Watersports aren’t always easy to learn, and wakeboarding is no exception. The first few attempts on a wakeboard can be really challenging, but eventually, you’ll find your balance and even learn a few tricks in the process.
This isn’t to suggest you have to learn everything on your own though, but you can definitely master some steps as a newbie and expedite your journey to skillful wakeboarding.
These tips can help you improve the speed of your learning curve and make wakeboarding enjoyable even as a beginner.
5 Wakeboarding Tips for Beginners
#1 Optimize Your Boat for Wakeboarding
Just because you have a boat doesn’t mean you’re all set for a wakeboarding adventure. Some boats are better equipped for the sport than others, while some are more suitable for beginners than others.
The boat you’re using can have a massive difference to your experience on the water, and the two biggest things that will make a good Wakeboarding boat will be the characteristics of the wake it produces and the height of the hitch point.
For instance, if you’re skiing, you’ll want a flatter wake than when you’re wakeboarding, and it won’t matter if the hitch point is at the same height as your hands. But if you’re wanting to start jumping for wakeboarding, you might need a tower so the rope is higher and it’s easier to get into the air.
Consider too where you’ll be wakeboarding, as some boats will be better depending on the conditions, and whether you’re out on lakes, rivers, or the more aggressive ocean.
Other things you might consider include the layout of the interior, how the helm is set up for lines of sight, if there’s enough seating to bring your friends and family along with you.
The most important though thing is to ensure your vessel is fast and comfortable to ride. It should also have the best wakeboard equipment and gear, from the rope and board to the wakeboard tower if you need one.
#2 Start Small
Tricks are the best part of wakeboarding for many enthusiasts, though it’s important to remember as a beginner that it takes a lot of practice to be good enough for tricks.
Tricks like powerslides, butterslides, flips and jumps can be intimidating at first, and you may not be in a position to do these tricks as a beginner. Don’t feel bad about that, and just have fun with what you’re capable of.
To start, you should aim to conquer your fear and learn to balance yourself on the wakeboard in different situations. After that, maybe you can try a few tricks and get to use more sophisticated marine equipment.
#3 Find Your Footing
In wakeboarding, “goofy” and “regular” are terms used to describe how one stands on the wakeboard. You’re described as goofy if you put your right foot forward and regular if you put the left one forward.
Like soccer players, most wakeboarders have a strong foot, which is something you need to know about yourself on the first day. Your comfortable foot stance should come naturally when you get on the board; don’t force it or try to be all-round.
This really matters when it comes to comfort level and the way you’ll learn to perform tricks, so aim to determine your dominant foot before you begin (your dominant foot should be at the back).
Your dominant foot will typically be the one you use to balance on when you’re putting on pants, the one you use to kick a soccer ball, and the foot you use first when you’re climbing stairs.
This foot should go at the back.
#4 Use a Shorter Rope at the Beginning
Shorter ropes are suitable for beginners for several reasons. The most significant one is that a shorter rope makes it easier to stand up on the board.
You will also not struggle to hear your instructor when being towed close behind the boat.
#5 Avoid Pulling on the Rope
Pulling on the rope when looking to stand up is almost instinctive, but there is no point in doing it. The tow vessel will pull you up without you having to exert yourself.
All you need to do is stay strong and focus on balancing on the wakeboard. You might also want to limit your arm movements as it is likely to jeopardize your balance.
The above tips will be helpful as you prepare for your wakeboarding holiday. Brace up for a few falls and a generally rough beginning, but you can rest assured you will become an expert with some patience and persistence!