Bored? Wakeboard!

Bored? Wakeboard!

If you like the thought of skateboarding but think the ground is too hard, or if you want to snowboard but hate cold weather, then YP cadet Maggie Suen might have your new favourite sport

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YP cadet Chloe Fung prepares to wakeboard in Shek O With Team Islandwake
YP cadet Chloe Fung prepares to wakeboard in Shek O With Team Islandwake

Wakeboarding is a fun and challenging combination of water skiing, surfing and snowboarding. You have to ride your board over the surface of the water while being towed by a motorboat, and that's not easy!

We went to Tai Tam Tuk Village, a reservoir area in the southern part of Hong Kong Island, to try wakeboarding on the lake with Team Islandwake.

Their coach, Bosco Chu, helped us strap on our boards and then gave us some instructions. "As you get down to the water, pull your knees towards your body, stretch your arms straight and keep your knees inside your arms," he told us. "After you gain your balance and stand up, you should put one leg in front of the other, and surf."

Everything seemed pretty simple and straightforward and I felt confident I could master wakeboarding in no time.

We practised our postures a bit before putting on our lifejackets (safety first!) and getting into the water. Finally, it was time for us to try wakeboarding for real. "Do not try to stand up too quickly when the motorboat pulls you," Chu warned us.

On my first try, I grabbed the handle tightly, trying to remember all the steps Chu had taught us so that I would be prepared when the boat started to pull me. But only a few seconds after the boat started to move, I lost my grip and fell into the water.

The resistance between the water and the board was so strong that I couldn't even hold on to the handle, let alone stand up.

"You should keep your waist leaning backwards, and pull your thighs in," Chu shouted encouragingly from the boat. Nevertheless, after several attempts, I still failed to stand up.

Casey Evans, 18, who was visiting Hong Kong from Florida, in the US, had better luck.

She managed to stand up by keeping the tip of the board a bit above the water surface to prevent resistance.

Even though she managed to stand, she found it tiring to hold on. And when the boat sped up or changed direction, she had to squeeze the handle even harder.

Still, every time the boat made a turn, she ended up wiping out. By the end of the day, everyone was exhausted from trying to hold on to that handle.

After my experiences on the water, I realise that wakeboarding is not as easy as it looks. In fact, just standing up on the board is much harder than I thought it would be.

And it's also an intense physical workout: even a few days afterwards, my arms and legs were still quite sore.

Although difficult, wakeboarding is still an awesome sport to do with friends during the hot summer months, especially if you are eager to challenge yourselves with extreme sports.

The first time you try it, you will fall a lot, but once you get the hang of it, there's no limit to the acrobatic tricks you can master. So get ready for a little pain and a lot of fun!

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Bored? Wakeboard!

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