How to Wakeboard (Beginner Tips)
Anything new can be intimidating, and wakeboarding is no exception; however, with a few pointers, you'll be up and on the water in no time.
Learning to wakeboard is incredibly fun and rewarding, plus, once you have the hang of the basics, you've unlocked a whole new world of possibilities on the water and the progression comes fast.
So,let's get started on some wakeboarding fundamentals and teach you how to wakeboard.
|How to Wakeboard (Beginner Tips)
What You Need To Go Wakeboarding
What to Wear Wakeboarding?
It's critical to be prepared before you get out on the water.
The first step to consider is deciding what to wear.
A swimsuit is obvious, but here are a few other things to keep in mind. While you may want to show off your summer body, opting for more coverage will keep you safe. Also, keep in mind that you'll be wearing a life jacket, so choose a swimsuit that is supportive and comfortable under a lifejacket.
Beginner wakeboarders should consider wearing a wetsuit or rashguard as well. As a beginner, you'll probably spend more time in the water, which can get cold depending on where you're at. More coverage also protects you better in the event of a fall.
A life jacket is likely to be the most important item you'll wear while wakeboarding. Life jackets not only keep you afloat, but they also provide some protection if you fall. Choose a Coast Guard Approved life jacket that fits properly and is rated for your size and weight.
Choosing the Best Beginner Wakeboard
The following pieces of the puzzle are your wakeboard and bindings. What should you look for when purchasing a beginner wakeboard setup? Several things, specifically stability, comfort, and durability. Read our wakeboard buying guide and wakeboard bindings buying guide for a complete breakdown.
Wakeboards for beginner riders strive to provide the most stability and predictability, providing you with a comfortable platform to learn on. There are a few key design specs and features that contribute to this, namely length, rocker, and shape.
Beginners should usually opt for a longer board, as the extra length will aid in stability. Rocker is another important consideration. The best beginner wakeboards have a smooth continuous rocker design because it provides a more predictable feel on the water, whereas wakeboards for more advanced riders often have a 3-stage rocker for more pop off the wake into the air.
Finally, consider the board's shape. Beginner wakeboards are designed for stability rather than speed and air, and some even have designs that make the board easier to turn, particularly on the toeside.
How to Get up on a Wakeboard?
1. Make the rope as short as possible.
2. Check that your board is properly set up.
3. Get in line with the boat.
4. As the boat begins to move, allow your knees to bend as much as they can.
5. Maintain this crunched position until you reach the top of your board.
6. Slowly get to your feet.
Setting yourself up for success is the first step in getting up on a wakeboard. This entails making the wakeboard rope as short as possible. This increases the amount of upward pull from the boat, assisting you in standing up.
Your board is the next component of the setup. Check that your feet are shoulder-width apart and slightly turned out.
And this will provide you with the most stability, Stand with your back to the boat, facing outwards, so you can sit on the swim step and scoot your way into the water. If you jump into the water, you may fall back into the boat, resulting in a painful start to your wakeboarding experience. It's time to get on that wakeboard now that you're in the water.
The key to getting up on a wakeboard is to let the boat do the work. To begin, align yourself with the boat, arms straight and resting on your knees. Your knees should be bent slightly. When the boat begins to move, bend your knees as far as you can, with your buttocks crunched down towards the board.
Maintain this crunched position until you feel completely over the top of your board. You can stand up once you've reached the top of your board. Standing up slowly is one of the most common mistakes that beginner wakeboarders make. Now that you're standing, gently rotate your dominant foot backwards, away from the boat; you're wakeboarding!
Another common first-time wakeboarding blunder is fighting it and trying too hard. Allow the boat and the water to do the work for you. Being relaxed and patient will not only help you get up more easily, but you will also be less tired because you will be working with the forces rather than against them. This means that when attempting to stand up, do not pull with your arms or push with your legs.
If you feel your arms being pulled forward, towards your board, this indicates that you are not bending your knees sufficiently. More knee bend will keep you centered and allow you to be pulled up by the boat.
You have a couple of options once you get up. To begin, apply gentle pressure to your heels. This will pull you out to the wake's edge. You can also stay directly behind the boat, with the rope at your hip and your weight distributed evenly across your feet.
How to Turn on a Wakeboard?
The most common terms to specify turning on a wakeboard are toeside, and heelside, just the same as snowboarding. On a heelside turn, you apply pressure to your heels, digging the board's back edge into the water. Toeside turns are where you press your toes into the water, digging the front edge of the board into the water. Practicing these turns lays the groundwork for riding the wake.
Most riders find toeside turns more difficult. To turn toeside, you must stand up straight and lean into the rope. Arcing your back can help you gain more leverage and pull on the line. If you get stuck, it's probably because you're trying to lean in the direction you want to turn, rather than back into the rope. "You'll fall on your face if you break at the waist!" So lean hard back into the rope and you'll be ripping in no time.
Beginner Wakeboarding Tricks
Once you've mastered the fundamentals of wakeboarding, such as learning strong heelside and toeside turns, you can really accelerate your progression with some beginner wakeboarding tricks. Toeside one-way jumps, heelside one-way jumps, surface 180s, and switch riding are the first tricks to learn on a wakeboard. When you've mastered the fundamentals, you can start experimenting with wakeboard spins. Begin with frontside 180s, both heelside and toeside. The sky is the limit from there!
How to Drive a Wakeboard Boat?
As the driver of a wakeboard boat, you can assist the rider's success in a few different ways. Communication is one of the first things to consider. Turn down the music and figure out a good way to communicate before anyone gets in the water; there's nothing worse than being on the wrong page with your driver.
Begin slowly when pulling a wakeboarder. You don't have to yank the rider up, like in waterskiing, easing up to speed will help them get up easily and safely. Wakeboarding tow speeds vary and can range from 15 to 25 mph. It's all about being smooth and consistent once the rider is up. Check out our guide to wakeboarding boat setup and tow speeds for more information.