‘Pass the Handle Day’ is a winning idea


With a worldwide mission to share the towed watersports experience with new participants, the fourth annual #PassTheHandle initiative is scheduled for this Sunday.

Never heard if it?

The Water Sports Industry Association actually began the promotion three years ago. Co-founder Zane Schwenk, an early wakeboarding trail blazer, conceptualized the idea with four-time world champion wakeboarder Shaun Murray. Their goal was to share their passion with first-timers on a large scale.

“The movement to spread the love of towed water sports has continued to grow and bring more happy faces to the water,” Schwenk said. Good growth has come through word of mouth, social media and, ultimately, participation.

“Our industry, including dealers and the passionate people that love to share the sport have been amazing in their efforts to support #PassTheHandle. It’s like nothing I have ever seen before,” Schwenk said.

 Zane Schwenk taught 56 first-timers in 3.5 hours last year in Winter Haven, Fla.

Zane Schwenk taught 56 first-timers in 3.5 hours last year in Winter Haven, Fla.

WSIA executive director Kevin Michael has been managing the project during the last two years and enjoys how #PassTheHandle fits into the WSIA wheelhouse. “When Zane and Shaun presented the idea to our board of directors, it was a no-brainer for us to support it,” Michael said. “With our mission to promote and protect towed water sports, it’s essential for us to get new participants on the water.

“As a lifelong participant myself,” Michael added, “I look forward to sharing the love each year and the efforts are very rewarding. When I see the smile on the face of a first-timer, it reminds me of why I got so hooked myself.”

The WSIA is encouraging dealers, wake parks, schools and ambitious individuals to take it to the next level and create their own #PassTheHandle event. WSIA members can get valuable help like a WSIA Event Management Resource Guide, recommended waiver forms and more.

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In addition, seed money grants from the WSIA are available to wake parks and schools to help establish #PassTheHandle events where first-timers can learn for free.

As a dealer, if tow boats are in your product mix and you’re not now holding a #PassTheHandle event, it’s a great idea to do one. And regardless of whether you have an event and teach first-timers to ride, ski, tube, etc., this Sunday, whenever you do the WSIA urges you to get maximum benefit by sharing your photos and videos on social media with the hashtag #PassTheHandle.

Want to know more about doing a #PassTheHandle, contact info@wsia.net.