Wakeboarding is a unique sport that has been influenced by surfing, skateboarding, and water-skiing. Through these sports, wakeboarding has evolved into the sport it is today. With new ideas, and imagination, the sport will continue to evolve.
There are many people that have contributed to the sport, but the pioneer is that of Tony Finn. Tony is a surfer from San Diego who mixed together water-skiing and surfing to create the "skurfer". The skurfer is a small surfboard without foot straps that a rider can stand on. Without the foot straps, getting airborne was almost impossible, this limited the rider to just carving. In 1985 straps were installed so that Tony could catch air off the wake. The problem with the skurfer was that it was so buoyant that it made it difficult to do deep water starts.
In 1990 Herb O'Brien introduced the first compression molded, neutral buoyancy wakeboard, known as the "Hyperlite". With a neutral buoyancy wakeboard, the problem of deep-water starts had been solved. Neutral buoyancy allows the rider to submerge the board, but the board still floats. Also in 1990 the "World Wakeboarding Association" was formed by Jimmy Redmond.
With bindings(foot straps) now installed on a neutral buoyant board, the sport started to reach new heights. Jimmy Redmond started making rules and formats for competitions. The sport broke wide open in 1992 with exposure on ESPN and ESPN 2. Many people have combined to make the sport what it is today, and with imagination, the sport will continue to take on new heights.
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