Wakestock weekend

Friday 2 July 2010, 09:30

Martin Aaron Martin Aaron

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It's that time of year again when thousands of people descend on the sleepy seaside town of Abersoch on the Lleyn Peninsula for three days of music, partying and wakeboard action from the world's best riders.

In the same way that snowboarding revolutionised the skiing industry, wakeboarding has done the same for water skiing.

The ski's have been replaced by boards - which are a cross between surfboards and snowboards.

The concept is simple - wakeboarders, towed at high speed behind speedboats attempt to surf the 'wake wave' created by the boat.

Gathering speed from wide, sweeping turns - the riders launch off the waves and into the air busting out flips, tricks and turns (180, 360, 720 degrees) before flying back down to earth or in this case - water.

The foot stance is similar to that of a snowboarder and riders also wear boots and bindings, to stay attached to the board.

Over the last ten years, rails have also been introduced. These are large wooden structures set into the water which the riders incorporate into their runs.

They travel up and over them at high speed, often using sections as ramps to launch into the air from. They are then scored on the number and type of tricks performed as well as how they used the course obstacles.

Watch a video clip from Wakestock 2009 when BBC Sport Wales visited the event:

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Wakeboarding has attracted board sport enthusiasts from all over the world for one simple reason - you don't have to rely on the elements.

No snow, wind or surf is required. All you need is water, so it can be done on rivers, reservoirs, lakes, oceans and in Wakestock's case - Pwllheli Marina.

The action gets under way each day around 11am with events running on and off throughout the day. On Friday night at 5pm there is a 'big air' contest on the beach at Abersoch so definitely one to take your camera to.

Friday is practice day, Thursday is amateur's day and Saturday is the main Pro Contest when the world's best men and women will show off their tricks - culminating in the finals on Sunday.

On Friday night, the wakeboarding moves into the music festival site - courtesy of a giant, purpose built pool holding 180,000 gallons of water complete with street style rails & ramps.

Besides the wakeboarding, there is also a pretty good music festival thrown in with bands such as Ting Tings, Maximo Park, N-Dubz, Feeder and more playing to the 20,000 strong crowd.

Find out more about the bands and music on offer this year on BBC Wales Music.

For more information about the Wakestock Festival visit their website at www.wakestock.co.uk

If you get the chance, go and explore the local coastline. The beach at Porth Ceriad is stunning and great place to swim and clear the head.

Gull

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