TODAY   |  July 05, 2013

Natalie Morales gets a lesson in wakeboarding

As many Americans kick off the holiday weekend on beaches and lakes across the country, TODAY’s Natalie Morales decided to get her feet wet trying one of the biggest water sports phenomena of the past decade: wakeboarding.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> she decided to get her feet wet and try out the phenomenon of wake boarding .

>> it's a sport of speed, flips, tricks and quite a few wipe outs. back in the 1980s , some surfers decided to take a different kind of wide.

>> i put straps on a surfboard and pulled it behind a boat and turned into something totally different.

>> they called it skurfing at first. while the name didn't catch on the thrill of propelling off a boat's wake and flying up in the air did.

>> i'm a flipper. that's what i love to do.

>> last year 4 million people went for a ride hoping to grab some air, try some tricks and not end up, as they say, doing a face plant in the water. he went pro at 11 years old and now at 24 is one of the top ranked wake boarders in the world.

>> what do you love about wakeboarding.

>> there's a lot to love about it. for me, it's endless possibilities you can do. there's so much room for it to grow still.

>> this is your office. not bad.

>> it's a pretty descent office.

>> i wouldn't mind it. how much water will i be drinking today?

>> well, hopefully not much. i think you'll be fine. you'll get up on your first 3 to 5 tries.

>> i hope you're right. let's give it a go.

>> why do you always have me do these things? why.

>> with my heart pounding, i was ready for action.

>> all right. you ready?

>> for me, getting up was the easy part. it was staying up that i needed to work on.

>> nice job natalie.

>> reporter: i quickly learned that walking on water is all about the balancing act.

>> nice job. are you ready to go to the next level now.

>> yeah.

>> reporter: you signed that liability release right?

>> no.

>> me neither.

>> another day on the job.

>> reporter: just as i was starting to get the hang of it.

>> i'll come out there with you for a bit.

>> don't get in my way.

>> reporter: my patient teacher decided it was time for a more hands on lesson. what a way to kick off this holiday weekend. a new kind of fireworks right over my head .

>> that's a wrap. high five.

>> all right.

>> mr. show off.

>> she's a natural.

>> she got up on her first try.

>> i like how she down plays it and then she ends up doing trick with the guy.

>> if i know natalie morales she stayed to the end of the day until she beat that guy.

>> if you want to see more of the wakeboarding, the flips, the tricks and the big stuff, the red bull signature series wake open is tomorrow live on nbc.