The Sun & Ski Cure for the Winter Time Blues

How are you supposed to switch gears from sunshine and wakeboarding to ice covered lakes? When summer ends, it can sometimes be hard to make the adjustmentto cooler weather.

Why not try investing your downtime into a new sport this winter?

Believe it or not, snowboarding can actually make you a better wakeboarder.The skills you can develop while snowboarding can translate to help improve your already impressive wakeboarding skills.

Some of the areas that snowboarding can help you improve include:

  • Strength – Snowboarding requires you to move in ways similar to wakeboarding. This means you will not lose all the progress you made over the summer.
  • Turning – Snowboarders shift their weight using their toes or heels, which differs from wakeboarding. However, if you can work to develop a strong snowboard turning technique, it will most likely improve turning when you wakeboard.
  • Focus – Just like wakeboarding, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings when snowboarding. Maintaining this level of awareness all winter will help you stay alert when you start wakeboarding again.

If you do plan on hitting the slopes this winter season, you’re going to need the warmest snowboarding and skiing clothes. Shop for the top brands and you’ll be sure to start off in style. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Men & Women’s snowboards
  • Men & Women’s skis
  • Men & Women’s Ski boots
  • Men & Women’s ski and snowboard jackets
  • Men & Women’s ski and snowboard pants
  • Ski Goggles

Invest in only the essential items and grow your wardrobe when you decide you’re going to stick with the sport. Shop Sun & Ski for a wide selection of name brands including The North Face, Spyder, Canada Goose, and more to get you started.

What You Need for Kneeboarding

If you love waterskiing but you want to try something different, or if you are introducing kids to towed water sports, kneeboarding is a good place to start.

Look for kneeboards with a cushioned knee pad and flexible belt strap to keep you comfortable for a full day of water sports activity. When you are in the water with your kneeboard, you can start two ways:

  • Belly start: For a belly start, place your belly on the kneeboard and slide your knees into the knee pad after the boat pulls you up.
  • Low buoyancy start: If you have a thin kneeboard, such as the Ho Sports Proton model, you can adjust your strap, and then get into the water and slide your knees into place after the boat pulls you up.

Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store to check out a variety of kneeboards and find the one that works for you. Don’t forget life vests, especially if you are buying kneeboards to use with children.

Kiteboarding Basics: Get the Right Gear

If you haven’t tried it yet, kiteboarding is a variation on wakeboarding in which the rider is pulled by a kite, rather than a boat. Kiteskiing is the same principle, but the rider wears water skis instead of using a board.

Whether you have already discovered kiteboarding or if you are new to this water sport, it’s important to have the right equipment. You’ll need to choose from the different kiteboards available, and you’ll need water sports gear including swimwear, lines and a kite.

Twin tip or bidirectional kiteboards let you move from forward to backward easily. Some companies have designed kiteboards specifically with women riders in mind. The Liquid Force Aura features lightweight construction with a composite foam core and a “women’s specialized flex profile.”

Once you have found your board, the WakeKite Superfly 5.5 package includes everything else you need for kiteboarding. The kit includes the different lines that you need, as well as an inflatable kite, carbon fiber handle and an instructional DVD with tips for how to get your best ride.

PFD is Key for Water Sport Safety

A PFD, or personal flotation device (another name for a life vest), is a must-have item of water sports gear. Some factors to consider when purchasing your PFD include:

  • Certification: Look for life vests that are approved by the U.S. Coast Guard. USCG approval means that the PFD meets USCG standards of impact and buoyancy.
  • Material: Nylon life vests are less expensive, but neoprene models are more comfortable, and they may be worth the investment if you spend a lot of time enjoying water sports.
  • Size: A PFD should fit snugly, but not so snug that it inhibits your movement.
  • Kids: Young children and infants should wear life vests at all times in or around the water. The Jet Pilot Children’s S-1 Kids Neo Life Vest is USCG-approved, suitable for children weighing 30-50 pounds, and includes a handle on the back to make it easier to pick up a child from the water.

When selecting a PFD, it’s important to try on several styles to find the best fit for your body and your water sports activities. Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports store for expert advice and an extensive PFD selection.

How to Size a Wakeboard

What’s Your Skill Level?

Recreational/Beginner: Be prepared to become addicted to one of the fastest growing sports. This level board will have mellower rocker lines and smaller molded/exterior fins. These features make the board less aggressive and more forgiving.

Performance/Intermediate: You are out there pushing yourself and learning new tricks every time out. At this point you should know your riding style. This will help you find a board that will take you to the next level.

Expert/Advanced: Are you out to make the most of every pull, linking all types of tricks together? Looking to add another 180 to your stylish 540 or whirly? Stronger edge-hold and aggressive rocker lines will give you that added edge.

What Kind of Rider are You?

What tricks do you throw or want to throw?

Basic: Grabs and basic spins, toe-side and heel-side. (180’s, Indy’s, Crail’s, 3’s, Method’s, 5’s, etc.).

Trip-Flip Inverts: Inverts that are initiated by “Flipping” your edge at the wake. These are tricks that are thrown with low or no tension on the line (tantrums, front rolls, whirlybirds, off-axiis spins, elephants, etc.).

Load and Release Inverts: Inverts that “load” the line and “release” the board, keeping tension on the line. A fast and strong edge is needed to cut to and through the wake (Raley’s, batwing, and all glide’s).

Terms to Know:

Rocker Line is the bend (tip to tail) that a board has pressed into it. There are three types: continuous, 3-stage, and hybrid (a combination of the two).

Edge Hold is how well a board stays on edge in the water. A weak edge hold will skip out from underneath you if cut too hard. A strong edge hold “locks” into the water and the way up the wake.

Pop is the snap or lift a board has off the wake. A 3-stage rocker tends to pop wake-towake, having more height than distance. Continuous rocker launches out into the flats easily.

Flats are the areas past the wake. To carry a trick into the flats means it went big and far.

Molded Fins are part of the board, no screws hold it on.

Removable Fins are held on by screws

Construction

The majjority of boards have a foam core. Higher end boards will have stronger, lighter, and more responsive foam content than lower-end boards.

Wakeboard Sizing Chart

The board size is based off of the weight of the rider. Here’s a general guideline:

If you are at the lower end of the range, the board will rider higher in the water, having more pop and softer landings. The disadvantage is that it maybe harder to keep the board on edge. If you are at the higher end of the range, you may have to ride faster to keep the board afloat, but the board will edge harder and be more responsize because it will sit deeper in the water.

Wakeboard Bindings Sizing Chart

Sun & Ski Sports Sponsors 6th Annual Wakeboarding Event

H-Town Showdown Wakeboard Tournament

The Gulf Coast Wakeboarding Association along with Houston Watersports Complex and Sun & Ski Sports present the 6th Annual H-Town Showdown Wakeboarding Tournament held at the Houston Watersports Complex, Saturday, July 18 from 9 AM to 6 PM, showcasing the best riders in the state as well as some of the biggest payouts of the year. Proceeds from the tournament will benefit Texas Adaptive Aquatics, a non-profit organization, teaching disabled children and adults how to water ski.

Registration will be held on site at 8 AM with a 9 AM start time. The tournament ranges from beginner riders to those trying to qualify for the pro-tour. Levels of riding will be based on demand; the levels currently include Beginner Boys, Beginner Women, Beginner Men, Intermediate Women, Intermediate Men, Advanced, Expert, Outlaw and Wakeskate. Nautique and Sanger will be the official boat sponsors for this year’s tournament, providing riders with some of today’s best tow boats. Events are lined up for participants and spectators, music provided by Wetsounds and DJ Worm, a GCWA raffle, and the Sun & Ski Sports pro shop.

  • Date:
  • Saturday, July 18, 2009
  • 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Address:
  • Houston Watersports Complex
  • 15200 Nautique Way
  • Houston, Tx 77047
  • Phone: (713) 920-2157
  • View Map

H-Town Showdown from abstract conformity on Vimeo.

Byerly Wakeboards Rockstar Team Video

Checkout the full line of Byerly Wakeboards and Accessories at Sun & Ski Sports.

History of Byerly Wakeboards
Founded in 2006, Byerly Boards has been my dream for as long as I’ve been riding boards, which dates back to the founding years of both Wakeboarding and Wakeskating. Today I’m happy to say that my dream has taken root, and with my crew we’re creating a brand that is unique within the board sports world. With Butch’s shaping skills and knowledge of construction methods we’ve again pushed the boundaries of Wakeboard Design. The same is true with my Skates and as always art plays a huge role in the look and feel of Byerly Boards. Enjoy our line up for 2009 and I’ll be seeing you on the road this season.

2009 On-Water Watersports & Wakeboard Demo

On May 13th, Sun & Ski Sports descended on to Indian Lodge Resort in Kopperl Texas for the 4th Annual On-Water Demo. The on-water demo is designed to give our employees an in-depth understanding of all watersports so that they can better serve our customers giving them the greatest support and knowledge when shopping at our stores for that new wakeboard, slalom ski, or wakesurfer. No matter where you shop, Nashville, Houston, Tulsa, Dallas, Cincinatti, etc., Sun & Ski Sports is committed to bring the best staff possible and training them to be exceptional.

Employees from every store came to spend 2 days on the water, behind a boat, to experience and feel the difference between every board so that they can better serve you, our customer, in your next watersports purchase. Our employees will provide knowledge and experience so that you will have confidence in your purchase. Whether you are purchasing your first wakeboard or it is just time to upgrade, Sun & Ski Sports has the gear that you need to make this summer one to remember.

This year, the on-water demo came to the Brazos River just outside of the Dallas-Forth Worth Metro. The Brazos River offers miles and miles of glassy calm water, even when it is unseasonable dry like this year. We stayed right on the river at Indian Lodge Resort where Tim and Barb Jones give new meaning to word host. They graciously let us use their oven when we ran out of oven space, they looked after all of the gear that littered their pavilion, and they even came and hung out during clinics and down time. Our group took up about 10 of the 14 cabins there, we were basically the only ones around for this early-season mid-week, but everyone enjoyed having a cabin/roof over their head compared to the state park camping from previous years. There is a pool, basketball hoop, fishing, and pavilion to enjoy while at Indian Lodge, add Mike Holmes’ inflatable screen and projector and you have a fantastic mid-week (or weekend getaway). Indian Lodge Resort is just over an hour from DFW, 2 hours from Austin, 3 from San Antonio, and a doable 4 hours from Houston or Oklahoma City…all perfect for that weekend wakeboard getaway.

Special thanks to Indian Lodge Resort, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Byerly Board Co., H.O. Sports, Wakeboard Coalition, Sasser Wakeboard School, Jet Pilot, O’Neill, Helium, Straight Line, and Accurate for making this event spectacular.