The main course being in writing for our next issue, Joel Deroche offers us...
is a surface water sport which involves riding a wakeboard over the surface of a body of water. The wakeboard is a small, mostly rectangular, thin board with very little displacement and shoe-like bindings mounted to it. It was developed from a combination of water skiing, snowboarding, and surfin techniques.
The rider is usually towed behind a motorboat, typically at speeds of 30–40 km/h (18-25 mph), depending on the board size, rider’s weight, type of tricks, and rider’s comfort. This speed could also depend on the year, make, and model of the boat because some boats, which are not designed for wakeboarding, create a different size wake which the rider may not feel comfortable with. But a wakeboarder can also be towed by other means, including closed-course cable systems, winches, and personal water craft.
A few years prior to Tony Finn and the ‘Skurfer’, Australian surfboard shaper and inventor Bruce McKee, along with associate Mitchell Ross launched in Australia, the world’s first mass-produced plastic, roto-moulded construction ‘Skurfboard’ named the ‘Mcski’, later ‘SSS’ skiboard and later ‘Wake-snake’. The board had adjustable rubber foot-straps, concave tunnel bottom and a keel fin. Two smaller side fins were later added for greater hold and more maneuverability. McKee and Ross also applied for and were granted two patents, one in 1984 for a basic adjustable binding system and the other in 1985 for a patent for their adjustable plate type foot strap system.