Board Sports - Part I

Remember those days when the only board sport was surfing? or skateboarding?
Yeah, us either.

Surfing may have started it all - but times certainly have changed! There are so many sick board sports right now that we thought we'd put a list together to keep 'em all straight. You may have heard/ seen/ participated in some and others may be brand new to you. But all are sick and totally awesome.
You all know the regulars - surfing, skateboarding, windsurfing, longboarding. So, we're sharing some of the more extreme here.

Check out our first installment of Board Sports - 'On the Water'.

With the first patent coming from the Netherlands in 1977, the sport has evolved to what is known as kitesurfing today with the help of Laird Hamilton and Manu Bertin. The boards come in various shapes & sizes, have bottom fins and foot straps. They are made of wood (typically pine) in various thicknesses that affect flex and strength. The kites used to come in various sizes and line lengths to control wind strength while kitesurfing. 

'Skurfing' was originally created in the late 1980's in Australia & New Zealand. Wakeboarding has since become more of a household name and has been added as a competitive sport in the X Games II.
Riders are towed behind a motorboat or closed course cable systems. Boards are most similar to surfboards in that they are buoyant with the core usually made up of foam, honeycomb or wood mixed with resin and coated with fiberglass. Your feet are affixed in boots & bindings which are secured to the board with metal screws.

Emerging in the mid 1970s in Sacramento, California, flatland skimboarding is practiced on non-coastal waters. Mostly rivers and lakes. In some cases, even puddles. The wood board is thrown across a thin film of water. While the board is still moving the rider jumps on and skims across the water. Lots of different tricks are possible, just have to practice. At least you don't get too wet if you fall.

The sport is divided between two main types of boards that the rider can choose from - flowboard or bodyboard. It's a late 20th century board sport that uses artificial waves called sheet waves, about 3 inches of water are pumped out at high speeds to ride on. Popular on cruise ships :) The boards are generally made of wood core with fiberglass sheeting and come in several shapes & sizes. Either with straps or without - depending on how you will be riding it. 

Produced commercially in the 1970's, these boards are are most similar to surfboards made of fiberglass, with a velcro strap that extends from the deck and over your thighs to secure you to the board. Some come with fins, some don't - depends on your skill level and tricks performed. This is a tow water sport where the participant holds on to a rope & handle and is pulled at planing speeds over H2O.

I guess riverboarding 'boards' is more of a little 'boat'. Made of molded plastic with padding to protect the upper body, these are used with fins to maneuver through white water down rivers. If you're into 'extreme' - this is a good one for ya.
Trivia nugget from wikipedia: Mike Horn currently holds the record for the tallest waterfall riverboarded with his descent of a 22-meter (72 ft) tall waterfall on the upper reaches of the Pacuare River in Costa Rica

Very similar to flatland skimboarding. The only difference is that the board is used to glide along the top of the water into an oncoming wave. Using the wave to ride back to shore. The boards are also very similar - made of thin, lightweight wood.

This is basically as it sounds - surfing the wake behind a boat. You start off getting towed until you can catch a nice wake and then you ride that thing without being attached to anything. Just hope that the driver of the boat doesn't cut the motor off suddenly. Great thing is, you can surf, without having to find open water.
The board is very similar to a surfboard with fiberglass & epoxy resin. There are no straps to the board and you can add fins depending on skill level. They are generally about 5ft or shorter

This is the most similar to skateboarding. Wakeskates resemble oversize skateboards, minus the trucks and wheels. The board is a simple, finless, grip-tape-covered wooden board. Ride the board with a pair of sneakers that you don't mind getting wet. No. Seriously. You wakeskate with your kicks on and you're ready for your most bad ass skateboarding tricks. On water. You are towed by a boat or high speed something or other, hold on to that rope and handle and off ya go.

There ya have it.
Ride on. Water.