If you’re looking for a simple guide on how to master jumping on a wakeboard, you’ve come to the right place!
Wakeboards are great fun and are an awesome way of getting out into the water without tonnes of experience or training. However, the first thing you’ll want to do is master jumping on your board successfully.
In this article, we will explain exactly what it takes to jump on a wakeboard, as well as some tips and tricks that can help you get started.
What Are Wakeboards?
Wakeboarding was invented in the early 1980s by Tom Sims and Mike Stewart, who were both surfing enthusiasts at the time. The idea behind wakeboarding is simple:
Surfing relies on waves, and boats create a wake, or for the non-nautically inclined, waves. Put a surfboard and a boat together, and it doesn’t matter if there are no natural waves, as you’ve got your very own wave maker to hand.
Wakeboarding is a relatively new sport, but it’s growing fast. It’s now been included in the Olympics since 2008, and there are more than 100 countries where it’s enjoyed regularly.
In fact, according to Forbes magazine, it’s estimated that there are over 1 million people worldwide who have taken part in wakeboarding competitions.
The wake is the waves that are created behind a boat. These waves are caused by the boat’s movement through the water. Riders then use these waves to shoot themselves up in order to execute aerial maneuvers.
The Basics Of Wakeboarding
So what does it take to be able to ride a wakeboard? Well, if you’re just starting out, you should probably start with a smaller board that’s about 3 feet long.
You don’t need anything too big or heavy, because you won’t be doing any serious jumps yet. As you progress through your learning process, you can then move up to bigger and heavier boards.
What To Know Before You Start Jumping On Your Wakeboard
Before you get started with jumping on a wakeboard in waves, make sure you are fully comfortable just gliding on the water. You should make sure that you are comfortable standing up on your board and maintaining balance on your board.
This will be essential for you to build up your skills if you want to successfully jump on your board without falling down quite so often – disclaimer, you will fall down. A lot.
Unfortunately, that is the nature of water sports and is all a part of the learning process!
Other things you’ll want to learn before you get comfortable jumping are how to cross the wake whilst on your board, and edging.
However, once you have gotten yourself comfortable standing on your wakeboard, you’ll need to learn how to jump on your board correctly.
This is important because if you don’t know how to properly jump, you could end up hurting yourself. So let’s look at what it takes to jump correctly…
To begin with, you’ll need to make sure that you’re standing upright on your board. Next, cut out away from the wake to get some distance. Hang out at this angle until you feel ready to approach.
Once you’re good to go, edge gently towards the wake. Don’t take an aggressive angle towards it at first, as you can always draw a more acute angle the closer you get to the wave.
As you’re carving in towards the wave, keep your elbows tucked in, so they’re not too far from your body, and prepare your legs by bending slightly at the knee.
You’ll then ride up the wave, leaning back against the rope, and as you hit the crest, all you have to do is extend your legs as if you were jumping on solid ground — we have lift off!
If you’re feeling confident enough, you can try jumping from different heights to see what works best for you. However, if you’re not comfortable jumping from a certain height, you shouldn’t force yourself.
Instead, you should focus on getting used to the feeling of jumping.
Learning How To Control Your Speed
Once you’ve mastered the basics of jumping, it’s time to start thinking about controlling your speed through the air and perhaps doing a few board grabs as well. To do this, you’ll need to get used to using your arms to steer your board.
The main thing to remember when preparing to do an aerial maneuver is that once you have extended your legs to get some air, you’ll have to bring your knees back up so you can reach the board with your hands.
It’s best to try an indie grab first, which basically just involves you bringing your back hand down to grab the inside edge of your board in the air.
It can be scary letting go of the rope with one hand, but as long as you pull it in firmly towards your body with the other remaining hand, you’ll have plenty of stability to execute your grab.
You’ll also want to remember that while you’re jumping, you’ll want to stay relaxed. Otherwise, you could lose control over your board and end up crashing into the water or even hitting other people around you.
More Tips And Tricks For Wakeboarding
Now that we’ve covered some basic tips and tricks for jumping on your board, let’s take a look at some more advanced techniques.
The first thing you’ll want to consider is learning how to do a surface 180, and move onto a surface 360. This will involve getting comfortable swapping your hands around on your grip as you turn, and getting comfortable turning in place.
Another technique that you might want to practice is called “the double spin”. In this trick, you’ll be able to flip your board twice before landing on the water.
Finally, another great way to improve your wakeboarding skills is by practicing your flips.
While flipping is definitely an advanced move and not recommended for beginners, it’s something that will come in handy later on and it’s always cool to see what you can do, and inspiring to see what’s possible when you’re up to speed!
So there you go, those are some of the basic tips and tricks for jumping on your wakeboard. Hopefully, you found these helpful and now feel more prepared to jump on your wakeboard.
Remember: Practice makes perfect!
Have fun riding!