If you’re trying to get amped for hitting the water this summer, these acrobatic GoPro wakeboard videos just might hit the spot.
Like skateboarding and snowboarding, wakeboarding involves attaching a board to the bottom of your feet and launching yourself through the air. Unlike skateboarding and snowboarding, however, much of the thrill of wakeboarding often stems from the fact that you don’t really know where you’re going to be launched from: the waves from the speedboat come fast and unpredictably, and you don’t know their size until you hit them. What you have is something completely different every time.
You know a sport is intense when just watching video of it makes you feel the splashes of the waves and the cool breeze from the water. The Adrenalist in this GoPro wakeboard video pulls off a number of slick turns and barrel rolls after hitting some launching waves. The speedboat flying at ridiculous speeds causes some serious waves, but the it keeps the wakeboarder riding relentlessly.
In this GoPro wakeboard video, you can see that one of the tricks to wakeboarding is to cut across the boat’s wake laterally, giving you even more of a boost than just hitting it straight on. That allows this wakeboarder, who’s being filmed by a trailing partner, to pull off ridiculous cartwheels and maneuvers in the air. This guy isn’t just going for the traditional tricks though, as you can see he switches hands on the tether mid-flip. One slip of the finger during this advanced trick and he would have been the victim of a gnarly wipeout.
Is wakeboarding not exciting or difficult enough for you yet? Then maybe you should try tandem wakeboarding. Here, two boarders use each other as props, catapulting and flipping over one another. The video slows down so you can see the insane precision and complexity of the tricks these guys are pulling off. They combine horizontal and vertical rotations with board maneuvers while trading hands on the tether. It’s one of those tricks that might be just as disorienting to watch as it is to do.
Not all wakeboarding required a speedboat.You can also use what are essentially ziplines that are constructed around a lake, otherwise known as winch wakeboarding. Here, a zipline pulls wakeboarders over and across an idle cargo ship, allowing them to accumulate more speed and momentum — and subsequently get more air — than they would otherwise using just plain old waves and wake. They also incorporate a few more skateboard-type tricks into their routines, including some satisfyingly smooth grinds.
This GoPro wakeboard video allows you to see the incredible strength it takes to be a successful wakeboarder. These guys have to essentially keep their bodies constantly fighting against the pull of the waves and gravity. Even more remarkably, some of them do this without attaching themselves to their boards. With this danger comes the freedom needed to pull off more advanced tricks, like the unbelievable kickflip. After watching the grinds on here, it may be easy to forget that these guys aren’t riding on solid ground.