Now you too can be a wakeboarder

Residents of Abu Dhabi are given a chance to try wakeboarding, the fastest-growing sport in the world.

Abu Dhabi - February 3, 2010: Abu Dhabi Beaches, Abu Dhabi Municipality, and Flash Entertainment presented the  opening of a new wakeboarding BeginnerÕs Park on the Corniche beach. ÊDemonstrations were given to the public by some of the worldÕs greatest wakeboarders. Lauren Lancaster / The National *** Local Caption ***  na04fe-wake1.jpg
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ABU DHABI // Wakeboarding, a fusion of water skiing, snowboarding and surfing, is making waves around the world. Now residents of the capital are being given a chance to try the fast-growing sport, which involves riding a specially designed board behind a boat. A contraption installed on the Corniche means that anyone wanting to have a go will stay close to land.

The System 2.0 features a floating jetty, a tow rope attached to a 180m cable, and a motor. Beginner's Park, as it has been dubbed, is in the centre of the Corniche, at the end of Khaleej Al Arabi Street. Free 10-minute rides are being offered for the next six weeks. The attraction is designed to whip up interest in Wakestock Abu Dhabi, the capital's first festival to combine watersports and beach concerts.

The event, from March 4 to 6, also marks the first stop on this year's competitive World Wake Series, organised by the World Wakeboarding Association. Wakeboarding professionals from Australia, Britain and the US were on hand yesterday to demonstrate the real thing, doing tricks from behind a speedboat. Sixteen of the world's best will attend the festival. Beginner's Park is open from 12pm to 6pm daily. Riders must be eight or older, and all rides are monitored by trained instructors.

The concert line-up is to be announced nearer to the event.