The extreme sport of wakeboarding, a cross between water-skiing and snowboarding, is about speed, colour and adrenaline. It is the latest extreme sport to take the beach scene by storm.
In wakeboarding, you are strapped at 90 degrees into a shortened, doubleended surfboard, and towed at high speed behind a special speedboat. The boat is designed and weighted to make a large wake behind it, and the wakeboarder speeds along the sea at 30 kilometres an hour, cutting in and out of the wake, using it to jump into the air, turn, swivel and somersault. Wakeboarding is fast, furious, exhilarating and a fantastic spectator sport. Although new, its popularity is soaring in Thailand.
Boats and boards are available for hire at the main beaches of Phuket in the Andaman Sea, and at Samui in the Gulf of Thailand. Wakeboarding is also practised at the resort city of Pattya on the Eastern Seaboard.
Near to Bangkok, there is a Wakeboarding Club at Taco Lake, 13 kilometres from the city along the Bang Na-Trat Road. Rather than using boats, this uses a system of pulleys set up in the lake and is thus cheaper and suitable for people wishing to learn this exciting sport.
Boards and foot-bindings are available at these locations. Serious wakeboarders may wish to bring thier own boards and bindings, or purchase them at many leading department stores in Bangkok.