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Wakesurfing Basics

Mark W Schwartz

A former CEO and director at Galena Biopharma, Mark W. Schwartz, PhD, has extensive experience in the biotechnology field, ranging from performing basic research to conducting business on a global basis. Currently engaging in consulting work, Dr. Mark W. Schwartz is a faculty member of San Jose State University and a director on the board of Targazyme. During his spare time, he enjoys wakesurfing.

Not to be confused with wakeboarding, where the surfer is pulled by a boat with a tow rope, in wakesurfing the surfer is only towed by the boat to get started. The surfer lays back in the water with feet on the surfboard and holds on to the tow rope, as the boat accelerates up to a maximum of 9 to 11 mph. The surfer then gets up and in position on the wake, lets go of the rope, and free rides on the substantial wake created by the boat. Some surfers can ride a wave for as long as twenty five minutes, and more experienced surfers can perform spins and tricks.
There are specific tow ropes and surf boards for this water sport, and the boat must be properly ballasted to create the desired wake. Relatively new, it's growing in popularity and there is now an annual World Wake Surfing Championship. Proponents highlight it's safety compared to other water sports, and the fact that you no longer have to be at the ocean to enjoy surfing.

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