You’ve learnt the basics of wakeboarding, but you want to step up your game. You want to get some beginners wakeboarding tricks under your belt, right?
Unlike watersports such as surfing or kitesurfing, wakeboarding has a relatively steep learning curve. This means you’ll go from total beginner to riding behind the boat and doing a tail grab in no time at all.
Once you’ve mastered pulling up out of the water and riding along comfortably, it’s time to start working on some tricks. Before you start, make sure you’ve read our beginners wakeboarding guide and beginners wakeboarding tips.
Remember, when learning wakeboarding tricks, you’re going to fall plenty of times. That’s all part of the process. Keep practising and eventually you’ll get there.
1) SURFING THE WAKE
Wake is the mushy water that comes out of the water of a boat. So obviously you can only start surfing the wake when riding behind a boat, rather than wakeboarding on a cable course.
Take the handle with your inside hand. As you change edge, dig your heels in, placing more weight on your back foot. Carve out of the turn with force to create a big spray.
2) CROSSING THE WAKE
As you are riding along, turn your shoulders and chest so they are more open towards the boat. Look where you want to go.
Start to move the handle from the outside of your front hip to the inside, while transferring your weight onto your heels. Let the board glide over the surface of the water as much as possible. Keep your knees bent.
Don’t try to steer with the rope. Move from your lower body. Keep those arms straight and the rope close to the hip. You'll begin to cross the wake.
When you are ready to turn back the other way, press onto your toes and push your knees towards the water. Turn your shoulder and hips to face the direction you want to go.
3) CROSSING BOTH WAKES
Now you’ve mastered crossing one wake, it’s time to cross both wakes. Just follow the instructions above but once you are directly behind the boat, keep going towards the other wake.
4) SURFACE 180
Learning surface spins is a great way to branch into the world of beginners wakeboarding tricks. You don’t leave the surface of the water, so it is ideal for getting more comfortable on the board before taking things into the air.
Keeping your elbows locked in, bend your knees and turn your board by using your hip - you can do this by putting weight on your heels. Don’t look down. Eventually the board with turn to point the other direction - now you are riding in switch.
There are two types - frontside and backside. Frontside involves turning your chest towards the boat as you spin. Backside means moving your chest away from the boat.
5) SURFACE 360
Once you’ve got 180s on lock, it’s time to work on those 360s. You basically just string together your front 1s and back 1s together.
If you are doing a frontside 180, slide your back foot around to the front. Then do a backside 180, so start leaning back from the pull of the rope, so you are leaning away from the boat. This will help you to not catch your back edge during the rotation.
Reach your outside hand around your back. Once you’ve grabbed the handle, start to bring your back foot around to the front again.
Ollie is a great beginners wakeboarding trick to learn as it’s a jumping off point for much more difficult tricks.
You can always try these by jumping over a buoy, like Protest rider Sjors van de Kerkhof’s tutorial above.
Bend your knees as you approach the buoy. Shift your weight to your back leg. Pull your front leg up and pop with your back foot at the same time.
Some people like to let go with the back hand as it helps keep the body is a sideways position. Absorb the landing by bending your knees.
7) JUMP THE WAKE
Want to learn to get some air? Course you do. This is why you got into wakeboarding in the first place. Start by cutting pulling away from the wake as far as possible. When you feel the boat is starting to pull you back in, turn back towards the wake.
Come towards the wake with your knees bent and the rope pulled in towards your front hip. This will keep the line tight and your arms in ready for the landing. As you leave the wake, stand up tall. This will give you the pop you need to get some air.
As you land, bend your knees. Continue on and edge outside the other wake.
8) TAIL GRAB
You’ve got airs on lock. You’re even starting to jump wake to wake and getting a good amount of air. Time to throw some grabs into the mix. A tail grab is a good one to start with.
Keep your handle and hips forward. Go for your ollie or wake jump. Wait until you are in the air - and then bring the board up to you. Avoid bending at the waist. Bend your knees instead and suck them in towards your chest. Release before you land.
Don’t try and grab the board before you’ve got air, otherwise it changes your body position and you’ll crash.