Think of it like snowboarding on water.
Not unlike their snow-shredding counterparts, wakeboarders can reach heights of close to 20 feet in the air and complete flips as they are pulled over jumps.
Clark Myers is inviting everyone to come to the Canadian National Wake Park Championships at Adrenaline Adventures on Aug. 22 and 23 and see wakeboarders from Manitoba and across Canada showcase their skills.
"Come out and take a look at the sport," he said.
Myers is acting as communications manager for the event, which is expected to draw about 40 competitors.
He said Adrenaline Adventures, located at 600 Caron Rd. in Headingley, has one of the most sophisticated cable tow systems in Canada, and that’s why it was selected to host the national championships.
"They have one of the better systems," he said.
Wakeboarders can be towed behind a boat or by cable, and there are advantages and disadvantages to each method. For beginners like Myers’ 12-year-old daughter Emily, the cable system is easier once the boarder is being towed, but it is also easier to start off in deep water if you’re being towed behind a boat.
In both cases, riding over jumps allows the boarder to become airborne and complete aerial tricks. Myers said national competitors will be judged on the complexities of their tricks and the skills they show.
"Each trick has a certain amount of difficulty," he said, likening it to ski jumping.
He said Adrenaline Adventures offers a relatively inexpensive way for beginners to learn and practise their skills, while it can be more difficult arranging to wakeboard behind a boat on a regular basis.
Despite Manitoba’s short summer season, Myers said local athletes typically do well at national competitions, and he expects the same thing to happen at the August event.
"There’s lots of potential for sure, and all levels of talent," he said. His son Zach, 18, is also a wakeboarder who’s competed in boat and cable events.
Adrenaline Adventures is also hosting a provincial cable wakeboard competition on Sept. 5.
Adrenaline Adventures owner Jason Rohs is pleased that his facility was chosen for the national and provincial championships.
"We’re thrilled to be able to host the (national) event again," he said, noting it had been held there in 2011.
Admission to the Aug. 22 wakeboard competition is free, though there is a $10 charge to watch the Aug. 23 competition and finals. Rohs said the events that day include a beach volleyball tournament followed by live entertainment, and tickets are available for the entire day.