After a few months of the cold weather, I like to take a break and visit a tropical island. It’s a welcome distraction and I indulge in the delights of the warm weather. One of my favorite things to do on a warmer day is hit the water. Laying out by the pool can be nice, but I prefer to be active. Wakeboarding is my preferred activity, but I’ll take surfing, jetskiing or snorkeling if you’re offering. If you haven’t tried wakeboarding, I want you to go out and do it now! Or, at least try it on your next warm-weather vacation. Like hiking, you should be prepared before you hit the water. To make sure you’re safe while you test out your new favorite hobby, I’ve put together a short list of tips to help you start wakeboarding.
First thing’s first, make sure you wear a lifejacket. This goes without saying, but I just want to remind you. Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) anytime you’re in the water. Once you’ve got your lifejacket on, find someone to be your spotter. Since you’re new to wakeboarding, you will need to have another pair of eyes on you. The spotter is responsible for you, and he, or she, will keep the driver alerted about your position at all times, and keep their eyes out for other approaching boats, or objects in the water.
Alright, so you have the very basics covered. Now, you have to get yourself on the board. Before you go out into the water for the first time, decide which foot you want to face forward. This is most basic wakeboarding tip, and you should know before you’re out on the water. Decide by figuring out which foot you intuitively place forward. Imagine you’re about to kick a ball or you’re catching yourself after a stumble, the foot you place first will be the foot that faces forward.
Now, take a beginner’s stance. Place your back binding far back, closer to the end of the board, and align it at zero degrees. You should be able to press your weight directly on the top of the rear fin. Your front binding should be between a 15-27 degree angle, and point slightly towards the front of the wakeboard. During your first few wakeboarding trips, you should use a shorter rope, so it’ll be easier to get up on the board and out of the water.
Now that you’re on the board, stay as close to it as you can. Keep your arms and knees tucked in, and stay crouched down until your fully out of the water. As you stand up, take it slow and make every more deliberate, so you can evenly balance and distribute your weight. As you get up and out of the water, keep most of your weight on your front foot. Once you’re standing, remember to shift some of your weight back. As you’re standing, keep the row handle low. As you continue practicing, you’ll be able to hold it higher. The most important thing is to take your time. You should also stay relaxed, and avoid feeling frustrated. Practice makes perfect, and you will make mistakes, but that’s a part of learning. Remember, just have fun with it!