Why Is Wakeboarding Dangerous?

Wakeboarding is a popular sport in many parts of the world. It is a big part of the summer games in many countries, and people mostly wakeboard on lakes and rivers. However, you may have heard that wakeboarding is a dangerous sport and now wonder why it is dangerous.

Wakeboarding is a dangerous sport because many things can go wrong when wakeboarding. For example, a wakeboarder can hit a submerged object or a sandbank. Injuries from falling when boarding the boat is also a risk. Therefore, wakeboarding is considered a dangerous sport.

Fortunately, you can prevent many wakeboarding injuries by taking the proper precautions. In this article, we will discuss why wakeboarding is dangerous and how to prepare for a wakeboarding trip. We’ll also briefly touch on the injuries you can get while wakeboarding and how to prevent getting injured.

Why Is Wakeboarding Considered Dangerous?

Most watersports are considered dangerous because many factors can go wrong. Wakeboarding is no exception. The fact that there is a motorized boat and rope involved adds to the danger of wakeboarding. However, before we discuss why wakeboarding is dangerous, it’s important to mention that there aren’t many fatalities in wakeboarding.

Wakeboarding isn’t more dangerous than most other watersports, such as water skiing, jets skiing, or kite surfing. Therefore, you shouldn’t fear wakeboarding if you have done any other sports. Suppose you take the necessary safety precautions, your chances of getting injured are reduced.

However, accidents can still happen, so taking the necessary safety measures is essential when wakeboarding. So, why is wakeboarding dangerous? It is mainly a result of these factors.

1. Environmental factors

First of all, watersports are typically seen as being dangerous because you are in the water. When entering the water for water sports, there is always a risk of drowning. In addition, there can possibly be some submerged objects, such as fallen trees or sandbanks, that can cause serious injury when you hit them or fall on them.

Furthermore, wakeboarding can be extremely dangerous in the dark when other boat pilots cannot see you. In addition, wakeboarding is more hazardous in rough water, such as after a storm. You should never go wakeboarding in lightning or thunderstorms.

2. Equipment Factors

Another reason wakeboarding is so dangerous is because of the equipment used. Your feet are secured onto the wakeboard, meaning that you could get injured if you fall or the board slips out from under you. In addition, you are pulled by a boat or pully system with a rope.

If you fall, the rope or handle can hit you. However, this is unlikely because the rope is pulled away from you by the boat. The boat is another factor that adds to the danger of wakeboarding. If you aren’t careful, you can get injured by the rotors of the motor.

You can also get injured while falling and hitting your head or injuring another part of your body in addition to these factors. However, if you take the proper safety precautions when wakeboarding, you will significantly reduce the chances of getting injured. Most wakeboarding injuries can be prevented if you take the appropriate safety precautions and, in this case, wakeboarding isn’t so dangerous.

Safety Precautions When Wakeboarding

You can take a few safety precautions before and during wakeboarding to reduce the chances of getting a severe injury. One of the biggest safety measures to take is to ensure that the person driving the boat can do so and knows what to do when there are people in the water.

You should also clearly understand the spotter’s signals to know what they are showing you and what to look for. Another crucial thing to do before wakeboarding or doing any watersports is to first ride around the river or lake to spot any submerged trees or sand banks.

When you have established a safe area for wakeboarding, you can begin preparing yourself. Experts advise stretching before wakeboarding to reduce the chances of straining a muscle. Also, ensure you are adequately hydrated to prevent cramps.

Always wear a life jacket or PFD (personal flotation device) when wakeboarding or doing any water sports. Regardless of your skills as a swimmer or wakeboarder, you can fall and hit your head. You can get a head injury and become unconscious, in which case the PFD will prevent you from drowning.

In addition, you are also advised to wear a helmet before wakeboarding, especially if you are wakeboarding in an unfamiliar area. Look at the spotter and monitor the area while you are wakeboarding. Let go of the towing rope to prevent it from dragging you under the water if you fall.

Never go wakeboarding in the dark, in misty weather, or when a storm is brewing. Wakeboarding is extremely dangerous when your visibility is bad. Therefore, stick to wakeboarding when the sky is clear and you have good visibility.

Finally, wait for the boat’s motor to switch entirely off before approaching the boat. If you follow all these precautions, you reduce the chances of getting a severe injury from wakeboarding. Let’s now briefly look at some common wakeboarding injuries.

Common Wakeboarding Injuries

Although wakeboarding is dangerous, there aren’t that many deaths from wakeboarding. According to the U.S coastguard, there were six and a half deaths per hundred thousand registered vessels. That includes boating accidents and fatalities as a result of water sporting, such as wakeboarding.

Therefore, the most common wakeboarding injuries are reasonably mild and include muscle strains, sprained ankles, and torn ACL ligaments. Some of the more severe injuries from wakeboarding include dislocated shoulders, fractured bones, and in some cases, a broken spine.

However, serious injuries aren’t too common and can mostly be avoided if you follow the correct safety precautions.


Wakeboarding is a dangerous sport, but it isn’t more dangerous than many other water sports. There aren’t many deaths due to wakeboarding as there are with some other water sports. Fortunately, you can prevent most water sports injuries with the correct safety precautions. For example, ensure there aren’t any submerged objects in the water and never wakeboard in the dark.

Common injuries while wakeboarding includes sprained ankles, dislocated shoulders, and sprained muscles. More severe injuries include broken bones, such as ribs, or a broken spine or neck in rare cases. Although wakeboarding is a somewhat dangerous sport, it shouldn’t deter you from trying and enjoying it.

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