Cable Wakeboarding in the Olympics?


Shy Edic competing at Wake Fest 2022, Photographed by Jennah Targett

Shy Edic, Reporter

Cable Wakeboarding has been trying to fight its way into the Olympics, and they have yet to be successful. Cable wakeboarding is simply wakeboarding while being pulled by an overhead cable system instead of a boat. It’s commonly compared to snowboarding but on “melted snow.”

Cable wakeboarding originally was on the short list for the 2020 Summer Olympics. According to, it was one of the 8 sports considered to be a new addition. Other sports that were on the IOC’s shortlist included baseball, karate, roller sports, softball, sport climbing, squash and wushu. The International Waterski and Wakeboard Federation (IWWF) established a team focused solely on the matter in an effort to drive the program forward. Despite these efforts, in May of 2013 the IOC decided to drop Cable Wakeboarding from the shortlist.

Kodi Imondi, Co-Owner of Imondi Wake Zone and US sales partner for Rixen Cableway, says “There’s two main reasons why it hasn’t made it into the Olympics. One being it’s still a relatively new sport, so it’s not well known. Another reason is the sport itself is technically mechanically driven, meaning the athlete cannot perform the sport without the mechanics. This goes against the Olympics original focus of finding sports that aren’t mechanically driven. But the argument on the side of Cable Wakeboarding is the fact that mechanics isn’t what causes the rider to execute the tricks and doesn’t necessarily give the rider an advantage in any way.”

Cable Wakeboarding is believed to be a good addition to the Summer Olympic games because of the youth audiences. The IWWF related the popularity of snowboarding in the Winter Olympics as an example of the youth-focused element that wakeboarding could add to the Summer Games.

Victor Imondi, Co-Owner of Imondi Wake Zone in Fruita says “I kind of see a phase shift going through the Olympics right now where the older sports aren’t getting as much attention as the newer sports. I feel like the youth are going to be what’s driving the future of Olympic sports.”

Cable Wakeboarding making it into the Summer Olympics could boost the popularity of the industry. Victor Imondi feels the same. “I think more than anything it would open the eyes of people to see what cable wakeboarding is. There’s just so few people in America who really know what cable wakeboarding is, and I think seeing it on the Olympic Scale would get people more interested.” Even though Cable Wakeboarding still hasn’t made it to the Summer Olympics, the owners of Imondi Wake Zone are working hard to grow the sport. “The best thing we can do is try and grow the sport and the industry through our business and opening it up to new people.” Says Victor.

After being shut down by the IOC, IWWF said it will now focus on the complex task of satisfying the IOC’s requirements. This would benefit the wakeboarding community in helping to support the growth of wakeboarding and make it a serious contender for inclusion in the world’s largest sporting event.

Kodi Imondi says “It’s the IWWF and IOC that are leading this fight. And I don’t really see Cable Wakeboarding making it into the Olympics until the Olympics are back in Europe. IWWF has the biggest influence in Europe and Cable Wakeboarding is a big sport in those regions.”

For now, lWWF has a team working hard to get Cable Wakeboarding into the Olympics by meeting the rigid requirements set by the IOC. Until then, local riders and parks are working to grow the sport and reach more people.