Rapid Surf & Ski

5 Tips for Better Wake-board Boat Driving

It’s easy to think of towsports such as water skiing and wakeboarding as individual endeavours, but they’re most certainly not — they are undeniably a team sport. That team, of course, includes the rider and the driver. Whether you’re on a wakeboard or water skis, the skill of your driver is going to be critical to how well you perform. In this article, then, we’ll offer a few tips on how drivers can be the best they can possibly be when towing wakeboarders.

1. Keep a constant speed

This is the most basic rule of driving a boat for wakeboarders — you should always keep a constant speed. The speed of the boat is responsible for two crucial aspects of wakeboarding — the shape and size of the wake, and the tension in the line. If you were to suddenly speed up as your rider was about to cross the wake, there’s a good chance it would end badly. The best way to ensure that you maintain a consistent speed is to use a speed control system such as Perfect Pass. These systems have sensors that can increase or decrease the throttle as needed to ensure a steady speed is maintained.

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5 Tips for Surviving Rough Water Skiing Conditions

You’ve worked hard all week knowing that, when the weekend arrives, you’re going to be heading out with your water skis and wakeboards to let loose with the type of adrenaline-pumping excitement that only towsports can provide. Too bad, then, when you get out onto the river and realise that conditions are incredibly rough and choppy. But don’t worry — all is not lost. You can still have a great time out on the water on days like this — you just need to readjust your goals a little bit. In this article, we’ll offer five great tips for surviving rough water skiing conditions.

1. Don’t aim too high

Let’s be honest — when conditions are particularly rough, you’re not going to be breaking personal bests. You’re going to have to take things easier than you normally do, because the water is going to make things harder in its own right. Instead, consider different ways that you might be able to challenge yourself. For example, it could be that your goal for the day is simply completing a single pass; if you’re still game, try using a shorter rope length and completing another. If you like to ski competitively, you’ll find that a day like this can give you more confidence for surviving rough conditions on event day.

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5 Essential Secrets to Better Water Ski Balance

When it comes to water skiing, arguably the most important ability you can have is balance. It doesn’t matter whether you’re skiing slalom, trick, or jumping — if you’re able to balance well, you’ll have all the makings of a firm foundation. In fact, if you don’t have good balance on your skis, all your other skills are bound to suffer as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at five essential secrets to gaining better balance on your water skis.

1. Slack lining

Head to your local Bunnings outlet and purchase a slack line. You might have seen these in your travels before — it’s basically nylon webbing that is tied down between two anchor points, such as a tree, and allows people to practise their balancing skills. The longer the line is, the tougher it is to balance. If you’re able to master standing, walking and even performing spins on a slackline, this will go a long way to improving your balance out on the water.

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How to Improve Your Wakeboard Handle Pass

Passing the handle is an important skill to learn if you want to complete many tricks on your wakeboard. A good way to learn to pass the handle is by performing surface tricks such as surface 180s and surface 360s. However, if you want to really improve your handle passing abilities, there is an easy drill you can learn off the water that will put you in good stead for when it’s time to hit the water again. In this article, we’ll show you how to perform this drill, which simply involves spinning a weighted handle around your waist.

Building the weighted handle

To build the weighted handle, you’ll need the following:

  • A spare, old handle (if you don’t have one of these, you can use a piece of pipe or even cut down a broom handle so its roughly the same size as a tow handle).
  • An empty detergent bottle — 2L is an ideal size.
  • Some bungee cord, about five feet in length, which you can get from your local hardware store.

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7 Steps to Perfect Powerslides

A power slide, or power spray, is a fun-looking (and fun-doing!) wakeboarding move which involves cutting out on your heelside into the flats and making a sharp turn onto your blindside. By doing this, you’ll skim the surface of the water with the front edge of your board, kicking up a massive spray. In this article, we’ll take a look at 6 secrets to performing a perfect powerslide on your wakeboard.

1. Practise inside the wake

Before you throw yourself out past the wake, practise your power sliding inside the wake where the consequences of falling will be far less dire. You should also try slowing the boat down to around 20kph at this stage. It won’t look as cool inside the wake, but once you’ve got the movement down you can head out into the glass.

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5 Tips for Stomping Your Wakeboard Landings

In the world of wakeboarding, people often talk about “stomping” their tricks. It’s common in snowboarding as well — what it means is that, after pulling off a trick that involves getting air, you land cleanly, without wrecking, so that you can keep on riding. However, the word “stomp” is somewhat misleading — it makes it sound like you’re supposed to slam your feet onto the water as hard as possible when, in reality, this is a dangerous way to approach landing. In fact, if you literally try to stomp on your wakeboard, the chances are you’re going to wreck — and hard.

In reality, a safe landing is a combination of control, patience and practised movements. In this article, we’ll offer you five basic steps to keep in mind when trying to stomp your landings. If you’re already at a stage where you’re getting air and performing tricks, then we’d hope you’d have most of these down already, but even so, it never hurts to remember the basics!

1. Spread out your landing

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6 Painful Water Skiing Falls

When it comes to water skiing, one thing is for sure — you’re going to crash eventually. As your skills improve and you advance further in the sport, however, crashes may become more dangerous. You’ll reach higher speeds and attempt riskier tricks and jumps. In this article, we’ll take a look at six common crashes you might experience on water skis, whether you’re slalom skiing, performing jumps or trying tricks.

Slalom crashes

  • Tip catches the wake, making you flip over the front of your slalom ski. This one can be pretty dangerous, as you may be crossing the wake at very fast speeds. Try to remain balanced over your ski, turning back to your perfect leverage position. It may slow your turns down, but you’ll be in a sturdy position when you’re back behind the boat.
  • Coming into a turn a little too fast, you commit to an aggressive turn and the tail of your slalom ski pops harshly out of the water. When this happens, you can do all sorts of damage to your ankles, so you’ll want to do your best to avoid it. The fall happens because you’ve tried finishing the turn on a tighter arc than when you entered. Instead, keep the same path you took into the turn.

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How to Tune Your Water Skis

If you want to change the feeling of your water skis, you can tune them by moving their bindings, fins and wings. When tuning a water ski, it should always be completed in the following order: binding placement, tail measurement, fin length, fin depth and, finally, wing angle. In this article, we’ll discuss the options you have when tuning your ski, with recommendations for both beginner, intermediate and advanced water skiing.

1. Binding placement

As a general rule, beginners should place their bindings forward on the ski, intermediate skiers should place their bindings in the centre, and advanced skiers prefer to place them further back. Forward bindings make it easier to turn, while back bindings allow for greater acceleration.

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7 Sports That Should Be in the Olympics

In order for a sport to qualify for the Olympic games, various criteria must be met. For starters, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) must recognise that the sport is played by both men and women around the world. Secondly, the sport must have an official governing body. And thirdly, the sport may not utilise any sort of motorisation. Of the following sports, some bend the rules (like netball), some break the rules (like water skiing) and some are eligible but still have not been accepted. Either way, we think all seven are deserving of a spot in the ultimate sporting arena.

Billiards

Billiards, pool, snooker — whatever version of the sport you prefer, the sport exists in some form pretty much all around the world. In 1998, the IOC recognised the World Confederation of Billiard Sports (WCBS) as an official body governing the sport, satisfying one of the requirements for qualification. As of 2012, however, billiards is yet to be included in the Olympic program, limiting that corner-pocket glory to WCBS events and, of course, your local pub.

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The Most Common Wakeboarding and Water Skiing Injuries

Like most sports, there are inherent risks associated with water skiing and wakeboarding. Many of these are associated with being “dunked”; the impact of a fall on water at high speeds can be surprisingly damaging. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common injuries on both wakeboards and water skis, as well as a few safety measures that can be put in place to lessen their effects or even avoid accidents altogether.

Water skiing injuries

The most common type of water skiing injuries are ankle strains and sprains. Because the ankles are bound to the skis, the impact of a fall can place undue pressure on ankle ligaments as the skis go in one direction and the skier’s body another. According to a study published in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine, ankle sprains and strains account for approximately one in five of all water skiing injuries.

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