Learn to Wakeboard with These Proven Tips
Maybe you caught a glimpse of it on YouTube. Maybe you saw it while on the water. Regardless of where you first experienced wakeboarding, you know that you are hooked. Luckily for you, wakeboarding is one sport with a steep learning curve. Learning to get up on a wakeboard and confidently glide across the water provides a strong foundation to build upon. Beginners can accomplish these skills relatively quickly, by following these simple steps.
Wakeboarding for Beginners
Learning to wakeboard starts with getting up on the wakeboard. One of the first steps is figuring out which foot goes in front. The front foot is going to be the non-dominant foot. Determine which foot this is by thinking of which foot you naturally put ahead on any other board sport. Your dominant foot is going to be the back foot, so if you naturally want to kick a ball with your left foot, then you will ride goofy, with your left foot in the back, and vice versa. Even though this is usually the case, there are exceptions to the rule. If you are unsure, have someone give you a gentle push and identify which foot catches you. That is the one you will place in the front.
Professional wakeboarders advise that before getting in the water, it is a good idea to do some planning while on the dock. As you get a feel for wakeboarding on the dock, take notice of how it feels to keep your arms straight and knees bent. A common mistake of wakeboard beginners is to fight the boat. A key to getting up is staying still with bent knees while the boat pulls you up out of the water. The board will naturally pull in one direction with your dominant foot in the back.
Land First 360 on a Wakeboard
Riders of all levels can learn to do wakeboard tricks. The key is to set a foundation that can be built upon. Starting to learn to do air tricks begins on the surface. The boat driver will coast along the water at a slower speed, so the rider can practice doing a 360 on the water. These foundational skills will aid you once you decide to take the 360 into the air. As you are practicing the 360 on the water, make sure to keep both hands on the wakeboard rope handle. Lots of riders will try to pass the handle instead of rotating the handle. As you turn, gently move your hip towards the handle. Staying in control of you and your board is the key to success when learning new wakeboard tricks. This same trajectory applies when learning to do a 180 on a wakeboard. If you aren't quite ready to take on the 360, check out how to learn to do a heelside 180 on a wakeboard!
If you are already an intermediate rider that has the surface 360 down, take these skills into the air. From getting up on a wakeboard to learning air tricks, it is important not to rush. Lots of riders make this mistake and wipe out. As you are learning to do air tricks, make sure to get up off of the wake before you spin. This will give you the most time to complete the trick in the air, so don’t start prematurely. Getting a feel for the highest part of your jump will help you when you want to take the 360 wake-to-wake. Make sure you do a two handle pull and move your back hip up towards the handle. Keep your eyes up and look around for your landing.
As you learn to wakeboard, riders find that core and upper arm strength are essential for holding onto the rope. A healthy musculoskeletal system and strong core are essential to movement. Take a look at this wakeboard workout to maintain your strength so you can start landing jumps next wake season.
Drive a Boat while Pulling a Wakeboarder
Learning to wakeboard requires effort from both the rider and boat’s captain. Driving a boat while towing a wakeboarder calls for a certain finesse. Resting your elbow on the arm rest with your fingers and thumb holding the throttle will result in a calmer riding experience. Keeping the boat level is also important when towing a wakeboarder. You will know the boat is level when the wake is even. If you notice that there is white wash on one side, move some of the boat's weight towards that side to even out the wake. Learning to drive in a straight line also helps the rider get a better experience. Lots of drivers find something on shore to use as a spot. A straight line gives the wakeboarder maximum time to ride.. Eventually the driver will need to make a turn, and it is best for the rider to run down the path you just when through. This causes the wave to leave a smooth path that you can use for the whole day.
Get the Whole Wakeboard Tower Package
Getting the whole wakeboard package gives you the right tools to excel while equipping your boat with fun-enhancing accessories. Universal wakeboard towers, racks, and wake tower speakers are going to save you on room in your boat while getting the tow rope at the highest point possible for the best riding experience.
Universal Wakeboard Tower
Monster Tower is the leader in the aftermarket, universal wakeboard tower business. Since our towers are universal, they will fit boats of any length, as long as the beam width is between 60” and 102”. Some towers may work better with other boats, but we have a handy Tower Comparison chart as a wakeboarding buying guide.
Wakeboard towers can help riders learning to wakeboard accelerate their progress. Monster Towers have a high tow point which pulls beginners up so they quickly learn how to get up on the wakeboard. Muscle memory is essential for learning any new sport and repetition is the only way to accomplish this. Wakeboard towers are also beneficial for more advanced riders, since the higher tow point allows for more air time to work on jumps and other tricks. Higher tow points on towers keep the rope from getting caught in the wake, which will allow the rope to move more freely with you. Wakeboarding means you need to work with the boat, not against it, and wakeboard towers make this a much easier feat.
Wakeboard Tower Speakers
Quality wake tower speakers are a game changer. Available in single or double barrel, these marine-grade speakers can handle higher volumes of sound, so riders can get in the zone while listening to their favorite tunes. Double barrel speakers are designed to swivel front or back, so they can be pointed towards the rider and in the boat simultaneously. Most wakeboarders need a break during the day, and quality sound is ideal for when it is time for the party cove. Wake tower speakers can last for years, especially when the cans are anodized. Monster Tower is one of the few companies on the market that anodizes both the towers and cans. Anodized aluminum can handle marine elements and safeguard against corrosion. Quality marine speakers are a must-have when out on the water, since they push awesome sound, which can keep you inspired while learning to wakeboard.
Wake Tower Racks
Headed out for a day on the water usually means you will have a boat full of people. Wake racks are a versatile tower accessory, since they can safely store a couple of boards, which gives you and your passengers more space on-deck. Wakeboards are personal due to size and feel, so if your group has a few riders in it, there will be a variety of boards on deck. Wake tower racks have a bungee system to keep boards up to 2.5" in diameter in place, so your crew will be covered. Each rack has rubber lining in the forks for added stability to keep the board from falling out. Our wakeboard racks are anodized and mount onto any tower when purchased with the universal inserts.
Wakeboard Tower Bimini
Whether you are learning to wakeboard or are a seasoned rider, you are going to want some shade after being in the sun. Like any sport, wakeboarding takes time and practice to advance, so any rider with a goal in mind is going to be spending lots of time at the lake. Bimini tops are ideal for giving wakeboarders a cooling refuge, which means more time on the water, and a place to rest after a challenging run. Monster Tower uses Sunbrella® fabric to craft both our Monster Over-the-Top Bimini and Cargo Bimini. Sunbrella® is made to withstand marine environments and maintain its color while in the sun. Bimini tops also protect the boat’s interior, which can get worn from the sun’s rays. The Cargo and Over-the-Top Biminis may both be made with Sunbrella® fabric, but there are lots of differences. Find out which Bimini Top is best for you!
Getting The Right Wakeboard Gear
Getting the right wakeboard gear depends on a number of factors. Wakeboards and rope for beginners is going to differ from more advanced riders. For instance, wakeboards for beginners have duller edges so riders learning to wakeboard can gradually work on their tricks. Choosing the right wakeboard rope means the rider will need to match skill level to length.
Get the Best Wakeboard for You
Start searching for the perfect wakeboard by figuring out the correct length. Most wakeboard companies are going to make their boards in a variety of sizes, so if you already fell in love with the design of one, you may be in luck. Find your height and corresponding length of the wakeboard in the chart below. After you have this key bit of information, the search comes down to personal preference, skill level, and location of wakeboarding.
Wakeboards for beginners are different than boards for more advanced riders. Beginners should find a wakeboard that has duller edges. Sharp edges help more advanced wakeboarders cut in the water, but a rider learning to wakeboard can lose their footing and go head-first into the water. Boards that are more designed for the cable park are going to have features that help the rider grind. These types of wakeboards have different fins than wakeboards that are generally used behind a boat. Wakeboards for the lake have deeper fins so the rider can more easily cut through the wake. Choosing the right wakeboard starts with size and then a little consideration on what the best investment is for you.
Choosing the right wakeboard rope can be broken down to one fast rule: Advanced riders travel at higher speeds with a longer rope, while beginners travel at lower speeds with a shorter rope.
When you are first learning to wakeboard, the length doesn’t exactly matter, since you will mainly be practicing how to get up. Once you are able to get up, a shorter rope will be beneficial when learning to cut the wake or when practicing new tricks. The shorter rope will give the rider less distance to travel across, so they can stay in control while working on their wakeboarding chops. A longer rope gives more advanced riders an opportunity to travel a greater distance and cut harder into the wake. This requires quite a bit on control, which riders gain from lots of experience. Most wakeboarders gradually increase the wakeboard rope length as they advance so keep this in mind as you continue along your wakeboard journey.
Wakeboard ropes differ from other watersports ropes, since they are virtually all non-stretch. Non-stretch wakeboard rope helps the rider pull against the boat instead of the rope. Stretch rope hinders a rider’s performance, by zapping energy out of jumps.
Learning to wakeboard is an awesome venture that will give you a great hobby for years to come. Wakeboarding provides a plethora of new ways to challenge yourself, and with universal wakeboard towers on the market, it is no wonder wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing sports. Get started by finding great advice from our team on Monster Tower’s blog page and check out our variety of wakeboard towers here!