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The history of Wakesurf

Centurion Boats, history, Rick Lee, wakeboarding, wakesurfing -

The history of Wakesurf

Did you know that wakesurfing has been around since the late 50s? However, it wasn’t until the 90s that people started hearing of this sport. 

The origins of wakesurfing are somewhat disputed with multiple people and companies claiming to be at the genesis of the sport. 

Surfing behind a boat was done as early as 1956 at Cypress Gardens, according to Simon Khoury, a member of the Cypress Gardens water ski show team in the 1950s. Dick Pope Sr., founder of Cypress Gardens, saw the potential of using Inland Surfing to promote Cypress Gardens. 

The skiers called the sport “inland surfing”. Their photo boat Miss Cover Girl, 50’ long by 10’ wide powered by twin inboard V8 engines, was the perfect wakesurf boat. However, by the late 60s, surfing at Cypress Gardens faded from popularity and Inland surfing remained relatively dormant for 25 years.

At first, surfers would ride on a longboard (ocean board) and they called it boat surfing. As the sport caught on, board companies started making wake surfing boards that were thinner, lighter and smaller.

In the olden days, surfers would use regular boats and have, what we call, a messy wave. Surfers realized to get the perfect wave you need to bear most of the weight to one side of the boat. If you were to bare the weight on the right side, that would be regular stance and if it were on the left side of the boat it would be goofy stance.

As boards progressively shortened in length, taking a page from windsurfing or sailboarding many practitioners started using devices mounted to the board to strap and secure their feet in place. Aided with a tow rope, hard carving and launching off wakes lead to sports like skurfing, skiboarding, and eventually wakeboarding.

The sport was reborn in the mid 90s, when owner of Centurion Boats Rick Lee saw the crossover potential of the bigger wakes of the v drive ski boats that were being designed for wakeboarding. 

He pushed to make boats for wake surfing in the mid 90s, and he also wanted to turn wake surfing into a competitive event with a World Championship. Motivated manufacturers started making boards specific for surfing the wake. Inland surfingm, and the sport was reinvented as wake surfing.

The first world wake surfing competition started in 1996 in Michin bay, in 2011 Parker, Arizona became the new home of the worlds wake surfing competition with the most competitors yet.

Innovation in equipment is fueling the growth.  Boat builders are designing models with hulls and other features that create the optimal wake, and manufacturers have been motivated to shape boards specifically for the sport. 

Click here for a pretty cool video on the history of wakesurfing.

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About CSURF Board Shop

CSURF Board Shop is you one stop shop for a Wakesurf gear! As Wakesurf aficionados, we select  only the finest wake surfing gear for you to enjoy. Wether you’re a beginner or a an expert, we can guide you into purchasing the best wake surfing gear for your skills and style of riding. 

CSURF Board Shop offers you a large selection of top quality brands and products. Our selection of wakesurf gear isn't made based on our profit margin, we strive to offer you the best products at the best competitive price and we hold a complete line of wakesurfing gear, accessories, swimsuit, wetsuit and flotation devices. 

We also offer wakeboard rental and lessons

With over 10 years of experience in wakesurf coaching,  CSURF Board Shop offers you wakeboarding lessons and rental at your place or on our boat. We only use new  wake boat & wakeboards and we take the time to choose the right equipment for your skill and shape.  We also have an awesome partnership with Sport Marine.ca who supplies us with the latest wake boat for the ultimate wakesurfing fun and experience.  Check out our wakesurfing courses. 


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