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Wakeboarding Tag-Along Social Day

Wakeboarding Tag-Along Social Day

There is an art to wakeboarding – an art that is sometimes overlooked by the average spectator or the first-timer, an art that takes practice and determination, and above all, an unrelenting love for watersports and a deep concern for people and the environment.

Wakeboard Queensland are an inclusive, community-based wakeboarding club operating throughout the southeast region, hosting social events, competitions and training camps for wakeboarders of any skill level throughout the year. Set on the beautiful Tweed River off the Condong boat ramp, a community of fun loving wake enthusiasts gather for a day of adventure and togetherness. A convoy along the Tweed River, through to the Chinderah pub for lunch and back, is on the cards for the day’s Tag Along Social Day. Marty Pocock, the club president, with his 10- year old daughter, Amber, welcome all members and non-members alike as cars start to pile into the park, towing boats and sporting wakeboards.

Wakeboarding was founded in the early 80s and has been described as the love-child of surfing and waterski, enticing lovers of water sports with the promise of a thrill from the dawn of its time. Wakeboard Queensland was at the forefront of the revolution. The club was founded in 1995, with a strong indication of the love for the sport. This passion is apparent through the dedication shown by the club at their social events.

Wakeboarding is not just any other water sport. It is a sport that demands a high level of determination, manipulation of the ocean, skill, and a thorough knowledge of wake, tide and wave behaviour. Wakeboarders rely on their equipment to produce the perfect wake, to carry them seamlessly over the water, and to provide speed.

Specialised wake boats were manufactured specifically for the sport, with Correct Craft pioneering the first wakeboard tower: the Sport Nautique. Now, popular boats like Malibu boats are highly regarded, and many can be seen with their low-sterns dragging down the Tweed River.

The members of Wakeboard Queensland take their equipment seriously and have pride in their boats. Although the focus on technical aspects of the boat can seem daunting for the newbie, the club ensure that everyone becomes comfortable with the sport regardless of the level. Marty and his crew are seasoned boarders, and the complexity of the sport is exciting. There is nothing to be afraid of as a first-timer or learner. There is room for everyone, even those without their own boat. The attendees are split over the boats, allowing riders without a boat to come along for a day on the water, at the same time encouraging non-riders to head out on the water and enjoy a beautiful day on the Tweed.

A safety boat trails not too far out of distance as a measure to ensure that the club is best prepared for any unlikely but potential incidents. Wakeboarders, like any water sport enthusiasts, ensure that their personal safety and the safety of other riders and water-uses alike are at the forefront of their minds. Each boat is equipped with life jackets, and each person, riding or not, is expected to be comfortable with wearing and operating a lifejacket if the need arises. While wakeboarding is extraordinary to watch, riders put themselves at a calculated risk to execute – and attempt to perfect – the tricks, both in the air or skimming over the water.

Wakeboard Queensland are a well-established wakeboarding association with a core riding group of between 40 and 50 competitors, including children and riders of all ages and skill levels. Social days are a good mix of their crew, from competition riders who are at sponsorship level, young ones who love the water, and riders who are keen to jump in and share the water with like-minded folk.

One of the striking qualities of this club is the level of inclusion, respect and encouragement its members show for each other and other people on the water. Whatever level one might ride, whether executing a raley, riding the wake, or simply trying to find one’s feet, there is never a shortage of smiles or gestures of encouragement.

It was not until 2018 that Wakeboard Queensland were able to obtain a permit to hold events on the Gold Coast, making life a little brighter for lovers of the sport. They have been operating throughout the state, and now that the Gold Coast is open for business, the likes of the Tweed, Coomera, Nerang, and parts of the Tallebudgera rivers will be able to host social events for boarders in the coming years. Long, flat and straight, these waterways are the perfect balance for boarders of all levels, coupled with that infamously pristine Gold Coast weather.

Wakeboard Queensland are more than just a club in which to indulge in good times. They believe in – and abide by – their core principles of passion, respect, integrity, dedication, excellence and sustainability. As a responsible club that rely on the health of our oceans, each member is noticeably conscious of their impact on the environment. The club as a whole strive to ensure a positive environmental and social impact. Having respectful and passionate clubs, specifically those who abide by fair codes of conduct, participating in community sports on our waterways can only benefit the Gold Coast community.

Wakeboard Queensland host a number of professional and high-level riders who compete across the world in world championships, who ride alongside beginners, kids, and those just out for a good time on their Tag Along Social Days. They have a number of events coming up in the next season, and everyone is welcome to join the social club at any time once signed up to the Waterski and Wakeboard Australia (WAWA). All lovers of the ocean, thrill-seekers, sportsmen and spectators alike are encouraged to get along and get involved with the club, whether you join the team, or simply go to events and support their community.

The club is live on TeamApp (App Store or Google Play). You can follow Wakeboard Queensland on Instagram and Facebook. www.wakeboardqld.com

By Kimberley Bernard

 

 

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