You’re likely interested in learning more about one of the most exciting water sports, wakeboarding. You must be able to stand on your wakeboard before you can do the thrilling mid-air tricks that make wakeboarding so exciting.
It’s not rocket science to get up on a wakeboard. Your age, fitness level, and athletic ability are not limiting factors. You just need to get in the water and let the boat tow you up.
Find your Stance
Before you start wakeboarding, it is important to determine your ideal riding style.
Regular riders instinctively place their left foot forward, with their dominant right at the back. Wakeboarders who are not so serious use their left foot to lead, with the dominant right foot at the front. Your dominant foot should be at the rear so you can balance and turn more easily.
How do you determine which foot is your dominant? You can kick a ball to determine which foot is your dominant. Intuitively, we kick a ball with our dominant foot. This is why your rear foot should be on your wakeboard.
Also, you can try wearing pants. As we move the pants, we usually stand on the dominant foot and slide the other leg into our pants. The leg that slides first into your pants should be at the front of the wakeboard.
How to position your body
Imagine yourself sitting on a low, comfortable chair with your feet on the coffee table. What will you do if you feel the need to get up?
You will likely place your feet on the coffee table, and then position them near the chair’s front. Next, you will lean forward and bring your bum closer to the edge of your chair. Next, keep your weight centered on the ground and push yourself up to a standing position.
What if you have someone to help you get up? You don’t need to push yourself up. Instead, hold onto their hands and they will pull you up. Your tow boat is the person who helps you get up in wakeboarding.
Get up your board
- Once the tow boat is in place, paddle your hands until you are facing the boat.
- Then, you should shift into a “getting up” position. You should then bend your knees, tuck your ankles under your bum and turn your head. Next, hold onto the tow rope while your arms are straight and your palms face downward. Your chest should be raised. Your board should be parallel to the water surface with your toes sticking out of it.
- You can create an upward angle with your board when your boat accelerates or starts tugging by shifting some of your weight to your heels. Your board acts as a wing and will help you glide towards the surface.
- Keep your squatting position once you are on the water surface. Next, you will need to get into your riding position by turning your wakeboard perpendicularly to the boat. You can do this by shifting your tow rope to your leading leg (goofy and regular).
- Your movements must be slow and deliberate to maintain balance. Your knees should be slightly bent as you glide across the water.
- After the boat has picked up speed and you have gotten your bearings, slowly rise to a standing place.
For Beginners: Getting up Variations
There are many other ways to get on your wakeboard besides the one mentioned above. Let’s take a closer look at them:
Another easy and accessible method for getting started is the docks start. This method is also great in cold weather. This method requires a dock, and you should be capable of communicating with your driver quickly.
There are several types of dock start. One is to jump off the dock and get on your board. Begin by standing a foot from the dock’s edge and holding the towrope.
When the boat is tugging, jump in the water and lean back slightly. A little more weight should be on your heels. After you have gained your balance, position yourself in your preferred riding position.
You can also begin by sitting on the dock’s periphery with your knees bent and facing the boat. You should have the tow rope in your hands. If you are seated on a low, comfortable couch, you should lean back.
You should balance a bit more weight on your heels when you are being towed into water. Also, you should keep the handle of the tow rope close to your hips. After you are in the water, shift to your riding position by moving the rope to your leading leg.
Deep Water Start
Deep water means that you stand on your board with your knees bent. Next, place your hands on the tow rope and hold them there.
When the boat is towing, shift your weight towards your heels and make an upward angle of approximately ten degrees. The board will glide smoothly to the top. After you are on the water, adjust your riding position.
How to Stay up
Your next goal will be to glide on water, turn, and travel across the wakes once you are up on your board. You will need to shift your weight from your front edge (toes) to your back edge (back edge) in order to achieve this. This is called a ‘toeside – heelside’ movement and allows you to maneuver in and out.
You should not fall or lose your grip. Keep your board at least halfway above the water. This will make it visible to other boats. The boat driver will give you the tow rope so you can get up again.
Common mistakes beginners make when trying to get up on a wakeboard
- The most common mistake beginners make is to stand too fast. The water is very soft at the beginning, especially if you are gliding at low speeds. When you stand too early, the water is very soft. This causes drag to increase. Your board will slow down, but your torso won’t. You end up falling forward.
- It is a common mistake to pull your tow rope and lean back while pulling it. This position is essentially a rope-pulling contest, with the boat pushing against the water. You don’t have any chance.
- Another misconception is that being pulled behind a boat at a higher speed will provide you with the thrust to get up more easily. In reality, speeding boats make it more difficult to get up. The speed of your tow boat should be less than 26 km/h.
Other Tips for Getting Up
- Keep your back straight and bend at the knees. Slowly, stand only when the boat is moving at a steady pace.
- It is important to communicate clearly with your driver. You can use hand signals like thumbs-down/thumbs-up to let them know how you’re fairing and what you need them to do.
- Sometimes, all you need to do to get up when you are having difficulty getting up is to change your feet. If your left foot was on the fore, shift your right foot to the front.
- A shorter rope will make it easier for beginners to wakeboard. Ideal tow rope length should be 6.1m (20 ft).
- Make sure your bindings are properly adjusted. You’ll find it difficult to balance your board if you tie them too loosely. If you tie them too tight, riding will be painful. Your feet will feel too restricted and will hurt.
- Your back binding should be placed close to your board’s back edge, on the back fin, as a beginner. This will make it easier to control your wakeboard, and you can place most of your weight on your back fin when you lean back. This allows you to keep your board upright and prevents the front edge of the board from tipping into water.
What should you do if you can’t get up?
Some learners have trouble getting up from their wakeboards, even after many attempts. It can be difficult to get up because you need to take many steps in the correct order. Most learners have trouble getting up because they are unable to lift themselves up. It is about technique and not brute force that you can get up on your wakeboard.
Don’t quit if you have failed several times. After a while, you can rest and then switch to the “getting up position” and let the boat do all the work. After your first success, you’ll be able to get on your board again.