Wakeboarding

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Wakeboarding is a water sport which involves riding a wakeboard while being towed by a moving boat. Other vehicles like watercrafts and all-terrain vehicles are also used in wakeboarding. The sport was developed by surfers and snowboarders in the US in the 1980s, combining techniques used in water skiing, snow boarding, and surfing to create an alternative water sport.

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Development of the sport

Recently, motorized closed-course cables have been used to pull wakeboarders (often referred to as riders), providing a more controlled and directional speed. The overhead cable, which may reach up to 12 meters, allows wakeboarders to smoothly cruise the water surface while maintaining control of the board. The rotor running at speeds of 20 to 65 kilometers per hour gives riders almost as much momentum to perform tricks as watercrafts do. The riders perform these on-water tricks while gliding the surface left and right. During events and competitions, built-in ramps and specially designed pylons are constructed to provide contestants with a variety of approaches to a course. They are then judged by the difficulty and variety of their moves.

Wakeboarding in the country

Wakeboarding is a relatively new sport in the Philippines having entered the mainstream sporting world not more than 5 years ago. It was thrust to its recent popularity through heavy television exposure brought by the involvement of showbiz personalities and other celebrities. TV and movie actor Aga Muhlach is one of the most ardent celebrity wakeboarders in the country today. In fact, Muhlach has sponsored several wakeboarding events in the country attended by colleagues in the industry as well as professional wakeboarders.

The CWC

Dubbed “the next watersport in the country”, wakeboarding has caught the eye of many sports associations and organizations, even the Philippine government. Recognizing the sport’s potential for local and foreign tourism, the government has taken steps to tap the country’s most suitable spot for the watersport—Camarines Sur. In May 2006, a six-hectare wakeboarding park was opened in the province’s capital of Pili—the Camsur Watersports Complex (CWC). The complex is considered the first world-class local government-operated watersports facility in Asia. It boosted not only the tourism in the region (a lot of foreigners flock the province, mostly Austrians, Hungarians, and Germans) but also the economy, having generated over a million pesos in revenue in 2007. A lot of local and international wakeboarding events have since been held in the complex. The biggest of which, the World Wakeboarding Championship, is scheduled to take place in the CWC in July 2008.

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