Gathering the international elite in nearly all of the sport’s different disciplines is not that common an occurrence, even though they share common ground: the water. Basically, it only happens once every four years, in The World Games. Equipment aside, there are some similarities between the tournament (water ski) and the barefoot competitions: both include slalom, tricks and jumps events. But wakeboarding, the most recent addition to the sport, has developed in a different direction: equipment, bindings and moves are quite similar to those in half-pipe snowboarding. With marks given for expression and intensity, the judges are looking for big air performances here too!
Water Ski and Wakeboard featured in The World Games 2013; check the event calendar for all details.
Water Ski and Wakeboard will participate at The World Games 2017!
Learn more about Water Ski and Wakeboard on The World Games Channel.
DID YOU KNOW THAT...?
Water ski ...
The sport goes much beyond of what most people have enjoyed at one time or another, as they were trying to get out of the water on two skis. Water ski proper comprises Slalom, Tricks, Jump, Wakeboard, Barefoot, Cable, Racing and Disabled. In The World Games, the featured disciplines were Tournament (Slalom, Tricks and Jump), Barefoot and Wakeboard until now.
Global sport ...
Few sports are as global as water skiing. With over 30 million active participants, 100,000 competitors and close to 100 National Federations, major international competitions have a United Nations feel to them. The bi-annual Tournament World Championships for instance attract athletes from well over 50 countries and the number is still increasing.
Aerial action ...
Top-level wakeboarders spend nearly as much time in the air as they do on the water. In Jump, water ski's loftiest discipline, it gets even more dramatic! A ramp is the center stage object. Scoring is simple too. The athlete who lands the furthest from the ramp and skis away is the winner. Here are the parameters. The jump ramp is only 4.2 meters wide. It's height varies: up to 1.65 meters high for women and 1.8 meters high for men. Maximum boat speeds also vary, all the way up to 57 kph for men. While this is the computer controlled speed of the boat, the athlete, by cutting diagonally across the wake, can increase his or her actual approach speed to over 100 kph! When kicking off the ramp, athletes absorb up to 3 Gs for 0.2 of a second and still get perfect timing on when to kick!