Tips by David Ngiam
Video : Guy Tanaka
Photo : Kevin Tan
To jump the wakes, you need to be comfortable cutting across both wakes first. Getting a good wake jump is not so much how fast you approach the wake or how hard you try to push of it. Rather, its mostly about getting a good line control and a progressive edge.
For the Heelside Wake Jump, start out wide (10-15 feet from the wake), so that you have enough time to adjust your approach. Next, take your time when turning in for the approach. If you turn to fast, you’ll get a slack line. What you want to do is keep the line firm at all times. Next, keep your handle low by keeping you elbows in and palms down at hip level (don’t use a baseball grip). Hold it there all the way through. You can shift your weight slightly over on to your front foot during the turn so you won’t drift in too much but balance your weight even as you start your approach.
Next, edge in progressively (ie, edge in harder and harder gradually), with knees SLIGHTLY bent. As you come to about 2-3 feet to the wake, DON’T FLATTEN OUT. Instead, ease off your edge a little but continue to ride through the wake. At the same time extend your feet out as you ride up the wake for the pop.
Alot of people make the mistake of executing the pop when they reach the top of the wake, but its too late then. Learning how to do the Ollie first would help alot in learning how to do a good pop. Even as you are popping, you are still edging through the wake, while maintaining a firm line. That is why you don’t flatten out because if you do, you’ll get a slack line and lose all the energy that you have built up in your approach.
Remember to keep your handle low as you pop and do not extend your arms out at all time. This is because as you pop off the wake, you will feel a slight pull. By holding on to this pull, it actually helps you lift of the wake more. While in the air, keep your chest up, and try spot your landing. When you land, bend your knees to absorb the drop.
However the most important thing about the wake jump is that your upper body doesn’t change its posture pretty much through out the trick. In doing so, the line tension remains more controlled, giving the rider more lift across the wake.
If your jumping and the nose of the board goes really high up making you land hard on your tail first, then it means you have too much weight on your back foot on your approach. Remember, how you take off is how you land. If you come in back foot heavy, you’re going to land back foot heavy. Try to keep equal weight on both feet at all the times.
If you are jumping and you find that your are falling forward when you land, then its likely you are letting the handle get away from you after you pop. Maintain your handle position at all times, resisting the pull in the air if you have to, and you should be in good shape. It is the line tension that gives you lift, so harness it.
If you are having trouble doing 2 wake jumps, start out with 1 wake jumps first. Use a longer line for this so that the wake is nice and wide and you’ll land in the middle of the 2 wakes, instead of landing too close to the second wake which might throw you off. Once you are confident, shorten up the line again to make it easier to clear both wakes for a 2 wake jump.