Riding the Waves: 8 Wakeboarding Tips for Beginners
You’re getting into wakeboarding. You’re excited to hit the water. But before you do, you need to find out how to, well… wakeboard.
You’ve never done this before, after all.
That’s why you’re here. You’re looking for wakeboarding tips for beginners. Fortunately, we have all of the tips you need. You can find them below.
1. Start Slow
First and foremost, you should start slow. Going slowly will allow you to practice proper technique, after which you can start taking on the higher speeds.
The ideal pace of a beginner wakeboarder is generally between 18 and 21 miles per hour. However, you might feel a little more comfortable with something else.
Keep communication with the driver of the boat, letting him or her know how you’re adjusting to the pace. You’re not trying to impress anyone at this point. You’re just trying to get get the basics down.
2. Bend Your Knees
Trying to keep your balance on a floating board is easier said than done. It’s likely going to be difficult for you at first. As such, you need to put yourself in a balanced position.
A balanced position, in this case, means bent knees, feet shoulder-width apart, and arms straight out ahead of you. Don’t stand up straight, don’t keep your feet close together, and don’t bend at the elbows.
3. Use a Short Rope
For your first few wakeboarding sessions, you’re going to want to receive advice from others in the boat as you move. To do this, you’ll need to stay relatively close.
What this means is that you should use a short rope as opposed to a long one. No, a short rope won’t allow you to do as great of tricks but it will ensure that you’re hearing everything you should be hearing. Most beginner ropes measure in at around 65 feet.
4. Keep the Handle By Your Waist
One of the keys to wakeboarding is to practice proper hand placement. If you put your hands in the wrong position, you’re going to throw off your balance, causing you to either fall back or fall flat on your face.
When you’re just getting started, you should keep the handle directly next to your waist. This will give you a good center of gravity, keeping you relatively level throughout the ride. Remember: keep your arms relatively straight when you’re holding the handle.
5. Keep Your Eyes on the Boat
Wakeboarding requires excellent body control. The second your body loses control is the same second you’re going to be falling back into the water.
Of course, controlling your body is easier said than done. But if there’s one tip we can recommend to you, it’s to keep your eyes on the boat. In other words, keep your eyes on the direction that you’re heading.
Don’t look to the side, don’t look down, don’t try to look past the boat. Trust that the boat is going where it’s supposed to be going and keep your eyes straight ahead. If you take your eyes off the target, you’re going to have tons of trouble maintaining your balance.
6. Let the Boat Pull You
A common tendency amongst beginner wakeboards is to pull on the rope as they’re riding. This is never a good idea, as it can throw you off balance and cause you to smack straight down into the water.
Instead of pulling on the rope, you should let the rope and the boat pull you. Keep your shoulders down, keep your arms straight, grip firmly, and try to relax. The more relaxed you are, the better you’ll maintain your balance.
7. Rent Your Board to Begin With
You’re excited to get started. As such, you’re thinking about buying your own board. We highly recommend against this.
Why? Because wakeboards cost hundreds of dollars and you’re not even sure if you really like wakeboarding yet. Not to mention, because you’ve never wakeboarded before, you’re not sure what type of board will best suit you.
So, instead of buying a wakeboard, go ahead and rent one instead. Renting will allow you to try out different models, helping you to find one that suits your needs.
There will be plenty of time for buying later. If you end up loving the sport, you could even invest in board racks. But you need to be smart with your money and work your way up to that.
8. Ease Into Tricks
You’re not going to be able to do a 360 your first time wakeboarding. Even the best wakeboarders had to build their way up to those sorts of tricks.
To help build your confidence with tricks, you need to start slow. To begin with, try an ollie, or a small jump off of the water.
This is done by pushing the back end of the board down. The water resistance will pop the board up, giving you a bit of hangtime.
Once you’ve mastered the ollie, you can start to try different maneuvers mid-air. From there, you can try popping off of the wake. And once you start popping off of the wake, the real tricks begin.
These Are Some of the Best Wakeboarding Tips for Beginners
And there they are, some of the best wakeboarding tips for beginners. Put these tips into action and you’re sure to be having an enjoyable experience fairly quickly.
Need other such tips? You can find them here on our website. Take a look at some of our other articles now!