helps a wake border to develop flexibility in his or her muscles and ensure that they can perform a range of motion. This in turn helps to prevent career stopping injuries when an individual starts professional competitions
While training Schaefer (2003) says that riders should use their feet and weight to control the board’s direction. During this training sections when riders push down with their toes the board goes one way while when the riders push down with their heels the board should go in the opposite direction.
Training for balance, flexibility and skill related fitness
At this stage of training Cooperman (2003) says that it is important to have the basics and be able to board slide, ride facile and jump. He thus says that doing tricks while in the air is where one should aim to take his or her wakeboarding skills. Cooperman (2003) further says that back scratchier can be used to teach someone the skills of moving the body without losing body balance.
The scratchier according to Cooperman (2003) helps to keep ones balance or air positions which are important for all wakeboard tricks (Cooperman, 2003). To achieve this one should train on how to cut heel side to the wake from 15 feet out and launch in the air as high as possible. Secondly Cooperman (2003) established that the training should enable the wake boarder to jump at the highest point in the air, pull legs up behind and try to touch the back with the board. This trick helps in attaining flexibility. Cooperman (2003) says that as one starts to drop he or she should bring his or her legs and then flex his knees to absorb the landing.
One of the challenges of this sport is its safety. Training for beginners poses a great challenge for this sport because they have to be extremely careful. According to McKenna (1999) wakeboarding is a dangerous sport. McKenna (1999) thus says that wake boarders and boat drivers must follow safety rules while the drivers must make sure their equipment is safe and in good condition.
McKenna (1999) says that Wake boarders should wear life jackets which keep their heads above the water after falls. He continues to say that even good swimmers should wear life jackets (McKenna, 1999). Another challenge is that extreme wake boarders may fall hard while performing tricks and become confused or unconscious. It is also considered safety measure to wear protective gear to stay safe while wakeboarding Kalman (2000). In his studies Kalman (2000) continue to indicate that “extreme wake boarders should use high quality gear to prevent injuries on the water” (p. 10).
Strengths and challenges of training for the sport based on your research
Injuries present a major challenge to this type of sport. Like any other sport Hyde & Gengenbach (2007) says that wakeboarding has knee injuries as the commonly reported type of injury of this sport. Another type of injuries includes ankle strain, anterior shoulder dislocation and other fractures are common type of injuries in this type of sport. Hyde & Gengenbach (2007) says that shoulder dislocation is commonly a result of the rider trying to hold onto the rope while falling.
The strength of this sport Popular Mechanics (1999) this kind of a sport is relatively young and over the time the sport has evolved to have a new face. For example the magazine Popular Mechanics (1999) says that the boards used in this sport have evolved to their current design of a symmetrical shape with blunt nose and tail. This clearly indicates that the sport is very dynamic and that it can evolve to include many features unlike other sports.
Popular Mechanics (1999) says that the strong point of the sport is that the pros in the sport invent and perfect signature moves and therefore for beginners there is always plenty of challenges for the recreational wake boarder. Training in the sport gives some an opportunity to perform unique twists and thrills not to mention splashes and spills (Popular Mechanics, 1999).
In conclusion Popular Mechanics (1999) says that with wakeboarding there is always another challenge to meet and another level to attain and therefore one will never be board bored. In this context it has been noted that once an individual accomplishes his or her first roll he want the bumper sticker. Also the magazine notes that the riding styles have matured (Popular Mechanics, 1999). This is why I embrace this game very much and offer total support.