The sit-down hydrofoil , first developed in the late 1980s, is a variation on water skiing, a popular water sport. When towed at speed, by a powerful boat or some other device, the board of the hydrofoil 'flies' above the water surface and generally avoids contact with it, so the ride is largely unaffected by the wake or chop of the water and is relatively smooth. The air board is a modified hydrofoil where the skier stands up.
Hydrofoils date back the early 1900s, however they were not part of a recreational sport. While the first hydrofoil boat was created in 1906 by Italian inventor Enrico Forlanini,the first waterski hydrofoil was invented in the early 1960s by Walter Woodward, an aeronautical engineer, with two skis attached to a bi-wing hydrofoil. In 1972, Mike Murphy and Bob Woolley added a bi-wing hydrofoil to a surfing kneeboard, then reduced the bi-wing to a single wing. Murphy and Bob Woolley then applied the concept to sit-down hydrofoil, with Woolley riding the first "Sit Ski" in 1984. After various material changes, including the addition of a seat belt to keep rider and ride together and prevent separation collisions, they sold their first "Air Chair" in 1990. Advancements in materials and hydrofoil design have created stronger rigs, gentler rides (shock absorbers in the seat), more maneuverability, and boards that combine sit-down and stand-up (air board) for surfing.
Unlike water skiing or wakeboarding, a hydrofoiler's body and the board rise above the water, supported by a pair of front and rear hydrofoil wings which are still under the water. This reduces the drag of the water, allowing for both a smoother ride on rough water and a lesser need for strength.
The rider sits on the seat of the hydrofoil and is strapped in with a seat belt; their feet are strapped into bindings near the front of the board. When the rider is ready the boat will start to tow the skier. The water flowing past the hydrofoil wings generates lift, which can be controlled by the rider to move the board up and down or side to side above the surface of the water. The rider must be centered over the post of the hydrofoil; small body movements will cause great reactions with the hydrofoil. In order to "float" upward the rider leans back while maintaining balance to avoid pitching forward unexpectedly. To go back down the rider leans forward or pushes down with the feet. Turning is accomplished by pointing the knees in the direction desired; the hydrofoil will follow. To jump, the rider leans even farther back. This will give the rider a somewhat stable base to perform aerial tricks for example.
Submerged hazards such as trees can be struck by the hydrofoil as low as 3 feet below the surface of the water, causing the rider to fall without warning. Such a fall can be the same as colliding with an object, with the rider impacting the water or the foil. The tow rope can get tangled around the skier or equipment, creating a hazardous condition. After a fall the skier remains strapped to the board; while it will turn upright quickly, there is always the possibility of drowning.
Snowboards are boards where the users places both feet usually secured, to the same board. The board itself is wider than most skis, with the ability to glide on snow. Snowboards widths are between 6 and 12 inches or 15 to 30 centimeters. Snowboards are differentiated from monoskis by the stance of the user. In monoskiing, the user stands with feet inline with direction of travel, whereas in snowboarding, users stand with feet transverse to the longitude of the board. Users of such equipment may be referred to as snowboarders. Commercial snowboards generally require extra equipment such as bindings and special boots which help secure both feet of a snowboarder, who generally ride in an upright position. These types of boards are commonly used by people at ski hills, mountains, backcountry, or resorts for leisure, entertainment, and competitive purposes in the activity called snowboarding.
Wakeboarding is a water sport in which the rider, standing on a wakeboard, is towed behind a motorboat across its wake and especially up off the crest in order to perform aerial maneuvers. A hallmark of wakeboarding is the attempted performance of midair tricks. Wakeboarding was developed from a combination of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing techniques.
Boardsports are sports that are played with some sort of board as the primary equipment. These sports take place on a variety of terrain, from paved flat-ground and snow-covered hills to water and air. Most boardsports are considered action sports or extreme sports, and thus often appeal to youth. A large proportion of youth partaking in these sports, together with aesthetic damage to property from sports like skateboarding, has led to many board sports being marginalized by the greater world of sports in the past. However, many board sports are ever-more frequently gaining mainstream recognition, and with this recognition have enjoyed wider broadcast, sponsorship and inclusion in institutional sporting events, including the Olympic Games.
Water skiing is a surface water sport in which an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation over a body of water, skimming the surface on two skis or one ski. The sport requires sufficient area on a stretch of water, one or two skis, a tow boat with tow rope, two or three people, and a personal flotation device. In addition, the skier must have adequate upper and lower body strength, muscular endurance, and good balance.
Barefoot skiing is water skiing behind a motorboat without the use of water skis, commonly referred to as "barefooting". Barefooting requires the skier to travel at higher speeds (30-45mph/50-70km/h) than conventional water skiing (20-35mph). The necessary speed required to keep the skier upright varies by the weight of the barefooter and can be approximated by the following formula: + 20, where W is the skier's weight in pounds and the result is in miles per hour. It is an act performed in show skiing, and on its own.
Kneeboarding is an aquatic sport where the participant is towed on a buoyant, convex, and hydrodynamically shaped board at a planing speed, most often behind a motorboat. Kneeboarding on a surf style board with fin(s) is also done in waves at the beach. In the usual configuration of a tow-sport kneeboard, riders kneel on their heels on the board, and secure themselves to the deck with an adjustable Velcro strap over their thighs. Most water ski kneeboards do not have fins to allow for easier surface spins. As in wakeboarding or water skiing, the rider hangs onto a tow-rope. The advantages of kneeboarding versus other tow-sports seems to be an easier learning curve and a sense of being closer to the water when falls occur.
A foilboard or hydrofoil board is a surfboard with a hydrofoil that extends below the board into the water. This design causes the board to leave the surface of the water at various speeds.
Skijoring is a winter sport in which a person on skis is pulled by a horse, a dog or a motor vehicle. It is derived from the Norwegian word skikjøring, meaning "ski driving". Although skijoring is said to have originated as a mode of winter travel, it is currently primarily a competitive sport.
Tubing, also known as inner tubing, bumper tubing, towed tubing, or kite tubing, is a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube, either on water, snow, or through the air. The tubes themselves are also known as "donuts" or "biscuits" due to their shape.
A kneeboard is a board ridden in a kneeling stance. Kneeboards are ridden in ocean surf, or while being towed behind a boat on a lake or river.
Cable skiing is a way to water ski, in which the skier's rope and handle are pulled by an electrically-driven cable, whereas traditionally a waterskier is pulled by a motorboat. The mechanism consists of two cables running parallel to one another with carriers between them every 80 metres. The carriers are metal tubes that can hook up tow ropes with riders. Tow ropes are detached and attached at the same time without slowing the system down, which is a main reason for its high efficiency. With a main cable of 800 metres long, 10 riders can waterski or wakeboard at the same time. The speed of the main cable can be up to 38 mph (61 km/h), and slalom skiers can reach much higher speeds. The most common speed is 19 mph (31 km/h), which suits wakeboarders best.
Skurfing is a towed water sport similar to waterskiing, in that an individual is pulled behind a boat on a tow rope. However, instead of water skis, the sport uses a skurfboard which is a floating platform the user balances on, similar to a surfboard, but typically much shorter, with two foot-straps that prevent falling off the board and three fins positioned on the bottom that make it easier to maneuver when the board is being towed. The word itself is a portmanteau of skiing and surfing. Skurfing is often considered the precursor to wakeboarding.
Wakesurfing is a water sport in which a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled by the boat. After getting up on the wake, typically by use of a tow rope, the wakesurfers will drop the rope, and ride the steep face below the wave's peak in a fashion reminiscent of surfing. Wakesurfers generally use special boards, designed specifically for wakes.
Wakeboard boats also known as wakeboats, surfboats or tow boats are designed to create a large, specially shaped wake, for a wakeboarder to jump the wakes from side to side doing aerial tricks. They developed from the Runabout type.
A surface lift is a type of cable transport for snow sports in which skiers and snowboarders remain on the ground as they are pulled uphill. While they were once prevalent, they have been overtaken in popularity by higher-capacity and higher-comfort aerial lifts, such as chairlifts and gondola lifts. Today, surface lifts are most often found on beginner slopes, small ski areas, and peripheral slopes. They are also often utilized to access glacier ski slopes because their supports can be anchored in glacier ice due to the lower forces and realigned due to glacier movement.
The paravane is a towed winged (hydrofoiled) underwater object—a water kite. Paravanes have been used in sport or commercial fishing, marine exploration and industry, sports and military. The wings of paravanes are sometimes in a fixed position, else positioned remotely or by actions of a human pilot. Pioneer parafoil developer Domina Jalbert considered water kites hardly different from air kites. However, paravanes generally orient themselves in respect to the water surface. They may have sensors that record or transmit data or be used entirely for generating a holding force like a sea anchor does. While a sea-anchor allows a vessel to drift more slowly downwind, the paravane travels sideways at several times the downwind speed. Paravanes are, like air kites, often symmetrical in one axis and travel in two directions, the change being effected by gybing, shunting, or flipping over.
Valhalla is a large indoor dark flume ride at Blackpool Pleasure Beach in Lancashire, England. Opened on 14 June 2000 at a cost of £15 million. It is one of the longest indoor dark rides in the world at a duration of just over six minutes. Both a dark ride and a water ride, Valhalla uses special effects which incorporate fire, water and snow. The ride is closed for refurbishment and intended to reopen for the 2022 season.
Texas Chute Out was a 200-foot-tall (61 m) Intamin "parachute drop" ride that operated at Six Flags Over Texas. It closed on September 3, 2012.