Something new and exciting came to us in the form of tow-in wake boarding with the use of a jet ski, a pilot at the helm, and a rider holding a tow rope at the stern. Professional wakeboarders Shane Bonifay, Danny Harf, Daniel Watkins, and Shawn Watson set out for an epic adventure in Balina Beach, Australia during the early part of 2013, which we found over on The Inertia.
Throughout the video there were snippets of interviews with the participating riders which was both educational and filled with enthusiasm. Watkins discussed the main focus as a rider, which was having a good driver and being able to communicate well with him. They have to gel in order to get it right. Once a team gets the aspect of compatibility nailed down, they are on their way to getting awesome rides.
The jet ski driver must know where to put the rider in the wave and partners must be willing to make adjustments according to their skill sets, training, and knowledge of waves. After all, this is happening in an unpredictable ocean and it is relatively new. Another reason the jet ski pilot should be aware of where to drop the wakeboard rider in on a wave is to give him an opportunity to get the best ride possible. When the teams were able to get that aspect dialed in, they absolutely shredded! The pros were getting massive airs, spins, and Bonifay even tucked into a few barrels.
Watkins was not the only one who made references to “must click together” when speaking of their tow partners; the rest of the guys seemed very much in agreement when it came down to getting towed in. The sport still has a long way to go because it is so new. There is plenty of room for improvement as it evolves into something bigger, most likely a competitive scene. It will be exciting to see what happens next.