Wake surfing is a new sport where athletes ride waves from boats or other floating objects. The technique involves riding waves at high speeds without using fins. This method allows riders to travel faster than they would otherwise be able any other way in the water.
Wakeboarding involves the rider standing on a wakeboard which is towed behind a motorboat across the wake and up off the crest to perform some impressive aerial maneuvers when let go.
Wake surfing requires a certain level of skill and experience. If you’re interested in learning how to wake surf, keep reading for some tips!
What Is Wakesurfing?
Wakesurfing is an extreme form of wakeboarding. It’s similar to wakeboarding except the athlete rides a wave instead of jumping over it. In this case, the wave is created by the boat itself.
The main difference is that in wake surfing, you throw the rope back or away to the side to ride the waves, whereas, in wakeboarding, you keep hold of the rope to pull you along.
One of the best things about the sport is that the wave is completely yours. You don’t need to fight with surfers in the water for territory or drop in first to claim a wave. You own the wave for as long as you want to surf on it and the waves are created by the boat itself.
How To Wake Surf
Choose Your Surfing Spot Carefully
The best spots to practice wake surfing are those with long, consistent swells. These tend to be found near coastal areas like Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Brazil.
If you live somewhere else, look for places with strong winds blowing over open water.
Wear The Right Gear
Wearing a swimsuit is an obvious first step when going out on the water. You should always wear a life jacket while wake surfing, so this means you need to find a swimsuit that will be comfortable underneath this.
Beginners should wear a wetsuit rash guard as well as you will probably spend a lot more time in the water, meaning you could get a little chilly. If you’re cold, a wetsuit or other type of suit might be necessary.
Life jackets protect surfers from drowning. They’re made of material that keeps water out, and they’re buoyant enough to float. Surfers should be careful about choosing a proper-fitting life jacket. A life jacket that fits well will help keep them safe when they fall into the ocean.
Practice Getting Up On Your Wakeboard
Wakesurfing is a sport that requires a lot of practice and once the boat has started to move, you might be wondering how you’re going to get up on the board. You need to lie down in the water with your legs on the edge of the wakeboard and keep your toes pointing up.
Then, when the board starts moving, let your knees come to your stomach and into your chest, and dig your heels into the board. Stay bent over until the board flips up to your waist, then plant your feet on top of the board.
Don’t rush this process, because once you start standing up, you might lose control of your body. Instead, slowly lean forward, bending your knees and digging in your heels and as you shift your weight onto the board, the board will flip up where you can now stand and the boat will start to pull you.
Wakesurfing is much easier if you learn how to relax and use your body weight to help you up, letting the board come to you. Never try to force your body up or you could lose balance and fall.
Remember to let the boat do the work. It’s all about patience and practice. Only when your weight is shifted over the top of the whole board, and you have leaned into the rope, should you ever try standing.
One mistake made a lot by beginners is trying to push their feet into the board too hard, instead of letting the pull of the boat flip the board up itself. Avoid pulling yourself up too much as well, as this can make your body lose balance and fall into the water.
Once you’re up and comfortable, make sure you keep your feet shoulder-width apart, and your back foot is placed 6 to 18 inches away from the board’s tail.
Get Comfortable Riding Waves From Boats
Once you’ve chosen your spot, whilst still being attached to the rope, it’s time to start practicing getting comfortable riding waves from boats. You want to find a place where there are no rocks, trees, or other obstacles in the way.
Then, get into position so that you can see as far ahead as possible whilst attached to the board and let the boat carry you. Don’t let the boat exceed 10 miles an hour, especially when practicing.
Do not attempt too many fancy spins and tricks at this stage. Just get a feel for what it will be like to be carried by boat, instead of the waves themselves. Make sure you opt for a boat that is designed to throw the biggest wakes. You’ll want this as you start to progress with the sport.
How To Drop The Rope
When you ride waves, there are two things you should know about getting into the wave and dropping the rope. First, make sure you stand up straight, and that your body isn’t twisted or bent over at the waist as you try to enter the wave.
Second, once you’ve entered the wave and dropped the rope, you’ll want to position yourself in the middle of the wave, so that you can use the power of the wave to help propel you forward.
When you’re learning how to wake surf, it helps to have someone manage the slack in your rope while you’re getting a feel for moving around.
This can help you soften your movements, and will avoid you getting pulled off your board if your slack runs out quickly. Throw the rope back into the boat when you’ve got plenty of slack, or throw it over to the other side of the wave.
Controlling Your Speed And Staying On The Wave
Great stuff! You’re up, you’re riding the wave, and you’re having a fun time. But now it comes down to control. Wakeboarding requires you to use your toes to push off the water as well as your heel to pull yourself back and slow down.
This shifting of the weight in your feet keeps you in the wake of the boat. When you’re going fast, you need to press down on your toes to get extra power. When you want to slow down, lift your toes or press your heels to get less power.
To keep your speed steady and stay consistently on the wave, try to turn up into the wave, before dropping back down and gaining speed again.
When you surf, you should always try to stay in the wave, but if you lose your position, you should try popping back up into the wave immediately after you drop down.
If you ever believe you are losing the wave, you should turn up the wave, and not surf down into it. You can then drop back down and pick up speed again.
We hope after reading this article you have learned everything you need to know about wake surfing, from how it is different from wakeboarding, to how you would go about doing it and why it’s such a great summer activity.
Remember, it takes time and practice, so make sure you get comfortable being pulled by a boat before letting go of the rope and trying any fancy tricks. But most importantly, have fun!