How To Wakeboard for Beginners
Wakeboarding can often be a very intimidating experience, but if you’re doing it with the wrong equipment it can be even more difficult than it needs to be. If you want to be able to stand up on the water in no time and learn how to wakeboard then you need to start with a quality instructor. Sizing the board and choosing the right equipment will often be the second step you’ll need to figure when getting into wakeboarding.
Make Sure You Go Out With An Experienced Rider or Instructor
Someone experienced is a must when learning how to wakeboard and will require a bit of patience at first. Once the instructor has shown you how to put the gear on properly, you will work on the feeling of the rope pulling you. First, start sitting on the ground with someone else holding the rope. The motion is in three steps. First you are in a squatting position then as the rope is pulling use your upper body to pull the rope in and stand up. The motion should be similar to if you were sitting on the ground and your friend gives you a hand to help you up.
Once you are in the water, make sure the rope is between both knees and you are in the squatting position. Then, once you give the boat driver a thumbs up to go, dig your heels down in the water. Then do the movement we discussed earlier while turning your board as soon as you get up. The sooner you turn the board to your dominant side the easier it will be to get up. If you do not know which foot is dominant we have a method to help you. Stand normally with your legs shoulder width apart, and have your friend push the middle of your back just enough to make you step forward. Now, whichever foot you stepped out first to brace yourself is the dominant foot. Moving forward, when getting up on the wakeboard the dominant foot will be your front foot.
As you are taking instruction and learning how to get up on the board it’s important to keep in mind that you should try to stay as relaxed and patient as possible. Don’t pull with your arms, push with your legs or fight against the forces. Letting the board, the boat and the water do their work as you stay balanced.
With some practice and time staying on the board riding your wakeboard will feel more natural. Don’t get discouraged at the beginning because like most sports it requires repetition and patience and you will master this process. However, when you do find yourself frustrated take a few deep breaths before trying again. If you are interested in more beginner wakeboarding tips, be sure to contact us about our wakeboarding lessons.
Picking Up Protection
Before you go out onto the water and start wakeboarding, it is important to get some gear for yourself so that you can stay protected against falls. Wearing a quality life jacket and choosing a swimsuit that’s going to be comfortable under that life jacket is an important first step. With that being said, make sure that the life jacket is coast guard approved or has enough flotation that when you are sitting in the water it can hold you up. Once you progress and gain confidence, there are some specialty lifejackets that work particularly well for wakeboarding. These are called impact vests which help ease the impact when falling. Do not mistake these vests as solely a flotation vest, because it has less padding and is not Coast Guard approved. The decreased amount of padding helps for when advanced riders are jumping the wake to do tricks needing more flex and mobility.
Choosing a Beginner Wakeboard
Sizing the wakeboard is a good way to enjoy the best stability and pop off the water. There are design specs including a specific length, shape, and rocker that make wakeboarding a bit easier. Using a longer length will help with stability and it’s also important to find a smooth rock or design for a more predictable feel on the water. Three-stage rockers can be used later on, but a simple one-stage rocker is the best for beginners. Another decision to make is if the board will be specifically for you or multiple people. If you are wanting to get a board that your friends can also enjoy then do not get fixed boots for one size. For more information about wakeboards take a look at our blog post about board sizes here or contact us today!