Category Archives: Wakeboarding

Why One Should Take Up A Watersport

It’s safe to say that summer is the season to go out, be adventurous and try something new!

Floating around in a garden paddling pool is great and all… but how many times can you handle the children jumping on you, or turning the water a different shade before you want to “accidentally” puncture the side?

This article is here to throw you a summer lifeline by giving you the ins and outs of why one should take up a watersport!

It doesn’t matter how old you are, who you are or even what current fitness shape you are in. Here at Tallington Lakes we host numerous different sports that are suitable for all ages and fitness levels.

Being a boat driver and wakeboard instructor, I can assure you there is no greater feeling in watersports than when you first get up on water skis or a wakeboard.

water skiing tallington lakes

Water-Skiing

Water-skiing involves the use of two separate skis whilst being towed behind a boat. As you progress in your skill, you learn how to mono-ski by only using one ski. Finally, once you have conquered the turning and stability on one ski, you will be able to slalom through our course and look exactly like the guys on our posters! (who doesn’t want that).

If that doesn’t convince you to give it go, then here are a few benefits I pulled from “Health Fitness Revolution”:

  • Increased Balance and Core Strength: getting up on the skis- and staying up- require you to develop both your balance and core strength.
  • Resistance Training: water skiing forces you to hold yourself up and keep going using resistance. It works core muscles, arm muscles, leg muscles, and all the muscles around them.
  • Easy on the Joints: Water skiing uses just about every muscle in the body without wearing down joints because it is all body weight resistance in free range of motion.
  • Meditative aspect: Being on the water, much like in sailing, can have a calming effect on the mind and forces you to focus on the task at hand, forgetting about the day to day stresses and worries. Not to mention that the endorphins from being active will keep you happy and healthy!

wakeboarding tallington lakes

Wakeboarding

The best way to describe wakeboarding is essentially by saying it is a snowboard on water… minus the snow. Just like water-skiing, you are pulled behind a boat. The way in which you progress in wakeboarding is by learning how to “pop” the wake of the boat to achieve “gnarly air man” (a term commonly used by boarders).

Rest assured it is a fantastic feeling to be able to glide smoothly across the water, whilst also learning how to soar through the air performing 180s or 360s!

Again, if that didn’t convince you, my friends at ‘Health Fitness Revolution have these benefits to persuade you:

  • Strengthens arm and leg muscles: When you wakeboard you have to flex, resist and hold positions for periods at a time. Often you also have to build on these held positions and then explode or move from these static flexed positions to execute tricks and techniques.
  • Improves flexibility in the hands and feet: All the jump and turns performed while wakeboarding require hand and foot flexibility to avoid injury. Being agile and nimble on your feet will carry over to everyday activities.
  • Improves reaction times and versatility: With sudden changes of direction and position required, especially based on the boat’s direction and the shift in waves, regular practice improves reaction time and ability to adapt to differences in the water, direction, etc.
  • Develops hand-eye coordination and balance: Stability and balance are the foundation for wakeboarding, so core strength is a key component to this sport. Also, many of the tricks require fast hand switches, rotations, and jumps — all of which require hand-eye coordination and balance.

Wakesurfing

We have lakes, but they are no ordinary lakes. For here at Tallington Lakes we have the power to create an almighty tsunami behind our boats. This tsunami will release the inner surfer dude inside you just dying to rad on out. If skiing or wakeboarding seem a little too strenuous, then wake surfing is for you! It is exactly as it sounds, using the smaller version of a surfboard on a boat wake, in order to continuously glide and surf around the lake!

Once you have learnt to comfortably get up on a wakesurf, you will look the epitome of cool as friends, family and passers-by look at you in awe.

Kneeboarding

We understand that these activities may look daunting to a young child which is exactly why we offer the option of kneeboarding. This is great for children who are less confident on the water and is a fantastic way of slowly building them up to water-skis or wakeboard.  A kneeboard is similar to a body board which many use in the sea. To start, you lie on the board and wait for the boat to slowly pull the board to speed. Once the child feels comfortable they will move to a kneeling position on the board, then simply hold onto the handle and enjoy the ride!

So… Water you waking for?  Come down to Tallington Lakes and try something new!

Thanks Adam (Boat Driver and Wakeboarding Instructor)

 

 

 

 

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Ronix One Timebomb Wakeboard Review

National Champion Mitch Wise gives us his thoughts on the Ronix One Timebomb Wakeboard.

I have been riding a riding a Ronix One Timebomb for the last three years. I feel that this wakeboard is perfect, its lightweight design and three stage rocker makes it super explosive off the wake and very manoeuvrable in the air. The board is so poppy, as soon as you hit the wake it snaps you in to the air. This means that it is easy to get height, and more height means better style and higher intensity tricks are possible.

Ronix One Timebomb Wakeboard

This year’s model has new speed walls and this makes the board fast. When the weather is good or I’m having a good ride this is helpful as it means that there is less resistance on my body. The speed walls make the board fast so small movements mean that the board reacts immediately, this may be useful to beginners trying to edge as the board is very responsive. Also at intermediate and pro levels faster glide speed aids the rider in getting the speed that they need when hitting the wake.

wakeboarder in air behind boat
The board is so poppy, as soon as you hit the wake it snaps you in to the air. This means that it is easy to get height, and more height means better style and higher intensity tricks are possible.

I also find that the board is very forgiving and makes for super soft landings. The board comes with two sets of fins; 0.8 and 1 inch I ride my setup with the 0.8 fins because I prefer the board to track less on the water. However, having two sets of fins allows the performer to be versatile, and customise the way the board rides to suit them.

The one thing that I love most  about the latest One board is that it has an additional strength point in its I-beam construction, this is basically an additional piece of glass wrapped around the core. This makes the board stiffer and stronger, the stiffer board means that It stays strong through the wake and doesn’t absorb any kick from the wake ultimately giving making it easy for the rider to get the height they need. I love it simply because it makes the board feel more hardwearing and stable. The I-beam core in the time bomb also means that the board will resist any damage that comes its way.

The Anodized Midnight colour of the board means that you can look cool out on the water thus enhancing the great feeling of being out on the water.

There’s no other board on the market that is so light, poppy (due to its stiffness) and holds its edges so well. Every year I find the One board getting better and better, I won’t be changing my board any time soon. In my eyes Ronix are ahead of the game in the technology that they are using in their boards and this new time bomb seems to have it all.

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What Size Wakeboard Should I Buy?

What size wakeboard should I buy? Is a common question in the Pro Shop

But there is more to consider when buying a wakeboard than just the way it looks. Of course you want a board that looks good, but much like a car, looks aren’t everything. You wouldn’t buy a Ferrari without an engine, so why would you buy a wakeboard that doesn’t fit your needs?

The first, and probably most important, thing to consider is the size of the board. A board that is too small will lead to you sinking whilst riding; however a board that is too big can be difficult to maneuver, and weigh the rider down.

Wakeboard Size Guide

Length (cm) Weight (stone)
<130 7
130 – 134 7 – 10.5
135 – 139 9 – 13
140 – 144 12 – 18
>144 14 – 19.5

If you are sharing the wakeboard, then pick the dimensions that suit the heaviest user. It is easier for a smaller rider to cope with a large board, than a larger rider to deal with a smaller board.

Shorter Wakeboards:
Easier to spin and maneuver in the air
Harder landings
Require more energy to cut through the water

Longer Wakeboards:
Easier to ride on
Rider has more control
Heavier, so hard to maneuver in the air
Good for learning tricks for the first time
Offer softer landings

When considering a weight that overlaps a category, it will depend what ‘type’ of rider you are.

A beginner/intermediate rider should use a larger board, as they are unlikely to need to maneuver it too much, and the large surface are will result in a more comfortable ride.

Intermediate/advanced riders should look at slightly shorter boards, this will allow them to maneuver the board easier in the air, than a longer board, but still provide a large enough surface area to stick the landing.

Advanced/expert riders should consider a shorter wakeboard as they are light and by that stage they will be adept at landing a trick.

Wakebaord Rocker

The type of rocker may also influence your decision. There are two main types of rocker, the continuous rocker, and the 3-stage rocker. Continuous rockers allow a rider to travel across the wake further and faster. These boards are ideal to help improve your skills on the water.

The 3-stage rocker, on the other hand, will help a rider improve their skills in the air. The shape of the board allows the rider to jump higher. This comes at a cost; the board is not as fast across the water.

To find out more, why not read our post about wakeboard rocker!

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Liquid Force Remedy Wakeboard Review By Jorge Gill

I have been riding Harley Clifford‘s signature board, the Liquid Force Remedy, for the last 4 seasons. It has served me very well over the years, and it’s never let me down. I would say it’s perfect for my riding style, so when I heard that Liquid Force were going to release a new Harley board in 2015 called the ‘Harley Remedy’ I was very interested to see how different it would be: how fast, how much pop, etc.

I first got to ride the Remedy last September just before the 2014 European Championships in Portugal, I didn’t get much time on it and didn’t want to risk riding it at the event but I could tell it was going to be good because I was getting huge pop off it straight away.

I spoke to Harley about about it when I was over riding at the IWWF World Cup in Australia in February, I think he was wondering why I wasn’t riding it yet. The next time I got to ride it was in May and it didn’t disappoint, what a ride! Once you get used to it ( it won’t take long) you will get a lot more air and it’s very responsive. It has split tip ends which give you epic lift off the wake but you still feel in total control and it’s very fast. With a new shape it would normally take me a couple of sets to get going, but with the Remedy I was banging out all my tricks straight away and it felt easier and they felt bigger.

I love riding it; its so much fun and it also looks awesome. I highly recommend the Harley Remedy to anyone who wants to take their riding to the next level, including those who currently ride Harley’s older model.

Thanks to Jorge Gill 2014 British National Champion 2014 European Champion – Junior Men

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Liquid Force Peak Wakeboard Review By Jack Battleday

Over the last couple of weeks I have been riding the Liquid Force Peak 141cm wakeboard. I really enjoyed riding this board for so many different reasons.

The Peak has an all wood core which means it can be made thinner than hybrid boards, but still maintains its strength and in my opinion is one of the strongest boards out there. Because it’s thinner it also means that it’s a lot lighter which makes it super poppy for Ollie’ing onto obstacles and is great for air tricks.

I found that when I was riding it, it felt a lot more flexy and responsive in the tip and tail than other boards I had ridden before. It has edge channels and a centre concave on the base of the board. The edge channels mean you can ride without the fins and still have good control and hold on the water.

One thing I really noticed was how soft the landings off kickers were. I’m always cautious about hurting my knees when going big off kickers, but when riding the Peak the landings felt really soft and controlled. This is down to the centre concave which is a really good design in the board.

Overall I really enjoyed riding The Liquid Force Peak wakeboard and would definitely recommend it to anyone who is starting to hit the rails at the park all the way through to advanced.

Thanks Jack!

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A Guide to Water Ski, Wakeboard and Surf Ropes

The ropes used for powered water sports will vary from different construction methods to materials used. If you’re new to the sport you might have thought to yourself, ” why not just use some cheap blue building rope”. Well this guide to water ski, wakeboard and surf ropes will explain!

Water Ski Ropes

Not many people know that water skiing started back in 1922 when Ralph Samuelsson thought if you could ski on snow why not water. He and his brother experimented for many days until they discovered the trick to water skiing was to lean backwards, from this day water skiing was born and has developed into the well known sport it is today.

With water skiing the ropes are different in the respect they are rarely one continuous rope (unless beginner ropes), instead competition ropes come in 75ft lengths with either 5, 8 or 10 sections. These sections can be removed to shorten the length of the rope as you progress and also gives the ability to score higher in competitions with a higher ‘off’. To help make section identification simpler some ropes have ID sleeves and are colour co-ordinated; perfect for fast adjustment. A five or eight section rope will accommodate most abilities.

HO 5 section water ski rope and handle.
HO 5 section water ski rope and handle.

Water skiing ropes tend to stretch a little more than wakeboarding ropes as this stretch acts as a shock absorber, when the skier crosses the wake in between turns. Therefore these ropes are generally made from polypropylene but some riders still prefer no stretch Poly E ropes which are also available. The higher the weave number the less stretch it typically gives due to being stronger.

Unlike wakeboarding handles water skiing requires a smaller handle normally between 11-13 inches due to not performing aerial spins. To aid beginners with deep water starts companies introduced the deep V handle which gives the ability for the ski to be held upright whilst being pulled out of the water; something that many beginners struggle with.

Handle ergonomics is becoming extremely important for many riders. Water ski handles are now made from numerous materials from carbon to aluminium; along with varying EVA foam thicknesses and textures which is all down to personal preference.

Wakeboard Ropes

For many years surfing the waves at the beach has always been a favourite amongst holiday makers and enthusiasts. Throughout that time some were towed behind boats which lead Tony Finn to develop the skurfer in 1985, which made way for the development of the wakeboard and its ropes.

It’s useful to know wakeboard ropes should have a very small amount of stretch or none at all unlike water ski ropes;  this property helps performing aerial tricks easier as you progress through the sport. Numerous technological developments have allowed wakeboard ropes to now be made from three materials:

Minimal stretch Polyethylene rope
Zero stretch Spectra rope
Zero stretch Dyneema rope

Liquid Force dyneema rope and handle.
Liquid Force dyneema rope and handle.

The cheapest of the three Polyethylene is readily available and is seen as a forgiving rope perfect for beginners due to having a 2-3% stretch under normal load giving the effect of a shock absorber perfect for any beginner rider.

Spectra is an industry favourite with many riders due to its unique properties. Spectra rope is ultra strong,  10 times stronger than steel in fact but remains lightweight as well as being extremely durable and will float preventing any unwanted propping!

Dyneema is similar to Spectra in being extremely strong outperforming many other synthetic ropes, but has the ability to resists both UV and salt water adding to its already high durability rating.

Selecting the right rope length, like getting the right sized shoe, is extremely important especially so as a beginner. The ideal length to start at is 65ft which can be shortened with the normal 5ft sections if you’re having trouble clearing the wake and as you develop the skills for aerial tricks you can lengthen the rope up to 75ft giving you greater ability to pick up speed as well as giving you more air time.

Similarly to water ski handles, wakeboard handles are made  from numerous materials.  Unlike water ski handles wakeboard handles are much wider 13-15 inches to allow passing of the handle behind your back whilst performing aerial tricks.

Wake Surf Ropes

Wake surfing if you’re unsure is surfing the wake of a boat, for this many people use fat sacs or the boats ballast system to fine tune the wake size. Due to requiring a slightly larger boat this is the least popular sport in comparison to water ski or wakeboarding but the popularity is steadily rising with the development of boat designs.

Straight Line knotted surf rope.
Straight Line knotted surf rope.

The ropes used for wake surfing are about 24ft or less in length due to the wake being extremely close to the boat. The ropes have numerous knots, EVA floats and sometimes handles to make it easier to move up and down the rope to find the perfect ‘sweet spot’ on the wake. Poly E or polypropylene are the main materials used for wake surf ropes so you have the best of both worlds a little stretch poly E rope or more stretch with the polypropylene.

It’s also important to note that ropes designed for any of the above water sports are not suitable for towing inflatable toys. Tow ropes are categorised based on the amount of riders/ weight of riders to provide adequate breaking strength.

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Liquid Force Limited Edition Wakeboards

Liquid Force have produced a series of limited edition wakeboards for 2015. These special boards have been pluck form their vast array of quality boards, and given their own look. The technology and shaping is the same; but the look is unique! Take a look at the video below:

There are selected Liquid Force stores in the USA selling these wakeboards; and only seven stores in the UK have been chosen to stock them.  We have gone for the cable specific Liquid Force  Peak LTD wakeboard, in all four sizes: 133 137 141 and 145cm.

They are only available in store, no buying online or iver the phone. So if you want to get your hands on a unique wakeboard; pop down to the Pro Shop and grab yourself a ‘stand out’ board – because once they are gone; there gone!

 

 

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What Shape Wakeboard Rocker Do I Need; Continuous or 3 Stage Rocker?

Since wakeboarding was conceived around 20 years ago there have been mainly two shapes of wakeboard available on the market; a continuous rocker and a 3-stage rocker. So firstly what are they?

Well in order to see these different wakeboard profiles you must look down the edge of the board.

Continuous Rocker

A continuous rocker is like it says on the tin; a continuous arc from tip to tail which gives a predictable fast release off the wake, allowing riders to carry plenty of distance over the wake. We are not suggesting these boards are for beginners but they will certainly help you carry your speed and distance over the wake. A super progressive shape to allow riders to improve their skills.

Liquid Force Super Trip wakeboard with a continuous rocker.
Liquid Force Super Trip wakeboard with a continuous rocker.

3 Stage Rocker

So onto the so called 3-stage rocker; these do literally come in many different shapes and sizes as each brand has their own play on this shape: from late rocker to 5-stage they are just a variation. The traditional 3-stage shape gives the rider increased pop and power off the wake. No matter how small or big the boat you are towed behind; this will give you maximum height for the biggest tricks. Just be warned however these boards have been known to be a little slower over the water.

Ronix One Modello a with 3-stage/late rocker.
Ronix One Modello a with 3-stage/late rocker.

Both of these have obviously been doing just fine and many wakeboarders are quite happy with them, however, companies keep on developing and pushing the sport even further with the latest technology. Ronix have some new boards the Bandwagon and Parks which are cambered. This offers a balanced feeling of snap through both legs off the wake, without sacrificing any speed. Liquid Force have the progressive 5 stage rocker which helps to minimise speed loss on the water by having two rocker zones either end of the wakeboard.

For those who rider cable parks the continuous rocker will give more speed, and the 3-stage rocker more pop!

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