There is so much to love, and learn, about boating. That’s why we created this library of articles, videos and blog posts to help you throughout your adventures.
Boat trips are just plain good for the soul. The sense of peace and tranquility that can be restored to you while gently rocking on the waves is undeniable. Although, if you need more reasons to take a boat trip, or are trying to convince someone else why a boat trip is well worth the time, look no further.
Wakeboarding is unique among action sports for the forces that we deal with while riding. We must constantly adjust to the pull of the rope and the push of the board. As a result, wakeboarding is a very core-centered sport, and you should always work to keep the area from the bottom of your rib cage to the tops of your knees strong. While nothing can completely mimic the pull and push forces of actually wakeboarding, I use these 10 workouts to stay in shape when I’m not on the water. I focused on making these workouts accessible to everyone, so only a jump rope, a pull-up bar, some steps, a rope or pole, and a little space are required. Pacing yourself is key, because you not only want to make it to the end of the workout, you also want to have the energy to complete the next day on your schedule. I try to work out four to five times a week with at least one day off for rest and recovery.
1. Jumping Rope
Start with 50 two-footed jumps at a leisurely pace. Next, perform 25 one-footed jumps on each foot. Go back to two-footed jumps, but this time accelerate your pace. Finish up with 10 double unders.
Wakeboarding benefits: Coordination, cardio and injury prevention
Form is key, so focus on extending fully at the bottom, getting at least your chin over the bar, and staying in control all the way down — don’t just drop. Alternate between a wide and a narrow grip. You might be able to do only three or fewer reps, but do your best to work up to at least 10. I do at least three past when I feel a burn.
Wakeboarding benefits: Improves grip strength, toughens soft hands, and strengthens your shoulders, arms, back and core
3. Frog Hops — Straight
Perform 10 straight-forward jumps from a full squat and focus on fully extending your legs and arms. Try to gently cradle your landings — imagine landing on a scale and trying to keep the weight from spiking to a high number.
Wakeboarding benefits: More explosive leg strength for more powerful takeoffs, improved strength, technique and range of motion on landings, and core strength for better balance
4. Two-Footed Step Jumps
On a set of stairs, jump up steps 1, 2, 3 and 4, turn and then jump down 4, 3, 2, 1. Repeat until it burns and then do one more set.
Wakeboarding benefits: More explosive leg strength for more powerful takeoffs, improved landing control and better coordination
5. Frog Hops — Angle
Perform 10 jumps at a 45-degree angle. Just as you did with straight frog hops, focus on full extension and soft landings.
Wakeboarding benefits: Increased dynamic range of motion, which contributes to more powerful takeoffs and controlled, injury-free landings
6. Hanging Leg-Ups
Hang from a bar with your arms fully extended and your feet together. While keeping your legs straight, lift them slowly over a one-second count. When your legs reach a 90-degree angle, hold for a count of “one Mississippi,” and then lower them slowly over a one-second count. Each rep should take approximately three seconds. Do a few reps past burn.
Wakeboarding benefits: Improved grip and stronger core
7. Pole or Rope Climb
The rope climb — or in my case, the pole climb — is one of the best upper body and grip workouts. Use both arms to pull, then hold strong with one arm while reaching as high as you can with the free arm. Make each reach count. At first, use your legs to rest, but don’t use them to help you get higher. Work up to eventually using no legs at all.
Wakeboarding benefits: Improved grip and stronger shoulders, arms, back and core
8. Single-Leg Box Jump
On a set of stairs, start with the first step and perform 10 jumps with your left leg and 10 jumps with your right leg. Move on to the second step and perform five jumps with your left leg and five jumps with your right leg. Take your time and focus on soft, controlled landings. Don’t move to the next rep until you are planted and in control.
Wakeboarding benefits: Increased power and control on takeoffs and landings as well as stronger legs and core
9. Standard Box Jump
Jumping up is important, but coming down is just as important, so really focus on cradling your landing. Don’t make your box jump super-high to prove a point. Make it a height at which you can stay in control. If it doesn’t feel good, stop and make the jump lower. Do three past the initial burn but be careful not to push it too far.
Wakeboarding benefits: Increased power and control on takeoffs and landings, stronger legs and core, and more pop off the wake
Full extension is a little harder but focus on maxing out your range going up and going down. To add a degree of difficulty, keep your legs straight and see how far out in front you can keep them while going up and down.
Wakeboarding benefits: Increased grip strength and stronger arms and core
While wakeboarding may get the TV coverage on ESPN2, most boaters in America are towing tubes for family fun. Suitable for all members of the family, tubes are among the most popular types of towables on the market today. They’re available in a wide range of shapes and sizes, but all are designed with a single goal in mind: on-water excitement.
Regardless of the tube you choose, remember that safety is the first priority. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device (PFD) are a must for every participant at all times. Always use a spotter in the boat. Don’t attempt “extreme” tricks or stunts that require improper use of your tube. Know the capabilities and limitations of your tube and riders. Choose tubes, activities and speeds that are age appropriate for the rider. (Most tubes are not designed for use by children under six years of age.) Follow the manufacturer’s limits and specifications regarding the number of riders, maximum size/weight, and top towing speed. As a general rule, keep your speed under 10 mph when towing kids less than 12 years old. Tow only in designated areas or spaces away from natural hazards and 50 yards from other boaters.
The weekend is your chance to get out on the water with friends and family, relax after a hard or stressful week and just unwind, whether that means towing the kids on an inflatable, carving up the water on a pair of skis or a wakeboard, spending a quiet morning fishing, or just hanging out on the sandbar with your friends.
It doesn’t matter if you didn’t grow up with boating. The draw of the water is still just as strong. And boating ticks off all the boxes that make those weekends memorable. It’s the activity that lets your family bond and enjoy quality time together with no distractions, building memories that often last a lifetime. It’s the way to spend the weekend with like-minded friends, meeting up at the favorite local party spot or perhaps cruising to that popular waterfront restaurant.
You’re not afraid to make the plans. In fact, you’re used to organizing many of these get-togethers already. The goal is simply to have fun—and make the next weekend the best one yet
Wondering about all the things you need to do besides sign on the dotted line? Wondering about all the things you need to do besides sign on the dotted line? Get the lowdown on insurance, safety gear and accessories.
Buoyant, foam mats are an inexpensive way to create your own floating island. Inflatable “tubes” appeal to all ages, require little skill or practice and are virtually guaranteed to produce plenty of smiles. Prefer a bit more challenge? Skiing, wakeboarding, or even wakesurfing get your crew out behind the boat to strut their skills. Or, find that perfect spot and cast a line—you might even catch dinner. Whatever the case, the necessary gear to get you started can be found at your local dealer or numerous online retailers.
The goal is simply to have fun—and make the next weekend the best one yet.
Watersport towboats now prove incredibly versatile for an abundance of activities, from skiing, wakeboarding and wakesurfing to comfortable family cruising.
Boaters frequently nose in to sandbars to raft up side by side with other boaters, cranking up the music and enjoying the company.
Many boat designs now take into account the social aspects of boating with seating facing the swim platform, plus sound system controls and cup holders just a short reach away.
If your ticket to this weekend wonderland often requires a rental, take a moment to consider the benefits of owning your own boat. You can use it whenever you want, keep it out as long as you want, and customize it to fit your needs, not the limits of a generic rental operation.
Attractive financing plans are available to keep the payments well within your budget. Renters might also be surprised just how affordable some new models are.
Friends often use their boat as a staging area to float, swim or relax. Many runabout and deck boat designs now feature seating adjacent to the swim platform, keeping you at the water’s edge.
Tired of kids immersed in their various electronic devices? Take them offshore and replace that latest gadget with something old-school—a fishing pole. It’s a great way to bond, encourage conversation … and maybe even catch dinner.
Looking for advice? The answers are as close as your keyboard. The internet is awash with forums, clubs, instructional videos and websites frequented by both current owners and industry experts.
Look for versatility. Runabouts, deck boats and jet boats are all great choices for those looking for a quick weekend escape, with the ability to cruise, fish, ski or wake, and offer plenty of room for family and friends.
Loading and unloading a boat from the trailer is often the biggest challenge for new boaters. Avoid the stress by practicing your backing-up skills in an empty parking lot before you take things to the launch ramp.
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