Wakeboarding is a water sport in which surfers ride while standing on their boards. In this sport, the driver is attached to a board and get towed by a speedboat. Choosing a wakeboard is essential to the rider. The rider will glide over the surface of the water and perform wakeboarding feats behind the boat. We can tell that the rider and their whaleboat become inseparable allies on the water. this watersport was created in the 1980s in Australia. Its roots can be traced back to 30 years. later on, this sport was evaluated to water skiing, surfing, and snowboarding. Skurfing was the original name for wakeboarding. Furthermore, it was done on non-binding hand-shaped boards intended particularly for towing. This sport is now accessible in a variety of shapes and styles, such as kneeboarding. It sounds more like it was born from a mother sport. The best thing about wakeboarding is that a wide range of people has the advantage of enjoying this sport in terms of age, physical features, experience, and gender.
Wakeboarding Essentials For Beginners and Pros
Learning anything new comes with a hand full of challenges. Wakeboarding is no different. Even though learning how to wakeboard is considerably easy. Once you become a Pro, it becomes more thrilling to glide on water.
Wakeboarding Equipment :
- A wakeboard boat: The type of wakeboard boat you choose may make a big difference. Bayliner Boats, Axis Boats, and Calabria Boats are the finest wakeboarding boats.
- A board: Beginners should choose a double-ended board with a fin since it is more stable. Look for a finned board that has a constant rocker. The Pros can go with edgy ones.
- Bindings: Wakeboarding bindings are divided into three categories. Velcro bindings are simple to apply and modify. It makes them an excellent choice for beginners. Non-adjustable boot bindings provide a little more support than adjustable boot bindings. High-back boot bindings are perfect for wakeboarding pros because of their powerful support.
- Rope: For beginners, a thin, non-stretch rope will suffice. The shorter the rope, the better, since it will give you greater control as you learn. For pros, it should be the other way around.
- Wetsuit: The thickness of your wetsuit will be determined by the weather you’ll be wakeboarding in. wakeboarders usually spend a lot of time on the water. Furthermore, if you’re starting in a cold climate, a 5/4 mm wetsuit will keep you warm for most of the year.
- Buoyancy Aid: Buoyancy aid or a life jacket is a must whether you’re an armature or a pro. Regardless of the weather, age, or physique, safety comes first.
How to Get Up on a Wakeboard :
Getting on the wakeboard is the main task that all beginners need to overcome. The entire procedure comes in three steps. It’s rather easy to learn but it requires patience and complete attention. Make sure you’re not fretting too much and stay as calm as possible.
Positioning Yourself :
- Get accustomed to the hand signals you’ll use to communicate with the boat’s driver before moving on the water. Move faster with a thumbs up, and go slower with a thumbs down. A slash across the neck indicates stopping the boat/cutting the motor.
- Adjust the bindings according to your comfortability. Make sure they’re not too tight or too loose. Think of it as a workout shoe. The comfortably they’re put on, the more flexible you’ll get with your boat. Remember, you’ll have a lot of turns and moves to make.
- Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the water. Keep one hand on the tow line handle as you slide off the boat and into the water. Take a few moments to settle down while the boat begins to move away from you. After the rope is taut, you may use it to maintain your balance while floating in the water.
- Ensure that you have a solid grasp of the handle. Make sure that the tow rope handle from slipping from your hold. keep your arms relaxed and your legs bent when floating in the water. It will be more difficult to let go if you hook or loop the handle around or over any portion of your body.
- Keep the edge of the board in the water. At first, put the wakeboard on its edge, with the bottom of the board parallel to the water’s surface. Ensure that the board’s edge just appears above the water’s surface. You won’t be able to balance if you try to keep the board flat below you while the boat accelerates.
- Your front knee should be supported by one arm on either side. Allow someone to gently push you from behind before you begin wakeboarding to assist you in determining which foot to put forward. You’ll put forward with the foot you put in front of the wakeboard. When you’re in the water with the wakeboard, place one arm on either side of your front knee. Your arms should be kept closed to your chest.
Standing Up on the Board:
- Maintain a good bend in your knees as much as possible. Staying close to the board makes it easier to get into an upright stance. Keep your knees bent and your ankles close to your body in a crouched position as the boat speeds up.
- Allow yourself to be carried by boat. Don’t pull back against the boat’s force as it accelerates. Allow the boat to raise the board to the surface of the water. Avoid bending your arms to bring the handle closer to your body.
- Keep the majority of your weight on your forward foot as you rise. To go upward on the wakeboard, you’ll need to keep more than 60% of your weight forward. Once you’ve climbed up on the board, you may evenly distribute your weight between both feet.
- Make sure you’re not rushing up. Beginners especially children tend to rush while standing up. It’ll only make it difficult for you to maintain control. However, in case you did rush it up, lean a bit forward to maintain your posture. Remember to keep your patience and not lose your calm.
- Maintain a tight grip on the handle. To have greater control, keep the rope low and near to your front hip. Raising it may throw you off balance and make staying on the board harder. Maintain a firm grip on the handle while gently bending your elbows.
- Slowly rise to your knees. When the boat’s momentum has pushed the wakeboard on top of the water, start straightening your legs while keeping your knees slightly bent to absorb some of the stress. The tow-rope handle should be positioned toward your front hip.
- Lean back or forward to shift your weight between your heels and toes. To acquire a feeling for the wake, bend back slightly to shift your weight to your heels and place the board heelside on the back edge. Then, by leaning forward and sliding the board to your toes, try positioning it toeside on the front edge. This will make it easier for you to cut across the lake.
- If you fall, wait for the boat to come back around. Stay steady if you fall or lose your grasp on the rope. Lift your board halfway out of the water so that all people in the area can see you. The boat driver will bring the rope back to you so you may try again.
Troubles and Solutions :
- Cut the rope to a shorter length. A shorter rope may be more effective if you’re new to wakeboarding. Change the rope for one that is approximately 20 feet (6.1 meters) long. Attaching it to a ski pylon might also be handy. The rope is typically 30 to 50 feet (9.1 to 15.2 meters) long.
- Reduce the boat’s speed. While some people assume that pushing themselves to the limit would provide them with the energy they need to get up, doing so really makes it more difficult. Allow the boat’s driver to keep the speed below 16 mph (26 km/h) so that you can climb.
- Don’t pull the rope too much. Wakeboarding isn’t about getting up on your feet. Rather, it’s about letting the boat pull you up. Pulling on the rope will most likely cause your board’s nose to burrow into the water. It might cause you to stretch your arms too much and lose balance.
- Switch your feet if you’re having difficulty. In other circumstances, reversing the position of your feet may be a simple solution. For instance, rather than trying to wakeboard with your right foot forward, try it with your left.
- Always look straight ahead. Looking at the boat might help you to focus and remain balanced. If you’re constantly looking at your bindings, you’ll put too much pressure on your feet.
So, there are the rules and hacks one should follow to get up on a wakeboard. Both beginners and professionals must follow these tricks. However, they’re more applicable for beginners as the professionals are already accustomed to the basics.
Wakeboarding Ideal Shape and Size Guide
Wakeboards are divided into three categories:
- Wakeboards for Beginners
- Wakeboards for Intermediate Riders.
- Professionals’ Wakeboards.
Beginner wakeboard differs in stability and features from the other ones. Squared-off edges are common on beginner wakeboards. It allows a more stable and controlled ride. Because you won’t be landing tricks for a long time. Investing on a specialty board too early in your surfing or snowboarding career isn’t worth it. On the other hand, intermediate and advanced rider’s boats are more unstable and edgy design. They are substantially less forgiving than beginner’s boards.
You can pick a wakeboard based on the rider’s weight, as shown on the optimal wakeboard size guide. The wakeboard length should be more than 130 cm if the weight is more than 100 lbs. Similarly, lengths of 130-134 cm should suffice for 90-150 lbs, 135-139 cm for 130-180 lbs, 140-144 cm for 170-250 lbs, and up to 144 cm for 200-275+ lbs. Pick a wakeboard that fits your weight and height. This list is quite coherent in the case of a kid wakeboard size guide as well. You can choose a board based on the kid’s weight.
Furthermore, wakeboard binding also plays a great role in the sport. There are a few factors to consider while choosing wakeboard bindings: flex, toe, and lacing. It’s tough to try on bindings without wet feet. Most bindings are difficult to put your feet into. While water can help, it’s recommended to use lubricants like Airheads Boot Goo. Lubricants were created specifically to help you slide your foot into your binding. Bindings should be snug, but not so tight that they are unpleasant. For the more accurate fitting, visit your near wakeboarding store. You can follow the wakeboard binding size chart for better results. The basic rule for women who prefer to use men’s wakeboard bindings is to select one that is one to 112 sizes smaller. Here’s an illustration: A woman’s size 9–9.5 shoe would be suitable for a men’s size 8.0 shoe.
How to Go Pro?
Besides practicing, knowing, and learning a lot of cool hacks, what else can you do to become a professional wakeboarder? Well, the answer is simple. You need to get recognition. To utilize your talent, start making outdoor appearances. Start participating in various competitions, TV shows, and social media. Countries like the UK, USA always have different shows and competitions going on. Follow your idols in this sport and start by making a good debut. It’s okay to fail but give it a try. Another great option is to go for social media. YouTube is on the rage these days. Open an account start showing your stunts and talents to the world. You’ll start to get noticed in no time. You might get some sponsorships and start rolling.
Wakeboarding is the old and fun watersport that people across the nation enjoy. Wakeboarding is rather easy to learn than many other sports. Once you learn how to get on the board, you will start to get the hang of it. The speed and size of the wakeboard differ from person to person. Based on experience and age, the size and speed of the wakeboard vary. However, whether you’re a beginner or a professional, you can enjoy this sport regardless. Every phase comes with a different type of thrill and it increases through time. So, keep enjoying and stay safe.