Tips by David Ngiam
If you’ve just started wakeboarding, or planning to give it a go, well, good for you! Wakeboarding is a pretty addictive sport and its a whole lot of fun for everyone, whether you are 6 or 60 years old! How far you want to go into the sport is really up to you. Some people get the rush from just carving up the water, or if you’re an adrenaline junkie, you could go out pull off a technical big air trick. Whatever the reason for picking up Wakeboarding, its important to remember that safety comes first; not only for yourself, but for others around you as well. Wakeboarding is a safe sport, just as long as you take the right precautions. However, in every sport there’s always an element of risk. Where’s the fun when its too safe right?
If you do plan to progress further into the sport, its really important to learn the basics from a good instructor. If you don’t have ready access to a good wakeboard instructor, then getting instructional videos are probably the next best option.
To start off, you don’t need to go out and buy a brand new wakeboard. Try out a rental board or borrow one from your friend. Its hard to choose the right wakeboard when you first start out. You want to be able to feel comfortable riding on a wakeboard first and try as many different types of boards if you can and you’ll have a better idea what kind of gear works for you. Everyone rides a little different, so some wakeboard designs and shapes works better for some riders but may not work fo you, so try out as many boards as far as possible.
Its also important do your stretches before you ride, otherwise your body is going to get pretty sore fast. When learning a new trick, always take it one step at a time. Take some time to understand the trick first and try not to attempt something that’s way beyond your skill level like throwing the “”””Superman”””” trick when you still can’t do a 2-wake jump. Otherwise, you would just increase your chances of getting injured. Also, always wear a life vest when riding and a helmet if you plan to hit features. Serous injuries and death can occur if you don’t protect yourself. There have been cases, so you have been warned!
Wakeboarding is a progressive sport. There are plenty of tricks to learn and there are many ways to make a trick more stylish, even simple ones. Every now and then, someone will still land a new trick which no one ever thought was possible. So the possibilities are almost limitless.
However, the typical progression when you first start out wakeboarding should be :
– Learn how to get up on a wakeboard.
– Getting the right riding posture and control of your board.
– Get comfortable riding across the wakes or around the cable park.
– Learn a few surface tricks and try to get comfortable riding switch.
– Learn how to jump the wakes or hit the basic kickers and rails, both heelside and toeside, followed by grabs and 180 spins.
– Once you can do a decent 2 wake jump or kicker jumps with a good solid grab (an indication that you have good board and line control), then you should be ready for inverts and spins. Even so, learn the basic ones first.
Getting to your first invert can take from a couple of weeks to a couple of months, depending on how much water time you can get. It takes a bit of everything: determination, hard work, talent and maybe a little luck. But always learn at a pace that you’re comfortable with (just don’t get too comfortable!). Don’t be too impatient and jump the gun as well. You may be able to land a 2 wake jump but you could be executing it the wrong way, and if that’s the case, its going to be alot harder for you to progress to the next trick. So make sure you get your basics down!