True Stories: Know Your Waterways

Have you ever found yourself out on a boat enjoying a day of sun and fun when you suddenly hear something you know you shouldn’t? Your boat might not be sinking (yet), but as soon as you hear that noise that you know you’re not supposed to be hearing, you get that sinking feeling in your stomach. As wakeboarders, there might not be a worse feeling than knowing something is wrong. Really, really wrong.

boating mishap
A ROCK IS A HARD PLACEIllustration: Georges Fauveau

A few of our readers who ride together behind an older boat had the chance to get a few dream sets in behind a brand-new wake machine. Not as up to chance as one might think: This crew intentionally beached up next to the best wakeboard boat they could find at the local spot. The stars aligned when the gentleman with a three-week-old boat wanted to see if this crew could handle his new possession.

The alignment in the stars wasn’t the only thing destroyed when the new-boat owner pulled the rider straight into a pile of rocks within minutes of getting on plane. While the rider and crew were waving him away from his chosen line, the boat driver continued on, oblivious to the locals’ knowledge and to the rock pile just below the surface of the water.

After going from 20 mph to zero, the crew stepped out of the brand-new boat into ankle-deep water. Luckily, they were able to push the boat off the rocks and limp back to the ramp without taking on water.

Any wakeboarder would agree that the level of heartbreak experienced by putting a shiny new wake vessel up on the rocks is hard to match. It goes without saying that you should be familiar with your waterways, and if a local is telling you to turn, you turn. Then ask questions later.