The club has its own professional wakeboard instructor, Ron
Leciejewski, a former HPU student. So far the club has a 100
percent “up rate” which means all new riders have successfully
gotten up on their wakeboards in the first day.
Wakeboarding is a water sport in which riders are towed behind
a boat while riding a single fat ski like a snowboard. Riders
wear specially made shoes or bindings that screw onto the board
so they can flip and slide without losing it. The goal of wakeboarding
is to use the wake created by the boat to turn, flip, grab the
board, or perform a combination of these.
There are different lengths of boards which are measured in
centimeters. Adults generally use boards 128 cm to 142 cm. There
is no front or back to a wakeboard. The front is determined
by whichever foot rides facing the boat. Boards are either finned
or finless. Finless boards have ridges running across the length
of the underside and are preferred by riders who like to slide
across the water. Finned boards have the same shark-fin-shaped
fin at each end of the underside, to help the rider catch air.
The club has digital and video cameras on the boat to record
rides. Watching videos of themselves can help riders improve
their skill and applaud their accomplishments.
If wakeboarding is not your thing the club also has innertubes
and a wakeskate board (which has no bindings).
Reznikov said, usually four to ten students come out on weekends
and if there are too many to fit on the boat, they just make
extra trips. The only expenses are food and gas, which are divided
up among the members. “We’re looking into some fundraisers [to
cover gas and additional equipment].” said Reznikov. A full
range of binding sizes and boards, for example, are needed for
To help promote the club, they have put together a Website
with photos, contact information, beginner basics, and a short
video clip, although it is 22 minutes to download with a dial-up
service it is only 45 seconds with broadband.
The HPU Wakeboarding Club did not participate in its usual
Saturday wakeboarding activities on Oct. 19, but instead, attended
the Hawai‘i Wakeboard Pro/Am State Finals (HWPA) to support
club president Roman Reznikov, who competed.
The HWPA is a quarterly competition held at Ke’ehi Lagoon and
hosted by RNR Surf & Ski of Kaneohe. The event had nine categories:
Boys/Girls (13 and under), Juniors (14-18), Womens, Mens I (19-23),
Mens II (24-29), Masters (30-39), Veterans (over 40), Outlaw
(advanced), and Wakeskate. Competitors were scored on intensity,
or how aggressive they were, composition; or how they mixed
their tricks, a broad repertoire is better than throwing one
difficult trick repeatedly; and execution; or how well the tricks
were performed and landed. Judges also looked for riders who
were having a good time and smiling.
Competitors were allowed two falls or 3,000 feet of ride time
before their turn was over. Reznikov said, “Do what you know
you can do and try something crazy at the end of your run.”
Judges sat in the tow boat to get a better view of the wakeboarders
while spectators and other competitors watched from the two-story
clubhouse on the lagoon shore.
The day began with a short speech by RNR co-owners Lance Burg
and Reid Shimabukuro who announced the rules of the competition
and how the scoring. Burg summed it up for the small audience
by saying, “It’s grassroots; it’s all about having fun.”
An awards ceremony followed the competition. All the riders
received small prizes such as shirts and CD cases. Those who
placed in the top three of each category received trophies.
Competitor Anthony Pieroni said, “It was an awesome experience.
I was a little nervous because I never had an audience before,
but the water was like glass and the wake was huge.”
During the day’s events, the HPU Wakeboarding Club held a barbeque
and listened to music while watching the competitors from the
shore. “I came out here with my friends, to see Roman [compete],”
said club member Dima Ksendzovsky. “We’re here for moral support
and to contribute to the atmosphere,” added club member David
Reznikov placed 5th in his division, Mens II. “I’ve got to
practice for next time, I wanted to win this thing.” said Reznikov.
The next HWPA event will be held Jan 25 at Ke‘ehi Lagoon, the
official competition site. It is also the home of the O’ahu
Water-ski Club, an organization that keeps members linked and
informed of events, weather, and advances in water-ski and wakeboarding
laws and rules.
The HPU Wakeboarding Club continues to ride every Saturday,
the cost is minimal and Reznikov encourages all levels of riders
to come out and try. To participate, sign up on the Web site