Tips by David Ngiam
Video : Joshua Tay
Photo : Tan Suter
The Air Raley is where your body is full extended above your head level like in a ‘Superman’ position. This trick is more mental than technical as the failed attempts can really knock the wind out of you. Make sure you’ve got really good wake jumps before you attempt this.
To do this trick, start out wide to begin your heelside edge. You have to edge hard and tall for this trick, keeping your knees slightly bent. However, your cut must still be progressive as the whole idea is to get a strong load on the line. As you approach the wake, do not flatten off (this will only kill the line tension), instead continue to edge through the wake, but standing tall off the top. At this point, the line should still be super tight, let your board sweep away from underneath you. If you have trouble trying to figure out how that feeling is, you can kick your front foot back a little to help initiate the trick. But the idea is not too kick yourself into a Superman posture. You just want to kick enough to help release the board off the water. The line tension, should be the thing that snaps you up into a Raley posture. If you feel this strong pull, just let the rope snap you up, you don’t have to fight it. If you execute it correctly, coming down should come by itself quite easily. Once you have laid out, just pull the handle in towards your chest to bring the board back under you.
If you are all laid out in the air, but realize that the rope is slack in the air, then you are doing it wrong. The rope has to stay tight pretty much throughout the trick. If you are getting a slack, its most likely because you flattened off on your approach and just throwing the board backwards. Remember, its not quite the same as regular wake jump. You really need to think about edging through the wake for this one with your strongest edge at the bottom of the wake.
If you are ‘stargazing’ (where your body gets twisted up in the air towards the opposite shoreline), its probably because you have too much weight on your back leg during your approach. However, if you’re wakeboard nose is pointing down in the air, you’ve probably got to much weight on your front foot as you took off.
Wearing a thick life vest for learning this trick is strongly recommended. You are likely to take some gnarly spills learning this trick. You just have to suck it up and keep at it. You also need full commitment on each attempt. Going in half hearted will likely results in more painful wipeouts. Trust me. However, once you start nailing it, this trick becomes almost as easy as landing a wake jump. It’s the initial understanding part that’s hard.