Official Site of Extreme Pro Sports
Extreme Pro Sports

Wakeboarding Tips for New and Intermediate Riders

By Cliff Montgomery,

Wakeboarding Tips

For a first board, get one which is forgiving and helps you develop. A larger board with one or more large rear fins helps to give the board direction, which is important when learning.

Stance (How you stand on your board)

Your first step is determining whether you are regular (left-foot-forward) or goofy (right-foot-forward) . For those of you who skateboard or snowboard, this is easy. If this is your first board sport, don't panic. Stand up, feet together and have someone push you from behind (sorry--on land). Whichever foot goes forward first is almost surely your lead foot.

If you are someone who is still unsure about this experiment, it will be especially precise if you stand with your eyes closed and have someone whom you trust push you forward by surprise. This way you can't subconsciously choose which foot you will be putting forward.

Another simple method is for someone to watch which way you put on your pants or wetsuit. The foot you put on first will normally be your front foot for wakeboarding.

Also remember: your front foot will be the same in all board sports, i.e. wakeboarding, skateboarding, snowboarding and even slalom skiing.

Wakeboard Bindings Placement

Riders just getting started should try placing the bindings at about shoulder-width with the rear foot slightly farther back (closer to the rear fin) to aid with directional stability.

The angle of your bindings is quite important. Start with the rear foot straight across the board (O degrees) or slightly forward to 9 degrees (one set of holes in the base plate). Your front foot should be at an angle of 9-27 degrees (2-3 sets of holes) to get started. Remember that this is just a guide and that your position should feel comfortable. Keep in mind, however, that one of your first goals is going to be to ride backwards. For this you will want something closer to neutral (0 / 0 degree) stance.

Tip: Before you get started, double-check the security of your fins and bindings. Do this every time you hit the water. You should periodically check them during your ride when you can, and especially after a fall.

The Deep Water Start

Start in the water, floating on your back with a buoyancy vest. The board should be perpendicular to the rope with your arms either side of your front knee. Signal the driver to put the boat in gear. As you are pulled slowly forward, the pressure against the board will allow you to get into the proper starting position with most of the board below the surface of the water. Let the pressure on the board push your knees into your chest, then push your front foot forward toward the boat.

Signal the driver to drive faster and remain in a crouched position. As the boat begins to advance, keep your arms slightly bent in near your lower stomach. Shift your weight toward the front foot while keeping the nose above the water. As the water begins to give you support, slowly rise to the standing position by extending your legs until your knees are slightly bent. It is one continuous flowing motion and you should not be dragged through the water for long. There is no harm in being up before fully planing.

Once you're up, get comfortable on your board with slightly more weight on your rear foot. Let your hips and shoulders turn away from the boat.

The Switchstance Start

(Riding 'fakie', 'revert' or backwards) should be learned as soon as possible. Most riders find it easier to start in normal position, then push the board to revert as soon as the board starts to plane off. Once this is mastered, you can go to a more direct approach by alternating your front foot every time you start. Don't wait to learn to ride switchstance; you'll need it for many tricks.

Crossing the Wake

This is easy if you approach it slowly at first with knees bent. The faster you go, the more you need to 'suck it up' with your legs if you do not want to jump.

Jumping the Wake

This action is also easy. Compress just as you approach. Extend your legs and body as the wake lifts the board. It is important to stay loose over your board. Let your legs absorb the impact on landing. The key to getting good height in your jumps is to edge all the way through the wake. A common mistake is to ease up the pull on the rope as you approach the wake and flatten out the board, loosing critical energy which lifts you into the air. Loading or stretching the line primes it with the energy which 'pops' you into your flight. Cut hard and late.


Popular in WAKEBOARDING...

What's worth sharing?

Biggest Annual Wakeboarding Competitions
Best Wakeboard Boats of 2011
Top 10 Lakes for Wakeboarding
Wakeboarding Tips for New and Intermediate Riders

Search for Exciting Articles on Extreme Sports
Mountain Biking

Mountain Biking

Extreme downhill mountain biking is a sport for adrenaline junkies who don't mind the occassional wipe out...


From the best resorts in North America to snowboard, to beginner tips on riding a halfpipe...


Where are the best lakes to wakeboard? What are some of the hottest wakeboards? These and more...
MMA - Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts / Ultimate Fighting

What are the top 5 MMA fights of all time? When UFC greats like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture were at the top of their game, how did they train? What would a match up between Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko have looked like, if the fight had ever happened?

List Your Site on

Do you have an extreme sports site and want to get listed in our paid directory? We don't accept just any site. Send us a message to tell us about your site, if you want to get listed. We'll review your site and send our rate card! Welcome to Extreme Pro Sports.
© Copyright 2015 by All Rights Reserved.