How To Wakeboard – A Beginners Guide To Wakeboarding

beginners guide to wakeboarding

beginners guide to wakeboarding

Did you know that wakeboarding is relatively quick to learn and if you already have experience doing other board sports then picking it up should be a doddle. It is also a great sport if you’re looking for laugh-a-minute, adrenaline-pumping fun!

What is Wakeboarding?

Wakeboarding is the younger (and now more popular) sibling to water skiing – a sport that originates from a boat that tows an individual on two planks across the water. Over the past 30 years, wakeboarding has developed from a combination of waterskiing and other board sports focused on land and snow into the wakeboarding sport that it has become.

The experience culminates in being dragged along the water on a board marginally bigger than a skateboard, lighter than a surfboard and fatter than a snowboard.

What Are The Best Ways To Wakeboard?

wakeboarding being pulled by a boat

Get Pulled By A Boat or Jet-ski

One of the best and most popular ways to experience wakeboarding is being pulled by a boat. It can be practised on lakes, reservoirs and some highly skilled wakeboarders enjoy being towed by a boat in the sea!

Being dragged along behind a boat on glassy-smooth water that stretches on for miles is one of the happiest things in life. There are wakeboard and ski schools throughout the UK which run courses for beginners.

wakeboarding being pulled on a cable

Get Pulled By A Cable

If you aren’t fortunate enough to have a boat owner friend on speed dial and you can’t afford to buy a boat of your own, then the next best option is to visit an overhead cable towing pull. The cable pulls for wakeboarders are similar to the tech and engineering behind drag lifts in ski resorts. One of the benefits of visiting a wakeboarding cable centre is that the cables have already been built, they are cheaper to ride and are more environmentally friendly.

What Are The Different Types Of Wakeboarding Cables In The UK?

Full-Length Cable Park System

They are typically set up on a lake that more generally draws riders along (in the UK) at a constant pace in an anti-clockwise direction. You will start by standing on the dock, the operator will give you a handle for the cable, and you’ll hit the water!   Full cable systems may tow several riders at the same time to get the board down, swim to the edge and resume after you fall off.

It is the most accessible and most affordable way to wakeboard, it is very sociable, but still, something that is enjoyable to do alone, most cable parks in the United Kingdom have a consistent set of frequent riders who are all pretty keen and friendly, but if you’ve some free time and only want to jump on without trouble to land the next trick, the complete cable can be as private as you want it to be. Many wake-parks are operating workshops for newcomers too.

Two Tower Cable System At Wake Parks

In the UK, especially for first-time wakeboarders, these have become hugely popular. Only two towers and one piece of cable in between, a driver or instructor controls the towing handle to move the operator back and forth at varying speeds. There’s just one driver at a time, and the handle can pause and wait on you as you crash. Recently in Europe, the surge in 2 tower cables is mainly due to the small amount of space you need to operate – you can be taught literally in metres of water.

What Can You Expect When You Go Wakeboarding For The First Time?

It’s time to take the plunge once you’ve got your kit on and the board on your feet! If you’re learning on a cable, you’ll start straight from the dock on a knee-board. Otherwise, you can start on a system 2.0 or boat without getting into the water. You should expect the water to be a bit chilly, especially if you’re in the UK, just take a few minutes to calm yourself and relax when entering the water. There is absolutely no rush at all!

If you accidentally swallow any water just remember to spit it straight back out! Your board will float up in front of you, and your buoyancy aid will keep you afloat, although advantageous, it’s not even required of you to be able to swim because your aid will keep you at the top of the water.

The rest will happen naturally and over the course of your training, the more confident you get the more skills you will learn and the more tricks you will be able to do. Good luck on your first time wakeboarding, we hope you have the time of your life!