Many people have heard of wakeboarding but do they really know what it is? Wakeboarding is when you ride the wake of a speed boat on the surface of the water. It was inspired by water skiing and snowboarding with some surfing techniques thrown in for good measure.
Wakeboarding is a highly creative sport with new maneuvers and techniques often coming about by accident thanks to the carefree and expressive nature of the participants and athletes.
Wakeboards can be up to around 150cm in length and as short as 117cm. There are various types of wakeboards available including the three stage rocker style and the continuous rocker style.
Liquid Force, Ronix, Gator Boards, Surge Wakeboards, CWB and Hyperlite are some of the very popular wakeboard manufacturers.
Wakeboarding involves being towed behind a boat at up to 25 miles per hour. Experienced wakeboarders go faster than this. It’s a lot like snowboarding in that a single board is used rather than two skis as in water skiing. You stand on the board as you would a snowboard or skateboard, in the sideways position.
Wakeboarding allows the rider to perform some spectacular jumps and tricks which would otherwise not be possible with lanky skis. Yes, it can be dangerous, however, beginners will start at slow speeds meaning that crashes and stacks are minimized and if they do occur, they are not particularly dangerous or hurtful.
So how do you enjoy this awesome extreme sport ?
First – you need the right equipment; the latest pro board is not always the best to learn with. Give yourself a chance and get a board that is forgiving and helps you to progress. Choose a board that is light and easy to manage. A larger board with one or more large rear fins helps to give the board direction, which is important when learning.
Second, get in the water with a pro - Staying closer to the boat is helpful to learn how to wakeboard. At the beginning, a shorter rope is highly recommended (about 15 meters (50′)).
Another essential bit of gear is a vest. It’s not only basic safety equipment but it will also save you a lot of energy as you hit the water regularly. A wakeboard offers more resistance when starting, so start slowly!r
If you have all the necessary wakeboarding equipments, the next thing to do is to learn the stance – how and where to stand on your board. Your first stage is to determine whether you are a regular lead (left-foot-forward) or goofy lead (right-foot-forward). For those who have skateboarded or snowboarded before, this is easy. If this is your first board sport, don’t panic. Stand up, facing forward, feet together and have someone push you from behind. Whichever foot goes forward first is your lead foot.
Now that you know which foot you’ll place forward, it’s time to set up your bindings. Riders just getting started should try placing the bindings at about shoulder-width apart with the rear foot slightly farther back (closer to the rear fin) to aid with directional stability.
The angle of your bindings is important. Start with the rear foot straight across the board (O degrees) or slightly forward to 9 degrees (one set of holes in the base plate). Your front foot should be at an angle between 9-27 degrees (2-3 sets of holes) to get started.
For your safety, before you get started, double-check the security of your fins and bindings. Do this again every time you hit the water. You should even periodically check them during your ride after a fall.
First, you will learn the Deep Water Start by floating on your back with a buoyancy vest. The board should be perpendicular to the rope with your arms on either side of your front knee.
The driver to put the boat just in gear. As you are pulled slowly forward, the pressure against the board will allow you to get into the proper starting position with most of the board below the surface of the water. Let the pressure on the board push your knees into your chest, then push your front foot forward toward the boat. Remain in a crouched position as the driver increases the speed.
Keep your arms slightly bent near your lower stomach. Shift your weight toward the front foot while keeping the nose above the water. As the water begins to give you support, slowly rise to the standing position by extending your legs until your knees are slightly bent.
Once you are up, get comfortable on your board by putting a little more weight on your rear foot. Let your hips and shoulders turn away from the boat. Riders with a skiing background have a tendency to try to face the boat, this will often lead to a face plant as they catch or drop their front edge.
Practice getting comfortable in the sideways position and relax. The key to the deepwater start is letting the boat do the work. Stay down low and stand up slow!
The following are some wakeboarding tips to make your riding a whole lot easier. Keep them in mind and you won’t get a hard time as a newbie wakeboard rider.
- Make sure that you are comfortable with whatever foot you placed forward. Sometimes, just switching feet is all that is needed to easily learn to wakeboard.
- Put your arms on each side of your front knee. Your weight should be about 60% forward on the board. Keep in mind to place more than half of your weight on the front foot when getting up. Shift your weight to the back foot only after you have successfully gotten up.
- Squat down as much as you can to easily swing to an upright position when close to the board.
- Keep the board on its side while in the water. Relax and let the boat cause the board to swing around into the forward position. Do not attempt to stop the board from swinging around either. Just go with the flow.
- Don't go too fast. If you have a problem in getting up, try going slower.
- Go for a short rope, attached to a ski pylon if possible. It helps. After you're up, it's just as hard to stay up, as it was to get out of the water (at least for the first couple of rides). The short rope will cut down on the amount of slack.
In addition to the above tips, always read and listen to what the expert riders have to say about the sport. They can give you much wider insights about basic riding, executing tricks and more.
About CSURF Board Shop
CSURF Board Shop is you one stop shop for a Wakesurf gear! As Wakesurf aficionados, we select only the finest wake surfing gear for you to enjoy. Wether you’re a beginner or a an expert, we can guide you into purchasing the best wake surfing gear for your skills and style of riding.
CSURF Board Shop offers you a large selection of top quality brands and products. Our selection of wakesurf gear isn't made based on our profit margin, we strive to offer you the best products at the best competitive price and we hold a complete line of wakesurfing gear, accessories, swimsuit, wetsuit and flotation devices.
We also offer wakeboard rental and lessons
With over 10 years of experience in wakesurf coaching, CSURF Board Shop offers you wakeboarding lessons and rental at your place or on our boat. We only use new wake boat & wakeboards and we take the time to choose the right equipment for your skill and shape. We also have an awesome partnership with Sport Marine.ca who supplies us with the latest wake boat for the ultimate wakesurfing fun and experience. Check out our wakesurfing courses.