Imagine yourself gliding effortlessly on the water. As you turn towards the wake of your boat, you prepare yourself for a skyward launch. You pull the handle around your back and you flawlessly execute a 360. After nailing that water landing, your friends cheer in awe. This moves you to do the stunt over and over again.
This can be you. But before that, you have to know the wakeboarding basics first. By basics, we mean knowing where to start and what gear to have before you head out to the water.
Wakeboarding gained popularity way back in the earlier parts of the 80s. Since its introduction, this watersport eventually displaced water skiing. The reason behind such displacement can be largely attributed to how easy it is to get up on wakeboards than on slalom skis. The wide body of the wakeboard can offer the kind of support similar to aerial acrobatics platforms. Aside from that, wakeboarding also requires less speed from the boat. This means the wakeboarders can go slow and enjoy longer rides before their arms give out on them.
If you are fond of wakeboarding and you have been seriously thinking about trying it, then it’s time to learn the basics. Don’t get intimidated by the learning curve needed to master this watersport. After all, if there’s a will, you can always get on the wakeboard and fly.
To jumpstart your wakeboarding lessons, here are some tips.
Prepare your wakeboarding gear
Coast Guard-approved life vest
To find top-notch wakeboarding equipment, it’s a must to check out reliable dealers such as aerialwakeboarding.com. If you take your time to browse around the online store, you’ll surely find the perfect wakeboarding gear for your requirements.
Your boat should also have a tower. This is a boat structure that stands about eight feet tall that functions as the towrope’s support for it to be attached to the boat. These towers make it easier for you to move out of the water by pulling you upward. Also, they can seamlessly get you airborne whenever you want.
The last thing you need is an orange flag. This is a universal sign saying that there is a person near the boat and in the water. The person piloting the boat needs to raise the flag the moment the wakeboarder gets into the water. Also, this flag needs to be raised whenever the wakeboarder falls in the water or tries to climb back on the boat.
Choose your wakeboard and boots
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Surviving the waters is like surviving the outdoors. You should equip yourself with the necessary outdoor tools.
Choosing a wakeboard is very simple -- you have to choose one based on your weight. Both local and online shops usually display size charts that you can use as a guide. As for boots, know that they can get pricey and that they are sold separately from the wakeboard. There is a cheaper alternative, though. You can go for those boots with Velcro straps, which come in one size fits all. The downside is they can come loose while you are in the water. To keep your boots on your feet while gliding in the air, choose lace-up ones that can be tightly laced and adjusted using a clasp. These boots are quite expensive but can help you better enjoy your wakeboarding adventure. Also, make sure that the pair that you buy fits your feet well. If you’re still not ready to buy, you can rent them in the meantime.
Learn how to use your swim platform
A vast majority of the boats used for wakeboarding have a swimming platform located on its back end. This is the exact same spot where the rider can sit and put his wakeboard on his feet. Sit near the edge to be able to pull your feet up. Place the board against the platform and extend your legs all the way to the water. If you find getting to the water awkward or overwhelming, practice with a seasoned wakeboarder and ask for tips. Also, make sure to apply what you learn by practicing religiously.
Don’t forget to have fun!
Learning how to wakeboard can be daunting at first. However, with constant practice, you can easily hack it. Also, it pays if you learn how to enjoy every part of the learning process. You might fall or struggle to get up, but that’s all part of the fun. Relish it until you can fully glide all the way to the sky.