The Best Wakeboarding Tricks for Beginners and Advanced Wakeboarders

Lean into your heel and toe edges as you pull the rope away from the boat to turn your board. This gives the wakeboard the ability to turn. Turn your

Wakeboarding is one of the most popular water sports in the country, but many people have no idea where to start.

If you've been sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else have a good time, these tips will help you get up on a board and into the action!

Whether you're new to wakeboarding or have been doing it for years, there are always ways to improve your skills.

Wakeboarding can be a lifelong hobby, so never feel as if there is nothing else to learn.

There's also something to be said for getting others interested in the sport.

Consider teaching others some basic tips and tricks once you've mastered the basics.

It's always easier to learn with a friend, and to have someone to talk to about your latest accomplishments (or spectacular wipeouts!) on the water.

The Best Wakeboarding Tricks for Beginners and Advanced Wakeboarders

Tips for the first few rides

One of the most difficult aspects of learning to wakeboard is simply learning to stand on the board.

Here’s how to get started:

  • Begin by floating on your back with the board in front of you and your arms straight out in front of you, holding the towrope.

  • Bend knees and place one arm on the outside of each.

  • Keep the board in front of you with your feet strapped to it.

  • Allow the board to rest on its side; once you gain momentum, it will begin to plane on top of the water.

  • Inform the boat driver that you are ready to depart.
  • Try to remain calm as the boat accelerates and lifts you to a standing position.

  • Try not to lock your knees and to remain flexible.

Wakeboarding takes practice, so don't be too hard on yourself when you first start out.

You'll improve with practice, just like any other sport.

It's also worth noting that your body will ache in unexpected places after your first few rides.

Don't worry; your strength will quickly improve, and you'll be able to enjoy your new hobby without pain.

Tricks for beginners

Once you're at ease on your board, it's time to learn some basic tricks.

Crossing the wake

The boat creates a V-shaped wake behind it as it moves through the water.

You'll learn to wakeboard within the wake, but once you've mastered that, you'll want to practice crossing the wake.

This is how you'll start catching air on your board, and it's an excellent way to improve your balance and skills.

This is how it's done:

  • Lean into your heel and toe edges as you pull the rope away from the boat to turn your board. This gives the wakeboard the ability to turn. Turn your head in the desired direction and gently angle your shoulders and chest in that direction, keeping your movements slow and controlled. Simply push your knees down toward the water, press on your toes, and turn your chest and shoulders the other way to cross.

Jumping the wake

Position yourself near the edge of the wake when you're ready to catch some air.

As you approach the wake, straighten your legs with your knees bent and your handle held at hip level.

Pull the rope toward your front hip once you feel the air.

As you move forward, keep your arms in for the landing and your knees bent.

Surface 180

This one appears to be more difficult than it is. You do not leave the water, but rather maneuver your board in a complete circle.

Begin bending your knees and rotating your hips, putting extra weight on your heels, while keeping your elbows inward toward your body.

Start rotating to the front while keeping your chest toward the boat. Pivot your chest away from the boat as you rotate to the back.

Once you've mastered some fundamental moves, you should have the confidence and skills to progress.

The key to avoiding injury is to start slowly, allowing your body to get used to maneuvering the board before attempting more difficult tricks.

Intermediate Rider Tricks

When you're ready to advance, try mastering one new trick before moving on to the next.

A great way to warm up on the water is to perform a progression of tricks that you are comfortable with, working your way up from easiest to most difficult.

The Scarecrow

This move is a combination of a frontside 180 and a frontside front roll. Begin by edging outside and returning to the wake.

Keep your hands close to your forward hip. Your shoulders should be perpendicular to the wake at this point.

As you approach the wake, stand up and look over your shoulder toward the boat.

As you launch into the air, this should cause a turn. Look for a landing spot after you've spun.

Keep your hands close together to stabilize yourself during the rotation and landing.

Heelside 540

You can progress to the 540 once you can perform a heelside 180 and 360.

Begin by approaching the wake with enough speed to ensure you'll clear it and get up high.

With your arms tight against your body, let go with your front hand as you pop up, attempting to move toward the boat.

Pull the handle behind your back and try to grab it at the hip rather than the full length of your back.

After you've completed your 360, quickly move the handle across your front body and pass to your back hand.

Pull the handle to your hip with your head and eyes up to complete the rotation.

You should land on your toes, with your back to the boat.

Advanced riders Tricks 

Once you're completely at ease on the water and know how to easily guide your board in the desired direction, challenge yourself to master a few advanced tricks.

The Whirlybird

This trick, which is always a crowd favorite, combines the Tantrum with a 360 backside turn.

You approach the wake with a strong edge, preparing to stand to full height near the wake.

As you finish the Tantrum, twist your body with your back slightly angled toward the boat.

Begin your rotation with a bent arm and a tight grip on the handle by abruptly moving your head, arm, and shoulder away from the boat.

To increase your rotation, keep your elbow and arm in the air.

Lower your arm and look for a landing spot when you're ready to land.

Crow Mobe

Once you've mastered the Toeside 360 and can consistently get good air during Scarecrows, try adding the Crow Mobe to your repertoire.

Begin around 10 feet outside of the wake. Glide onto the wake with a progressive edge, keeping your body tall and pushing off the wake for a big pop in the air. 

Begin your rotation as you would with a regular Scarecrow, but give it a little more oomph.

As soon as you can see the water again, start pulling the rope toward your back.

That looks really cool if you can do a handle pass here. You can also choose to land wrapped.

There are numerous style variations you can incorporate into this trick.


Wakeboarding is a popular way to spend time on the water for a reason.

This sport is not only thrilling, but it is also a great way to stay in shape.

There's also something to be said for wakeboarding's "wow" factor.

Find ways to add flair and style to your tricks as you progress through the stages and become more comfortable on the water.

Your posture is important, as is the speed with which you move through the moves.

Many advanced wakeboarders have developed signature moves that allow them to own any trick.

This takes time and practice, but it's a rewarding goal to strive for.

By putting in some effort and pushing yourself to learn new tricks, you'll be the one gracefully sailing through the air and sticking your landings before you know it.

Best of all, you'll know exactly what everyone on shore is thinking as they stare in awe and admiration.

Stay safe on the water, as always.

Make sure your body is in good shape on land and at sea, as this will reduce your risk of injury and allow you to participate in your tricks more fully.

Warm up, don't hog board time if you're out with others, and take time to fully enjoy your time on the water.

In the midst of the hustle and bustle of daily life, wakeboarding provides an opportunity to test gravity's limits as well as your own.

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