Pass The Handle Recap (2019)

On July 21, 2019, social media was overflowing with images and video tagged #PassTheHandle, which for our industry means sharing the love and getting new participants on the water for the first time.

Wakeboarding, wakesurfing, waterskiing, kneeboarding, tubing all count on this day. The device itself isn’t as important as all the smiling faces. We saw kids, adults, and veterans enjoying what we all know and love, that warm sunshine and cool water is a tough combination to beat.

The watersports industry has been supporting Pass The Handle for some time but what’s exciting is that for 2019, Pass The Handle has become more of a household name. More and more individuals are taking the initiative to share the sport with others and it’s exciting to watch unfold.

With over 13,000 photos and videos mentioning #PassTheHandle on Instagram alone, the movement is experiencing tremendous growth year after year.

There are a few industry MVP’s from 2019 that deserve mention. Three Lakes Ski School in Wisconsin hosted over 150 participants, West Rock Wake Park in Illinois extended their efforts to included a month-long contest to see who can get the most first timers on the water. Red Bull activated at Wakefest, which has become one of the biggest gatherings of the year. And the usual suspects came out to represent including Robby Maschhaupt, and event founders Shaun Murray and Zane Schwenk.

Thank you to everyone for your continued support, together we have the collective power to take #PassTheHandle even further and we can’t wait to celebrate Pass The Handle day with you in July of 2020.

Remember, #PassTheHandle is a mindset and year-round initiative, so we encourage you to share the water, spread the stoke, and remember to utilize the #PassTheHandle hashtag year round to keep momentum going.

Zane Schwenk and the Cypress Gardens Ski Team Get a Jump on #PassTheHandle Day

On July 10, 2019, #PassTheHandle co-founder Zane Schwenk joined the City of Winter Haven, the Envisioneers Teen Camp, and the Cypress Gardens Water Ski Team for a day on the water in which first-timers were given the opportunity to experience the thrill of towed water sports.

Founded over half a decade ago, #PassTheHandle is an idea that was conceptualized as a way to spread awareness of towed water sports and thus allow others to discover the joy, passion, and confidence that these sports create.

On this particular day in Winter Haven, 23 first-timers were introduced to towed water sports. Among those 23 participants was Zane Schwenk’s own daughter, Stella, learning to waterski for the first time. 

Teaching 23 first-timers to ski/ride in one day is a huge feat, but the idea of #PassTheHandle is that even getting a single person up on the water is hugely successful. 

Please reach out to a first-timer and teach them to ride or ski this coming Sunday, July 21st. If towed water sports have given you a feeling of joy, passion, or freedom, or if you’ve ever received free gear or a paycheck from this industry, this is your chance to give back.

Be sure to share your photos and videos through social media using the hashtag #PassTheHandle. It’s the quickest and easiest way to spread the love of water sports to the world.

If you have any questions regarding #PassTheHandle, email

Get Involved & Pass The Handle

Pass The Handle is the selfless act of gifting your joy and passion for watersports with someone who has never experienced it before.

Can you remember your first time behind the boat? Pretty magical right? Passing The Handle may be getting someone up on waterskis, kneeboard, trainer board, wakeboard or wakesurfer for the first time. Or it may simply be letting them tag along on your boat for a time or two while you ride, allowing them to build the confidence to try themselves.

It dosesn’t matter if you’re on a cutting edge wakeboat or your grandfathers 14′ outboard, the goal of the day is to share your stoke, passion, and knowledge of watersports with someone new. Who knows, you may discover your new regular third!


Ensure A USCG Life Jacket: Is properly fitted and worn at all times while behind the boat. Not only is it the law on most bodies of water, but the bouyancy of a USCG Life Jacket is a huge aid when getting someone up behind the boat for the first time. Remember, properly fitted, we don’t want to see armpits over ears!

Patience is Key: It’s someone’s first time, while they’re stoked, they’re likely intimidated.

Start Small : Set small goals to achieve and reassure their progress with each attempt. If you see them struggling or frustrated, get them back on the platform for a quick 5-minute break and reset. Talk about what’s not working, how to overcome it and if possible encourage them to keep trying until they get up.

Keep The Stoke High: If they don’t get up, it’s OK! Be sure to invite them back out so they can give it another go, even show them some YouTube videos (David O’Caoimh and Learn Wake are two great resources) that could help them overcome the particular hurdle they’re facing.

Share your experiences with us

We want to hear your success stories this Pass The Handle day, please tag us in your experiences with #PassTheHandle and be sure to follow Pass The Handle on Instagram and Facebook to see if your story ends up being featured, and remember, HAVE FUN!