WAKEBOARDING EMERGED FROM WATER SKIING AND SURFING in California and changed the world of classic water skiing as fast as snowboarding did with snow skiing back in the 90's.
Wakeboarding first made an impact in Europe in the early 90’s, where several events were held behind the boat. The dynamic growth of wakeboarding was noticed by the International Water ski Federation and in 1997 the European Wakeboard Association (EWA) was founded as a council within the International Water ski Federation. Presently, cable wakeboarding has two councils representing it on a European and World stage; the E&A Cable Wakeboard Council (ECWC) and the Cable Wakeboard World Council (CWWC). These councils are part of a much bigger structure – the IWWF (International Water ski & Wakeboard Federation).
In contrast to water skiing, wakeboarding is largely about freestyle and creativity. The short flexible board allows riders to launch into the air, completing spins, flips and rolls in quick succession. Tricks can be performed off the surface of the water or by using features such as kickers, rails and sliders. Wakeboarding is subjectively judged and the amount of expression, creativity, aggression and style a rider can show their run is vital.
The popularity of wakeboarding increased dramatically when it was accepted into the X-Games in 1996. There are now cable wakeboard parks in many countries around the world with wakeboarding becoming synonymous with extreme sports brands such as Red Bull, X-Games and Monster Energy.