Wakeboarding is a combination of multiple sports intertwined into one. The evolution of wakeboarding begins in 1985 when Tony Finn developed the skurfer for a sport known as skiboarding.
The skurfer was a combination between a water ski and a surfboard. Due to the skurfers lack of foot straps, the rider had the ability to stand anywhere on the board. Foot straps were not implemented onto the board until the summer of 1985. Jimmy Redman also decided to drill foot straps into his Redline board around this same time.
A skiboard rider now had the ability to gain air and lots of it. They could now stylistically complete maneuvers similar to the ones in surfing and snowboarding. In 1990 ESPN televised the first skurfer championships in order to promote the water sports.
Skiboarding developed into wakeboarding when Herb O’Brien of H.O. Sports introduced a compression-molded neutral-buoyancy wakeboard that served as a catalyst for the wakeboarding sport. The compression-molded neutral-buoyancy allowed easier deep-water starts for all ages.
Some would still continue to refer to wakeboarding as skiboarding but this would fade out after a few years, allowing wakeboarding to become the sports’ official name. Its continued success led to the development of a National Wakeboard League and recognition as the fastest growing water sport in the world.
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