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Wakeboard Safety Gear: Cumbersome But a Lifesaver

By Ted Muise Subscribe to RSS | May 29th 2012 | Views:

It was supposed to be a nice day to feel the excitement of wakeboarding for a beginner in North Carolina. It turned out to be her last as the impact of hitting the water caused her head to bleed and end her hopes of going pro. Had she wore her helmet while wakeboarding, she could’ve still be enjoying the sport today.

This incident, published by a local daily in 2010, reiterates the risk of engaging in the sport without safety gear. William Carson, Jr. of the Sports Medicine Clinic of Tampa, in his study on orthopedic surgeons and wakeboarders, reported that fractures are the most common form of injuries in wakeboarding. A simple task such as wearing a helmet or life vest can save one’s life in wakeboarding. Here is a checklist of the things you’ll need before going into the water.

Helmet: Your exposed head plus breakneck speed along the water equals a recipe for an injury. The wind in your hair may feel breezy, but when you suddenly let go and slam into the water at high speed, everything goes awry. You need a standard-issue helmet to protect your head from impact.

Gloves: Once the boat starts taking you for a wakeboarding ride, hang on for dear life with a pair of gloves. Wet conditions may make the handle slippery, causing you to lose your grip and hit the water hard. The gloves can be adjusted for your hands to get some breathing room, as well as a good grip on the handle.

Vests: If a nasty hit in the water can’t kill a wakeboarder, perhaps drowning may do the trick. For added protection, wear wakeboard vest approved by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). A vest approved by the USCG can guarantee that it will keep you afloat even if you get knocked out during wakeboarding. Not only is it a guarantee of quality and safety; the law also requires you to wear one while engaging in extreme water sports.

If you find safety gear a bit bulky, think about how it can save your life at a crucial time. Invest on wakeboard vests and other safety equipment if you want to enjoy wakeboarding. The water is supposed to be a place to enjoy water sports – not a final resting place.

Visit the USCG’s official website at for more info on approved life vests and safety gear. A wakeboard vest with the thumbs-up from the coast guard will definitely come in handy at certain situations.

Ted Muise - About Author:
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