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Cool off with some wakesurfing in B.C. Add to ...

What's the deal?

Hop on a board and surf a boat's wake.

Where's it at?

Wakesurfing evolved from wakeboarding and water skiing, and is one of the newest and fastest-growing motorized water sports. Using a tournament-style ski boat with an inboard engine, riders surf on a boat's wake just like an ocean wave, but without ever getting thrashed in the surf or having to wait for a good set.

Head to Penticton's Okanagan Lake, with its backdrop of lush vineyards and arid hills, and book on a wakesurfing excursion with Wake Up Water Sports ( wakeupwatersports.shawwebspace.ca). Begin with the boat at speed (about 16 km/h), using a wakesurf board and tow rope, and ease onto the wake. When you've found the wave's sweet spot and your board legs, throw the rope and keep on riding in the boat's wake. If you already have experience with another board sport, you'll probably be surfing sans rope in the first session. More experienced riders can nail spins, carves and ollies.

The gentle nature of the sport makes it popular with families and others who have migrated from wakeboarding, the high-speed, aerial sport where wipeouts are punishing and big. If you fall wakesurfing, you simply float while you wait for the boat to fetch you. And when you're riding right behind the boat, instead of 20 or 30 metres back, your buddies can cheer you on - or cause you to laugh and fall.

Who's it for?

Those who like making waves, and then riding on them. A group boat rental with Wake Up Water Sports costs $125 an hour (including equipment and instruction).

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