A prosthetic leg for amputee wakeboarder

The Waken wakeboard system combines a prosthetic leg and binding plate for below-knee amputees who desire maximum performance. As wakeboarding is already difficult and demanding, Waken presents a more satisfactory experience and provides confidence for the amputees. It ensures a secure source of thrills and fun.

Industrial Design, Research, Model Making



unistrol idsa finalist
why unistrol

There is a 47% expected increase in below-knee amputations from 1995-2020.

Existing prosthetic legs should be practical even in the field of sports. Disability should not in any way reduce the satisfaction of wakeboarding. Jay, a friend of mine, told me his desire to exercise without worrying about all the issues from being an amputee. His intense passion to wakeboard sparked the basic idea of Waken as I was convinced to positively change the lives of disabled people and fulfill their full potential. My product is designed to empower them and convey that people have the capacity to overcome any obstacle.

Daily Challenges of Amputee Wakeboarder

I researched extensively in the field of prosthetic legs as I interviewed and sent questionnaires to the amputees who have wakeboard or snowboard experience. Aside from seeking information from amputees, I researched relevant videos online to understand how to solve the cons that the users have identified.

“I use a foam pipe insulator to fill out my boot where my prosthetic is the narrowest, so it will have more contact with my boot.”

“I use a grocery bag to wrap around my foot so it can get in the binding plate easier.”

“The biggest problem is that my limb hurts when I perform jump actions.”

“I have to duct tape my prosthetic leg in order to keep the leg attached to my body.”

“I put the wedge underneath my heel. Therefore, I can use less movement with my thigh to manuever.”


During the interview and research, many major cons of wakeboarding as an amputee were discussed. I concluded five insights that led to my final design.

1. The force of water sometimes causes the prosthetic leg to be removed from the amputee’s body.

2. The prosthetic pylon is slender, so the gap reduces the response time, causing the wakeboard experience to be challenging.

3. The lack of shock absorption action from performing jump tricks on the prosthetic leg causes limb pain.

4. The time to wear the regular binding shoes is challenging and time consuming.

5. As a result of prosthetic foot, the lack of leg strength and forward kicking motion is lost.

Amputee Wakeboard Foot

Explore various ways to strengthen the power of the prosthetic foot to have reliable and responsive movements.

Amputee Wakeboard Foot ideation
Reliable and responsive movements with more ranges of motion.

Amputee Wakeboard Binding Plate

Explore various ways to secure attachment and detachment of the prosthetic leg with the wakeboard binding plate.

amputee wakeboard binding plate ideation
The binding plate allows quicker and faster self attachment because of the connection between the prosthetic leg and the wakeboard binding plate. The Waken binding plate has a slanted design built for efficient toe-to-heel movement.

Amputee Wakeboard Socket

Explore various ways to reduce force of water that causes the prosthetic leg to be removed from the amputee’s body with a secure fit.

amputee wakeboard socket ideation
Reliable and responsive movements with more ranges of motion.

Mockups/ User Feedback

The major challenge I faced was creating enough mock-ups with limited source of material and budget. From the start, I was determined to create multiple mock-ups, so I can receive insightful feedback about the pros and cons for each different idea from the wakeboarders. The mock-ups were important because if there were any major flaws then the users might be seriously injured. However, thanks to my extensive research, no wakeboarders were harmed in the process of receiving feedback.

prosthetic leg mockups
prosthetic leg mockups
prosthetic leg mockups
prosthetic leg mockups
prosthetic leg mockups
prosthetic leg mockups

Allows the user to maintain a bent knee. However, the user has to keep bending the knee in an awkward position even on land.

prosthetic leg mockups

The added heel on the wakeboard binding plate keeps the prosthetic leg on the toe edge, resulting in a lack of “jump” action foot.

prosthetic leg mockups

Allows the ankle to manuever in a toe-to-heel movement. However, the spring is too small to provide enough stabilization for the user.

prosthetic leg mockups

Slanting wakeboard binding plate connects to the prosthetic leg for quicker attachment and more responsive to the wakeboard.

Design Features

Waken is especially suitable due to the safety, comfort, and confidence it provides. Waken is unique in terms of its specific mechanics that provide comfort and ensure security during tricks and jumps.

Secure Fit

Vacuum socket creates a secure fit inside the socket, ensuring more stability

The gap allows water go through; thus, reducing water resistance

prosthetic leg socket
prosthetic leg binding plate

Secure Attachment and Detachment

Magnetic lock system installed in the prosthetic leg and the binding plate allow the users to quickly connect the board to eliminate the gap between the leg and the binding plate.


Waken is constructed with recycled, durable, and water resistant material. For instance, the silicone used in the product is grounded up and mixed with a binding agent to be remolded into a new silicone.  Thermoplastic Polypropylene and Tegris can be repeatedly melted and remolded into new products.

waken prosthetic leg final design

Used as the main material because it is affordable, recyclable and tough. These properties allow Tegris to be an attractive alternative to carbon fiber.

electronic elevated vacuum system

Electronic elevated vacuum system


Constructed with silicone rubber cover to protect the wave spring.

wave spring

Wave spring
Material: Titanium
Wave spring has 360 shock absorption to reduce limb pain.

fidlock snap push

Fidlock snap push
Material: Thermoplastic Polypropylene
With the magnets lock mechanism on the prosthetic leg and binding plate, the user can also quickly attach and detach the Waken binding shoes, a factor that significantly reduces the amount of time to put them on.


For Users
This motivation drives them to exceed beyond their limits and prove to others that amputees are not held back by their disabilities.

For Sport Industry
Wake paves the road for other open sport markets such as snowboarding and water skiing by introducing and redesigning the custom lock system.

For Environment
Waken is constructed with recycled, durable, and water resistant material.

For Society
Waken gives people a new perspective on how individuals with disability can still triumph in sports, proving that disability is not a factor.

For Brand
Waken improves the profitability in the field of amputee wakeboarding industry because the brand satisfies the users’ needs while simultaneously improving the environment with recycled materials.

waken prosthetic foot photoshop rendering

The process of acquiring relevant information from the Internet and amputees makes Waken an excellent product. Essentially, Waken is the final product of not only my research and idea, but also the amputee’s extensive and detailed feedback and response about the pros and cons for each of my mock-up. Catering for all levels of experience, Waken fulfills the dream of amputees to be active without any source of burdens or restraints. Simply put, Waken provides not only confidence for the amputees, but also greater mobility along with security for a safer and more active lifestyle.

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