Now more than ever, wakeboarding is a global sport. Contests are held every year in places like Korea, Austria, Russia, Chile, New Zealand, Thailand, Sweden, and many, many more. If you think you might be able to find a ride or a pull somewhere, chances are you can. Whether it’s a boat, a cable system and wake park, a PWC, or even a winch, there is wakeboarding to be had in nearly every corner of the planet. Heck, we’ve seen guys like Parks Bonifay jib icebergs in Newfoundland and Brian Grubb wakeskate through canyons in Jordan. But there are some places around the globe that stand out from the rest. Whether they are iconic spots that have a lengthy watersports history, or they’re exotic locales that happen to have a wake boat, these are all locations you should put on your bucket list. Below you’ll find what we’ve deemed as the coolest places to ride in the world, and who you can contact to make it happen for you. Go ahead, look them up, then once you’ve stopped drooling and dreaming, make some plans and start your next big wake adventure.
Turks & Caicos
You’ve all seen the images on social media. Pros and amateurs alike have been flocking to the tiny island nation in the Bahamas for a couple years, thanks in large part to the operation of Wake to Wake TC. With some of the most visually stunning clear, blue water in the world, it’s easy to see the appeal—and to get jealous. To top it off, the Wake to Wake TC crew also have a close relationship with a wild dolphin who likes to surf and swim with them, access to an insane shipwreck you can climb on and a crazy contraption called a subwing that you’re going to want to try when you see it.
What is it about ultra blue water that makes you want to go ride? Fortunately in the Turks and Caicos you can go ride it with the Wake to Wake TC crew. Video courtesy Wake to Wake TC.
Boats: Axis A22 & T23, Nautique G25
Take the craziest turquoise-blue water you’ve ever seen, then drop it into a tropical paradise with lush, jagged mountains rising out of the ocean toward the sky. That’s Bora Bora, and yes, you can ride there. Bora Bora Xtrem Sport operates out of the Four Seasons Bora Bora, and when you see it for yourself you’ll have to pinch yourself. A lot. Whether you want to ski, wakeboard, wakesurf or just tube, Bora Bora Xtrem Sport can make it happen—even while you’re laughing in disbelief.
Boats: Nautique GS22
Lake Como, Italy
Want to ride next to lakeside villas that date back to Roman times, then eat some of the best food on Earth when you’re done? Lake Como has you covered. Home to wakeboarder Massi Piffaretti, Como features several wakeboarding/wakesurfing clubs and schools—and we recommend Club Morgan at Crotto Del Misto in the town of Lenno. With a Nautique G23 ready to pull you, you can ride to your heart’s content, then eat to your stomach’s.
Boat: Nautique G23
Lake Powell, Arizona
You’ve heard it before. “It’s like riding on Mars!” And while that saying is as old as the lake itself, it’s still used today because it’s true. There really isn’t another place quite like Lake Powell. Yes, other lakes have long, winding arms and unique canyon formations, but Powell has a grandeur that can’t really be described until you see it. Plus, it’s huge. Most riders have Powell on their bucket list for a reason, and you should too. With a full complement of Axis boats, Surf Lake Powell can make it happen for you with ease. Pick your poison, bring your boards (or rent them, too) and go ride in one of the most unique lakes in the world.
Boat: Axis A22, A24, T22, T23
Lake Wanaka, New Zealand
Are you a fan of “Lord of the Rings?” How would you feel about riding in the Shire? You basically can, thanks to Wake Wanaka’s setup, located on Lake Wanaka in New Zealand’s Southern Alps on South Island. The deep blue hues of the water are thanks to the lake’s depth, estimated at more than 900 feet. The gigantic mountaintops surrounding it are thanks to Mother Nature and are almost unbelievable.
Boat: MasterCraft NXT
Dubai probably takes the cake in this list for the most surreal backdrop. The mind can’t quite grasp the absurdity that is countless high-rises towering over the beachfront and water. It’s modern-day development to the nth degree, and Xtreme Wake UAE can offer you a variety of pulls on a variety of boats so that you can take in the craziness while you ride. With a club/camp in Ghantoot, next to the famed Blue Marlin Ibiza, as well as boats in Dubai Marina, your bases are covered with Xtreme Wake. When you’re done riding on the water, you can go ride the frozen stuff at the Mall of Dubai’s indoor snow slope.
Boat: Centurion Enzo, Malibu 23 LSV, Epic 23 V