It makes sense that wakeboarding would have its world championships in a place like Fort Lauderdale. It's a sport invented by and for rich people with boats -- and Fort Laudy is nothing if not a mecca for that demographic. Over the weekend, more than 200 of the best wakeboarders in the world will descend upon Mills Pond Park to take shots at a title.
And although the competitors range between ages 5 and 55, a majority of them see to be high-school age. After all, wakeboarding was only invented in 1946 and legitimized with a championship event in 1994. The World Games considers it a "trend sport," and it's basically the Pac-Sun-wearing cousin of snowboarding.
There's another reason: if you've never tried it, take our word that it requires a lot of core strength. It's nearly impossible to imagine that either a kindergartener or a middle-aged person could regularly right themselves on a (heavy) fiberglass object and take the beatings that come with smacking against the water at 30 or 40 miles per hour.
To find this out, New Times went and spent an afternoon with some of the riders, including the Australian brothers Cory and Brad Teunissen. They gave two reporters basic instructions on how to ride, showed a remarkable degree of patience, and then showed off how it's really done. To see this level of athleticism in person is free today at Mills Pond Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. On Saturday, it's $13 in person and $7 online for an adult. Prices are the same for Sunday.
Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.
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