Are you ready to ride the waves like a pro? Well, maybe not like a pro just yet, but at least like a beginner who knows what they’re doing? If so, you’ve come to the right place!
In this article, I’m going to teach you how to wakeboard like a champ, even if you’ve never set foot on a board before. And don’t worry, I won’t judge you if you fall off a few times. In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s part of the fun. So grab your sunscreen, strap on your life jacket, and let’s dive into the world of wakeboarding!
For a beginner wakeboarder, it may seem too scary at first. However, with the right guide, you will be able to accomplish that wakeboard experience with satisfaction. Here are some easy, beginner wakeboarders steps that you can follow:
- Float in your back with arms straight forward. Be sure to hold the tow rope while doing this.
- Now, be sure to have your knees bent and stay in this position with your arms on each side of it.
- Put the board in front of you. Strap your feet to it and have the board face towarda your wakeboard boat.
- Allow the board to plane on the water’s surface. Do this before you start. Take note to have the board on its side position.
- Are you a ride goofy or regular? Take note of these terms that means which foot you use be it left foot or right foot forward.
- Signal your boat driver that you now ready to start wakeboarding.
- Allow to be pulled up in a standing position. This can be done once speed is accelerated.
Wakeboarding is a fun water sport. You might think it’s too difficult for beginners but you have to remember that even those who are more advanced riders started out as a beginner wakeboard rider. You can also starr gliding in no time as long as you have the right gear paired with ability and confidence to get on to that wakeboard journey. Soon enough, you will be doing flips and tricks in the air while treating the sport as an easier ride.
Am I left foot or goofy?
You will surely be either of the two. Let’s get familiar with what these terms actually mean. When you are told you are a regular, that means you are a regular left foot forward. However, if you are told to be goofy, take no offense because that only means you are right foot forward. You will be able to determine which foot you use as this will come naturally when the boat pulls the tow rope forward. Aside from that, you will know the moment you try it during practice drills.
So finally you’re up on the board. You got water splashing and the wind on your face. For a lot of adrenaline junkees, this is all it takes to enjoy practice drills. However, if you are looking to progress your skills and advance from the wakeboarding basics to intermediate rides, continue reading the core skills below while enjoying your wakeboard boat.
What is carving?
Like other board sport, wakeboarding makes use of your heels to be along one edge with your toes on the other side. If you’ve placed too much pressure on either toes or heels, it can result to a dig. This means that the board will eventually follow the direction that you have dug. That is why it is ideal to start with gentle heel carves. Then you can progress by doing toeside carves.
How do I Switch?
Riding switch is a way of using your non-dominant foot. For example, if you are regular, then your riding switch is your right foot forward. If you’re goofy footed, then it will be the other wag around. When the boat pull starts, you will naturally notice foot switching.
Stay on the flat board when you switch start and not on the edge. With your knees bent, fairly distribute your weight on each foot. Then, slowly bring the tow rope handle from your leading hip. Make sure you still keep your knees bent at this point. This will allow the boat to move into a 90-degrees slide position. After that, continue pulling the tow rope handle so it can be in line with your other hip.
Can I do an Ollie?
A wakeboard ollie is similar to the one you do when riding a snowboard or skateboard. You can do this by jumping over something while on water. That “something” is actually imaginary so you can An ollie on your wakeboard is similar to an ollie on a skateboard or snowboard. The idea is to jump over something or onto something from the flat water (start with something imaginary before aiming for rails and boxes!) To create the pop for the ollie, push down on your board with your back foot and scoop the front foot up, a tip for finding your pop is to bounce once or twice first pushing on both feet to break the tension on the water.
Choosing the right tow rope for wakeboarding
Choosing the right rope when learning to wakeboard is a matter of preference. This watersport should be making use of a high quality rope that a rider can easily grab hold. Before hitting the stores to get that rope handle, check out the following things to consider.
Beginners don’t really pay much attention to these details but as you become more experienced, you will realize how important a short rope or a longer one is for this new sport you are to experience.
Why do you need a specific wakeboard rope?
If you’ve already tried other board sports before, then you’ve most probably have a tow rope stored with you. Remember that these best wakeboard ropes are entirely different from the regular ropes that you buy from shops. A shorter rope or longer ones are used by rides to help them propel their way when doing stunts or simply when wakeboarding on choppy waves or any water condition. That is why it is very crucial to buy high quality ropes only.
Stretchy ropes can compromise your wakeboard experience. It can also make you struggle to perform a nee trick when on surface of the water. This makes the entire wakeboard learning process becomes slow and your chance to be a continuous rocker rider becomes slim.
Buying quality ropes will make you stay afloat. It can also pull you up in case you make a fall after a driver throws a turn. When choosing this equipment, consider three important factors including the wakeboard rope materials, length and handle.
Learning to wakeboard basics for beginners
A beginner should take note that this sports does hurt the arms. This is because you’ll be exerting force when you are being pulled with arms stretched for a long time. However, after a longer wakeboard time, you’d realize you’ve gotten stronger.
Meanwhile, if you’re also into skateboarding or snowboarding, then you also know which foot are you most likely using. Anothe best beginner tip to remeber is looking straight ahead from front edge view. It can be tempting to look at your board as it skips across water but if you do, this might cause a fall. Also, remember to get good quality wakeboarding boots and put your life jacket and helmet on.
A wakeboard tower can come in handy if you want to pump up with some musice while as the driver of the boat pull you. Put on your safety gear including your life jacket. Take note that if the boat driver and the rider make up a flexible pair, then the wakeboard experience will be worth it.
Frequently Asked Questions about how to do wakeboard
Is it easy to wakeboard?
Wakeboarding was born out of the need of water riders to explore more watersports that they can enjoy and have additional fix of adrenaline. It evolves from waterskiing where a person stands on two planks and towed by a boat. Wakeboarding is a mixture of this watersport plus a bit of snowbased boardsports. This gave birth to a water boardsports that uses a board bigger that a skateboard, smaller than a surfboard but fatter than a snowboard.
If you are totally a newbie to any form of boardsports, youmight find the basic task of riding your board a bit daunting at first. It takes practice and patience to do this and most of the beginners cannot do this the first time. One of the reasons is that most beginners will pull themselves out of the water, instead of letting the boat pull them up out back to their board.
You have to relax and take things naturally. If you have undergone instructions before starting your wakeboarding sessions, always remember the basic position while waiting for the boat to pull you. Relax, position yourself in your imaginary reclining chair with your board pointing out of the water.
Then let the boat pull you up. Once you hit those wakes the first time, with the wind on your face and water spraying at your feet, it will channel your energy to learn and do more about this water sport.
How fast should a beginner wakeboard be?
The speed of the boat always depends upon the skill level of the rider being towed. The proper boat speed usually runs between 15 to 25mph in order to tow a wakeboarder. For the newbies, boat drivers usually start at the minimum recommended speed of 12mph especially if the riders are kids.
They can apply the 12 to 15mph for bigger riders who needs a steady speed to practice and gain confidence in the water. The speed increases to 18-20mph when wakeboarders are more comfortable and getting the hang of experimenting with new tricks when the boat turns.
Seasoned riders can ride the wake at the speed of 22-24 mph for them to do complex moves on the water. Practicing more and enjoying your time in the water can help you reach your own level of expertise in no time.
How should you stand or do you keep your knees bent when wakeboarding?
The proper way to do the water start is to relax. Let the boat pull you out of the water and find your balance. Get those knees bent up to your chest, relaxing your joints all the way and stretch those arms without bending your elbow. Keep a good grip on the handle of your rope.
When you feel the handle starting to pull you, keep your position – knees bend and crouching) theimportant thing is that the balls of your feet will act as the base for standing up. Don’t rush to stand as soon as you’re out of the water. The slower you move, the better your balance will be.
Gradually start to rise a little higher on your legs with arms outstretch until you are balanced in standing position. Once you are standing in a balance position, bring the handle to around your side in line with your ‘leading hip’ and look over your ‘leading shoulder’. You are now in the wakeboarding position with your board moving across the water doing the classic board sideways angle.
Is it easier to wakeboard or Wakesurf?
Wakesurfing is another water sport where a rider trails behind a boat holding on to a tow rope then letting go when the ideal wave to ride is created by the boat. It is a hit to surfers because the wave is created by the powerboat towing them for a certain time unlike in surfing that they have to wait out for the ideal ocean wave to appear and ride them. Wakeboarding can be done both on lakes and ocean. Always remember to respect local laws and basic wakeboarding etiquettes!
The rider is nearer the boat to get the waves it generated and ride them. In wakeboarding, the rider is not as near he has a tow rope all the time. So which is easier to learn? It depends upon your interest and ability. If you are a veteran of board water sports you can experiment on the different ways to use your board and learn more skills.
If you are a newbie, you need to find your balance first. Getting up the water while being pulled by the boat is a skill you need to master first before you can do either sports.