If you’re learning how to wakeboard for beginners and want some tips, you’ve come to the right place.
It can be challenging learning a new sport, especially once like wakeboarding. You’ll find that you’ll start off falling a lot and use muscles you didn’t even know you had. But in the end, it’ll all be worth it, because you’ll learn how to do a new, fun water sport.
What is wakeboarding, and what are some wakeboarding tips that every beginner should know? In this article, we’ll address all of your questions.
Top 10 Wakeboarding Tips for Beginners
Tip 1: You’re Going to Fall… A Lot
Every new wakeboarder knows there will be plenty of times when they fall flat on their face – and you aren’t going to understand why at first.
One second, you’re riding along great, then the next, you’re in the water.
Your wakeboard instructor should know exactly why you fell. Listen closely to what they have to say because they’ll have great words of advice to help you avoid falling in the future.
Tip 2: Wakeboarding Is Hard on Your Arms
One of the first things you’ll start to notice when you begin wakeboarding is that it’s hard on your arm muscles. You’ll start by holding onto the rope okay, but then in a matter of minutes, your arms will start to hurt.
After about five minutes, they might feel like they’re going to fall off — this is normal. As you continue practicing, you’ll become stronger and used to wakeboarding.
Tip 3: Once You Start, You’ll Find Out If You’re Goofy or Regular Footed
If you already skateboard, snowboard, or surf, you should know if you’re “goofy” or regular-footed. A great way to tell which one you are is by thinking about which foot you naturally use to kick a football – that’s the foot that will be in the back.
It might come naturally to you when the boat pulls out of the water that first time, and you’ll know which foot feels better pointing forward.
Tip 4: Hitting Water Hurts
You assume that water would be a soft landing. Nope. When you start skipping across the water’s surface, catch an edge and fall, you quickly learn that water isn’t soft after all. It hurts a bit when you’re going at high speeds.
The sensation of belly-flopping is the best way to describe how it feels to fall when you wakeboard.
Tip 5: Use a Much Shorter Tow Rope When First Starting Out
Rope length plays a role in how quickly you learn how to wakeboard. By using a shorter rope, you’ll have an easier time getting up on your wakeboard. This is because you’ll be in the narrower part of the wake created by the boat, and you’ll be closer to the wakeboard boat, meaning you’ll be able to hear advice from your instructor.
Advanced wakeboarders use longer ropes to get air and speed for tricks. It’s recommended that beginner wakeboarders use a tow rope between 30 to 50 feet.
Watch this video to learn more about how rope length and boat speed are connected.
Tip 6: Don’t Pull On the Tow Rope
It’s natural for beginner wakeboarders to want to pull on the tow rope to get up; don’t do that.
When you wakeboard, the goal isn’t to pull yourself up. Instead, it’s about letting the boat pull you up onto your feet. If you pull on the tow rope, it will make the nose of your wakeboard dig into the water, and you’ll fall. Remember to always keep your arms straight, as well.
Tip 7: Keep the Tow Handle Close to Your Hip
Always keep the tow handle close and low to your hip. It’s very common for beginner wakeboarders to hold the tow handle high and perpendicular to the water like you would when you waterski.
Doing this will cause you to fall. The best advice we have is to practice holding the tow handle when you’re on land before going into the water.
Tip 8: Keep Looking Straight
Avoid looking down at your wakeboard bindings. It can be tempting to look down at your wakeboard skipping across the water. But if you look down at your feet, you risk putting too much pressure on your front foot and falling. So, keep looking straight ahead.
Tip 9: Rent Your Wakeboard
If you’re not sure if you’re going to like wakeboarding, why would you fork out the money on a new wakeboard?
While there are some fantastic wakeboard designs – and you’ll look great carrying them around the lake – wait until you know that you want to continue wakeboarding before purchasing your wakeboard.
Another great idea is to watch out for resale sites, such as eBay. There are some incredible deals to be found on these sites, but make sure you aren’t purchasing a wakeboard that’s over 20 years old. Why is this? Since then, technology has changed, and you’ll find it harder to make progress on an older wakeboard.
So, we recommend sticking to a rental wakeboard, to begin with, and then when you’re ready, go out and purchase the wakeboard of your dreams.
Tip 10: You’ll Be Doing Tricks in No Time
The great thing about wakeboarding is that the learning curve is steep. Unlike snowboarding or surfing, you’ll find that you pick up on how to wakeboard relatively quickly and will be doing wakeboarding tricks in no time.