I love being on the water and traveling around the world, wakeboarding has taken me to so many cool places."
No matter the sport, there’s something about a young champion that captivates people. Jorge Gill was winning wakeboarding championships since his early teens, and now at the age of 20, he’s taking the sport to new levels. Raised in London and training in the sport since age 11, Jorge Gill has blazed a path that no other wakeboarder has. After a brief overview of the rapidly rising sport of wakeboarding, we then take a look at how Jorge Gill was able to get so good at it, and what he’s doing to permanently alter the way the world views the sport.
Wakeboarding is Bigger than Ever
While the first versions of wakeboarding were seen in Australia around the late 1980’s, the International Wakeboarding Foundation has been around since 1993, with wakeboarding seeing an incline in popularity ever since. Those who are unfamiliar with the sport might assume that it’s just a matter of staying on the board, but that would only be the tip of the iceberg. With over 30 tricks and national tournaments held in most countries, Wakeboarding is an intense and rapidly growing watersport that is practiced worldwide. In fact, it narrowly lost out on a bid to be in the 2020 Olympics in Japan, showing that there’s a solid chance that wakeboarding will one day be a prominent mainstream sport.
Growing up in London
Born August 5, 1995 in London, Jorge Gill didn’t waste time getting into wakeboarding. By age 11, he was already honing his wakeboarding skills in the many lakes and parks around London. To say wakeboarding is popular in the UK is an understatement; parks like Wake Up Docklands offer a massive area for watersports that includes courses of varying difficulties and even ramps and grinding opportunities for when your confidence is peaked. With over 350 sizable lakes in England, it’s clearly an area that’s conducive to becoming a master wakeboarder, and served as the training ground for Jorge’s elite wakeboarding skills. After five British National Championships and two times as the European National Champion, Jorge Gill focused on traveling and taking on new accomplishments in the sport.
Training with Glen Fletcher in Orlando
Understandably, the hot weather and cool water make Orlando, Florida one of the world’s top spots for watersports. Factor in the tutelage of Glen Fletcher, a renowned wakeboarding instructor at O-Town Watersports and head coach of University of Florida’s wakeboarding team, and it’s a winning combination for an elite wakeboarder. Jorge Gill went there to represent London and hone his skills, and left with an arsenal of tricks that skyrocketed his skills towards being one of the best wakeboarders that
Wakeboarding Behind a Ferrari
Wonder what it’s like to go 84 miles per hour on a wakeboard? In arguably the coolest wakeboarding video of all time, Jorge Gill is seen getting out of a Ferrari F50, unfurling a cable as he runs down to a lake, and proceeding to go insanely fast on his wakeboard as the car accelerates. In an interview with BBC, Jorge described the experience: “It was definitely a new experience. It was almost like I couldn’t see everything was moving so fast. Being in a Ferrari is exciting enough, let alone being pulled along by one on a wakeboard.”
Wakeboarding in a Flooded Parking Garage
With concrete pillars rising out of the water at every turn, there’s not a lot of room for error when you’re wakeboarding in a flooded parking garage. At the Bedford Road Carpark in Surrey, England, Jorge Gill and Jack Hammersley made a quick video that makes this challenging run look easy. Seen effortlessly dodging between the aforementioned concrete pillars, it’s clear that the skills of Gill and Hammersley are on another level. It’s notable that they completed the ride on a pulley system, proving once again that wakeboarding does not have to be limited to a lake and boat.
Putting Wakeboarding on the Map
When you have videos that get over a 100,000 hits and a popular blog, people pay attention. There’s no denying that Jorge Gill’s viral videos are drawing a lot more people to the sport of wakeboarding. Not just confined to a family afternoon on a lake anymore, Gill has shown the world that adrenaline junkies, extreme sports enthusiasts, and those who like hardcore thrills can find a lot to love about the sport. With the backing of top-notch sponsors like Nectar, Mastercraft, and O’Neil, Jorge Gill is singlehandedly expanding the sport of wakeboarding to a state of worldwide notoriety.
What’s Next for Jorge Gill?
After national titles have been won and videos have gone viral, what’s next for a wakeboarding champion? One thing is certain: The limits that have applied to wakeboarding in the past are quickly being obliterated by Jorge Gill. Whether he’s risking life and limb for the sake of awesomeness by traveling over 80 mph behind a Ferrari, or travelling the world testing his skills against the best and brightest, you can count on Jorge Gill to continue to make an impact on the sport he loves. With numerous accomplishments under his belt, some of them which have never been done before, one could only postulate on Gill’s next move. What you can be sure of is at the ripe age of 20, he’s just getting started.