(Photos by Richard Banks)
Wakeboarding combines the gravity defying, aerial marvels of gymnastics with the ramps, speed, and whacky jargon of skateboarding. While working on a story on an Orlando-based wakeboarder, I visited the Air Nautique Wake Games at the Orlando Watersports Complex and saw first-hand just how incredible the sport is. While being pulled by a boat like a water skier, wakeboarders flipped backwards and forwards, twisted, whirled, jumped ramps, rode rails, and seemingly flew just yards off shore. It was jaw-dropping, crazy wild, baby.
For those of us who aren’t up to that level of competition, the Orlando Watersports Complex has two cableways (apparently, the only such park in the country to have more than one) that pull skiers and wakeboarders in a continuous loop on the water’s surface. In lieu of an actual behind-the-boat wake, the park has plenty of ramps and sliders to help you get air and practice your 540s, railies, and inverts.