General Liability Insurance for Wakeboarding
- High-limits from $1M to $6M
- Affordable rates
- Non-Owned and Hired Auto Liability
- Sex Abuse/Molestation
Accident Insurance for Wakeboarding
- Reimburse medical bills
- Limits up to $100k
- Deductible options
- What is wakeboarding?
- What are the risks of wakeboarding?
- How to manage wakeboarding risks
- Who needs wakeboarding insurance?
- Why do I need wakeboarding insurance?
- What does wakeboarding insurance cover?
- Why Sadler?
What is wakeboarding?
Wakeboarding is a popular water sport that involves a rider, a wakeboard (a short board with foot binders), and a motorboat. The rider is towed along while gliding over water at about 30 miles per hour. But the fun doesn’t stop there — wakeboarders attempt leaps, flips, and other aerial maneuvers.
Wakeboarding began in the 1980s when Tony Finn developed skurfing — a cross between skiing and surfing. Finn changed the game when he added foot fasteners to surfboards in 1985. This change is how wakeboarding became less about surface gliding and more about getting as much air as possible. Wakeboarding evolved over the years and is now one of the most well-known watersports — even the World Skiboard Association is now the World Wakeboard Association.
What are the risks of wakeboarding?
Wakeboarding is an excellent strength and muscle-building exercise (especially for the arms and legs). In addition, the rush of adrenaline and endorphins can positively affect stress levels and overall mental health. But all of these benefits come with a certain level of risk.
Wakeboarding can be a dangerous sport, considering it involves a motorboat and high speeds. For example, some of the most common wakeboarding injuries include:
- Sprains and strains
- Head, arm, and shoulder injuries
Leading causes of wakeboarding accidents to be aware of:
Faulty equipment: Equipment-related accidents and injuries are preventable with proper care and maintenance. Be sure to routinely inspect your gear to ensure everything is in good working condition. In particular, this may include equipment such as wakeboards, lifejackets, helmets, boats, ropes, etc.
Wrong gear: Before any of your students enter the water, you must ensure they have the proper equipment. Given that, it’s crucial to help riders choose the right wakeboard. To help a rider, you must take into account body height, weight, and foot bindings (you want the right balance of snugness and flexibility).
Weather: Like all water sports, wakeboarding comes with climate-related risks. The weather over open water can take a turn for the worse without much warning. Provided this, you can manage the risk of inclement weather by checking the forecast ahead of time and adjusting event times
Inexperienced boat operators: Wakeboarding is risky because there are multiple factors at play — the experience of the rider as well as the abilities of the boat operator. For riders, proper hand grip and foot placement are critical. In addition, appropriate speeds and accelerations are necessary for a smooth, safe ride for boat operators.
Lack of education: No one should step foot on a board before learning wakeboarding techniques, safety rules, and hand signal communication so they can alert the spotter if something is wrong.
Fitness level: Low fitness levels can lead to wakeboarding injuries. Wakeboarding requires you to maintain proper balance and posture at all times, so, as a result, be sure to evaluate your participants for physical readiness.
How to manage wakeboarding risks
By this point, you might be wondering how to manage risk in your wakeboarding business or organization.
General tips to keep in mind:
Adequate training: Be sure to provide training prior to starting a class. For example, this may include training on wakeboarding techniques, safety precautions, and proper tow rope handling. It may also involve how to evaluate water and weather conditions.
Strength and conditioning: Strength and conditioning training should be a priority in wakeboarding training. For example, potential workouts may include pull-ups, torso rotations, and tandem squats to enhance balance and stability.
Proper gear: Wearing the appropriate wakeboarding gear can help protect participants from the elements and prevent lacerations and sunburns. This type of gear includes a wet or a dry suit. Additionally, be sure that riders wear lifejackets and helmets at all times.
Health check-ups: Encourage all participants to get annual physicals. This is important as it can uncover pre-existing conditions that could impact their ability to practice safely.
Start slowly: A student shouldn’t be attempting aerial maneuvers their first, second, or even third time in the water. Instead, start with slow and stable water gliding to build stability before trying advanced movements.
Always use spotters: Designate a spotter to watch the rider and communicate with them via hand signals. This role is important because they should constantly be on the lookout for objects in the water that could pose a hazard to the boat or rider. Examples of hazards include other wakeboarders, boats, buoys, or wildlife.
Another way to help manage wakeboarding risks is through the use of waivers. With this in mind, we offer several release form templates that you can customize for your organization:
Waiver/release form for minors
Waiver/release form for adults
Visit our risk management page for additional tips and tools to help manage your risk as a wakeboarding business or instructor.
Who needs wakeboarding insurance?
Anyone in danger of suffering financial losses due to wakeboarding-related liability should consider purchasing an insurance policy. For example, this may include:
- Wakeboarding businesses owners
- Teams, clubs, and leagues
- Water sports facilities
- Cable parks
- Tournament facilitators
Why do I need wakeboarding insurance?
If you own a wakeboarding business that provides lessons, activities, or rentals, insurance can help manage risk and protect you from financial losses. For instance, think of wakeboarding insurance like a life jacket— it helps keep you financially afloat in case of the unexpected.
What does wakeboarding insurance cover?
A wakeboarding insurance policy through Sadler can cover you in scenarios including lawsuits and unexpected injuries. As a result, when choosing any sports insurance, you want to purchase a policy that includes coverage for:
- General liability: Liability coverage helps protect you from lawsuits and related settlements, adverse jury verdicts, and legal defense. For example, this could be from students, participants, or spectators regarding bodily injury or property damage-related claims.
- Medical expenses: Helps cover the costs of medical treatment for wakeboarding participants, including the ER, office visits, and prescriptions.
Why choose Sadler & Company for your wakeboarding insurance needs? First, our specialty is insurance solutions for the sports and recreation industry. We know what works and what to avoid with sports insurance policies. With this intention, we believe in finding you the best coverage possible, so we’ll get you going in the right direction.
Wakeboarding insurance is a critical part of your overall risk management strategy to help guard against financial losses resulting from accidents, property damage, and lawsuits. Wouldn’t it be nice to step onto your board with greater peace of mind?
Take the plunge and start protecting your wakeboarding business today with Sadler & Company.