6 Steps to Help You Wakeboard
How To Wakeboard and Get Up
Everything you need to know if you want to be shredding your local spot!
Great, you want to know more about wakeboarding and how to learn the basics of wakeboarding. We know the feeling when we got hooked after standing up and carving in the water, slashing the wake, and getting big airs. There are a few things you should note before you get out and try shredding your lakes, and those are the basics. Take these series of informative steps to progress and learn all the basics of starting out on a wakeboard. We will go over your stance, getting up in the water, and carving on the water. Taking the time to know before you go will save you, the boat driver, and passengers a few headaches.
# 1 What is Your Stance?
This is the first step to cable or boat wakeboarding, and it's determining if you are goofy or regular-footed. If you have your dominate foot as the right foot forward, you will be considered goofy foot. The left foot forward will be regular. There are plenty of methods to use, but the one that works best is the good old-fashioned push method. You have a friend come in front of you while you are standing and have them push you to see which foot goes back first. More than likely, your dominate foot will go back, and that will naturally be your back foot. You can test this same method by having someone go behind you to find your front foot. This one you step forward with to balance yourself will ultimately be your front foot. This holds true about 95% of the time for those trying to find their stance on a wakeboard, snowboard, or skateboard.
#2 Boots & Binding Setup
When it comes to your Bindings, they should have a tight fit, especially if they are new. When it comes to board sports like wakeboarding and snowboarding having your boots and bindings snug, in the beginning, is what you want. The bindings will gradually loosen up as you use them more, and having them tight give you a little extra response. There are a few things you can do to keep the fit snug, and the first is go down a 1/2 size. The next is to shop for heat molded bindings that have the ability to reshape when you heat them back up. Please note the proper equipment is needed for heating and molding. Check with your local shop for this service. The binding placement should be close to shoulder-width apart, and for those new, to the sport, we recommend placing the back binding slightly closer to the rear. More than likely, you will be riding on your back edge for the first runs, and having your back foot further back will help assist your carving. The angle of your bindings is essential as it will help with jumping, turns, and riding goofy. There is no perfect way to set your bindings as it is a personal preference. Listed is just a suggestion of the most common ways to start. Take the rear foot or back foot and set it straight or at the same angle as the front but pointing towards the rear of the board. It can read on your bindings anywhere from 0 degrees to 27 degrees. Place your front foot slightly more angled or at the same, but not 0-9 degrees. We suggest more angled than the rear foot to help stabilize landings and other aspects of your wakeboarding. Again this is just a starting point because you will probably test out multiple positions and angles. It's always a good habit to stand on your board in the position you want to set up without the bindings on. If any aspect feels uncomfortable like the width or angle, change it, remember that small changes will go along way and probably feel way different on the water. Tip: Always have a Phillips screwdriver in the boat in case you need to adjust on the go. We also suggest a visual overview of the bindings and hardware to make sure everything is tightened correctly.#3 Get in the Water Your Ready To Start
Suit up with your safety gear,; you should always wear a life vest and wake helmet especially if you are attempting tricks. Put some water or binding lube on and put those feet in the bindings it's go time. Grab the handle in your hand as you move from the boat to the water as this will prevent awkward rope chasing (Wakeboards aren’t easy to swim with). The rope can help you balance in the water by using the tension from the boat. While the boat takes up the slack in the rope, you can take a few moments to get comfortable (pee if you have to pee) or think about what's going to happen next.
Let the rope come directly over the middle of your board, and hold the line right between your knees. One main thing to do next is to let the equipment keep you floating. If you panic and move around too much you can end up on your belly and for those that are unsure what to do it can be challenging flipping back around. As the boat pulls forward and the slack is out don’t try to fight the drag, also don’t worry if you’re not centered behind the boat, because the boat driver can help adjust your position. Just keep your knees bent and the rope centered, and you will do fine. We like to tell the person in the water to visualize the board is similar to an airplane wing. The plane won't fly if the wing is flat or vertical. You need to point your toes and let the board sink in the water to allow pressure between the board and water and then angle it like the airplane's wing. If you do it right you will soar out of the water much like the plane taking off from the runway. It is a bit of balancing act to find the perfect angle and muscle memory will a lot of it for you.
#4 NOW GET UP!
Now that you are in position, it’s time to commence to wakeboarding. Give the driver a thumbs up, and you’re ready to go. You’ve already been told, but you need to keep the rope centered over the board through the whole standing up process. Think of it like a friend helping you up off the ground. You don’t have to exert much force; instead, let the boat do all of the work. When the rope pulls you over, you can stay in the knee bent crouch position the whole time. One of the main reasons why people have trouble is because they try to stand up too early. To avoid this common mistake, make sure you stay balled up until the board planes out on the surface of the water. As your board is coming out of the water, your legs may feel a little wobbly, and you may shift from side to side. To correct this, put a little extra weight on your back leg, and your nose will start to point forward. Keep your weight shifted toward the back of the board and keep the rope pulled in close to your chest. Slowly begin to straighten your legs from your crouched position and stand tall. Remember always to keep your legs bent and relaxed because it will help you absorb the impact of rough water and wake.
#5 What Do you Do When You Get Up?
Cool now your up riding on the water on your board and the feeling is amazing. After you have been standing and riding for a little while, you should start feeling more comfortable. It's time to carve and turn the board to approach the wake. First, keep the rope and handle slightly above your waist with a power locked arm position. Arms bend to give you some slack if needed. Now start mastering your board by slowly rocking from your heels to your toes. You should also be moving the handle by slightly repositing it from one hip to the other to keep your balance. You will notice the board starts to move from left to right by using the fins and the edge of the board to carve on the water. As you get better you will rely more on the edge of the board and less on the fins.
To cross over the wake, point the board in the direction you want to go and hold the edge by keeping it pointed at the same angle the whole time. At the same time start leaning against the rope keeping it close to your body at a similar position. Do not pull or tug on the rope as that will create slack and cause you to fall. As you progress you will notice the rope tension is significant for beginners and advanced tricks. The more you understand rope tensions the faster you will excel. We will repeat that- you will advance much faster if you keep the handle close to your body and hips to keep rope tension.
Now keep your knees bent and relaxed as you approach the wake allowing your knees to move upward when you go over the front incline. This is only for crossing the wake as a wake jump you will not absorb the energy by allowing your knees to bend. Hold that same edge and continue over the opposite side of the wake. Going over the edge of the wake will be scary the first few attempts but practice makes perfect and as always muscle memory will take over.
# 6 Keep Going!
If you have experience with other board sports such as snowboarding, you will have a leg up because they have similar aspects of riding on an edge. No matter what is happening in and on the water's success or not don't give up trying.
Starting out it will be much harder and you will us way more energy trying to get up then you will once you know. It is a rewarding sport that has endless amounts of progression for learning and creating new tricks. Don't worry if you're not advancing at the same pace as your friends or family as we all learn at a different pace.
Just like any other sport, it takes time to feel it out and learn what works best for you. So most importantly, relax and always have fun with it.