Data reveals that wakeboarding has become one of the hottest water sports in recent years. Riding the wake behind a boat as you are pulled across the water on a hot, sunny days may look intimidating, even scary for some, but learning the basics such as the wake jump will be your solid foundation to learn new trick easily even for beginners.
If you’re keen to learn how to pull off a wake jump trick, we have enumerated a few tips and tricks, as well as a step-by-step guide on how to properly execute the trick. You need to invest time and bring along lots of patience to the wakeboarding site if you are a novice wakeboarder. You may tumble and fall off the wakeboard, but these things shouldn’t stop you from wakeboarding.
How do you jump on a wake?
Simply put, wakeboarding jump is the act of jumping into the air while on a board. If you are a beginner, it’s best to begin with a single wake jump. This movement refers to getting air on the board when you are jumping over one wake while the boat is pulling you from behind. By definition, wakes are the small waves created by the boat as it moves through the water. You can see them on either side of the boat. You can use these waves to learn proper jumping techniques.
Basic Moves you Need to Learn before Attempting Wakeboard Tricks
Before you attempt jumping the wake, it’s best to learn simpler jumps first on the site. There is a learning curve when you start learning how to jump, use the back hand so be sure to prepare yourself in mastering them as well. These moves will help you learn proper form once you’re ready to jump the wake.
Be Comfortable Being on Water
Before you jump into the water or stand on your board with your chest out, make it a point to nail the fundamentals first. First off, you need to feel comfortable being on the water. It is also a basic rule to find your center while riding the board and successfully maintaining good posture while you are being pulled behind by a boat. Familiarise yourself with the feel of the wakeboard on your feet and the line tension, so you can stay atop the board for extended periods of time.
Recognising the right way to stand still on the wakeboard, proper form of both the upper and lower body will help you feel safe and confident as you progress to more complicated moves. You may then proceed to learning other fundamental movements such as how to get more air, identifying the right angle of the foot, and knowing where to put yourself for safe landings.
Crossing the Wake
Once you successfully get up on your board, the next move that you need to learn and master is crossing the wake, which involves moving from one wake to another.
Getting Some Air with a Jump
As you may have already assumed, jumping with a wakeboard is not as easy or intuitive as doing the same move in your shoes on land. But if you’ve been practicing edging, it’s just a matter of time to get yourself up in the air. The learning curve for a wake jump may come easily for other wake boarder, while others may find it tricky to execute despite hours of practice. Don’t lose hope and go back to the basics if this wakeboarding trick is a challenging feat for you.
If you are able to pull off a not-so-perfect jump, don’t worry! Be more patient with yourself and practice some more. You are on your way to perfecting the move in no time. Once you execute a few perfect ones, you will find yourself feeling more confident in performing more complex tricks.
Helpful Tips to Wake Jump
Let’s start off with the basic movement. To perform this simple trick , you need to master edging- a movement that entails you to push down on the board and move your body on one edge of the wake to launch into the air over the other. To make this happen, here are the basic steps:
This is done using two techniques- using toeside where you concentrate the weight on your toes, or heel side where your weight is placed in the heels, your back slightly forward, and chest out to slightly accelerate speed.
Cutting Away from the Wake
The next step is to slowly cut away from the wake. You can do this by getting as far away as possible from the wake. To firmly secure your body on the wakeboard and maintain great control, your back foot is planted firmly on the board and keep your arms straight while rope pulled near front hip. Ideally, the rope should be between 1 to 2 inches of your front hip. By loading the line or keeping line tension taut, you are in an optimal point to safely land back on water.
Get your elbows locked and establish a tight line while approaching a jump, you will get a longer hang time and softer land, too. Keep your back foot firmly on the board when you pull and catch the line using both hands as you approach the jump. Position your body and the board pointed in the direction you want to go and simply let the rope grab you right in the direction of the wake.
Cutting Back Towards the Wake
Gently lean more of your weight on the heel edge of your wakeboard. Cut back towards the wake after successfully cutting as far away from it. As you are approaching the wake, the next thing to do is with knees bent, lean as far back as you can on the board’s heel edge. You need to keep your board flat on the water with weight shifted slightly to your front leg and heels until you are positioned near the heel edge. This move also known as progressive edge will provide you with the acceleration you need during an approach and will aid in increasing the height. Throughout this movement, throw your weight on the back leg to ensure balance and excellent landings.
Approaching the Wake
To maintain balance, bend your knees as you lean farther back the heel edge of the board . Keeping this position will help spring you upwards when you reach the top of the wake. The buildup of these series of steps mentioned above leads to the actual movement. To protect yourself from injury, bend your knees as you’re about to make a landing onto the water. The slight bending of your knees while front foot is in your desired direction will absorb some of the shock that comes from landings on water.
Make sure to master jumping from the two sides of a wake. With some practice, you will find yourself edging easily from one side to the other, and even catch some air while you ride. Once you’ve polished the movement, you will feel more confident in trying out other moves, including tail grabs that add excitement and challenge to your ride experience.
Establish the Same Angle as the WakeBoard
Straighten your legs as you leave the top of wakes. While riding, firmly push down with bent legs as if you are about to jump. Strategically time your jump so that your legs will intuitively straighten right as you reach the top of the wake. Failure to straighten your legs at the right time will absorb most of the wake’s impact and denying you of the height jump you want to achieve.
Always lean back while airborne to maintain control. Make sure you are in the right angle as when you first approached the wake. Failure to lean back while airborne makes it easy for the boat to grab you forward and cause you to crash your face first into the water upon landings. You should lean back at a 45-degree angle.
Knees Bent Wisely
Remember the knees bent when landing on the other direction of the wake. Bending the knees will reduce the impact upon landing back on water. When you bend your knees and shoulders straight, anticipate the landing and keep yourself on a leaning position to prevent the boat from pulling your forward. Your knees should bend on an almost sitting position to landing safely.
Cut to the outside of the wake to help you regain control of your board’s movement. You can do this by pointing the board outside and shifting more weight on your outside leg.
How do you Jump Higher on a Wakeboard?
Start by jumping small wakes until you learn how to maintain and regain your balance. By jumping small wakes, you can practice the timing of bigger ones over time. Begin at a slower boat speed to accomplish smaller wake jumps. If you are a beginner, the boat speed should be sustained between 16 and 18 miles per hour. As you become more comfortable jumping smaller wakes, you may proceed approaching bigger waves in a progressive manner.
Use a longer rope when you are just learning how to jump wakes. Ideally, the rope length should be between 55 and 60 feet. Longer ropes will give you enough time to approach the wake safely all the time. The only drawback of using longer ropes is reduced height and distance. Use a short rope only when you have perfected the basic movement. Shorter ropes will allow you to get air, distance, and height with your jumps.
Advance to Tail Grab and Other Complex Tricks
Once you become an advanced wakeboarder, you may proceed to using ropes between 60 and 70 feet in length. You may then start adding more complex tricks such as tail grab once you’ve mastered jumping and landings.