One of the most common questions from newbies to the sport is how hard is wakeboarding? With all board sports, the uptake is different depending upon each person’s natural abilities and previous water sporting experience. Let’s find out how hard wakeboarding really is and what you should do when you first get started.
Getting up On Your Wakeboard Can Be Hard
When you first start wakeboarding, you probably won’t be able to get back on your board. It takes a bit of practice and is probably the hardest part at the beginning. Don’t stress though, your instructor already knows this, in fact, over half of all beginners can’t get back on the board, but you’ll get there so don’t give up!
One of the main reasons new riders struggle is because they haven’t perfected their technique. Often beginners will try to pull themselves out of the water, but you can, in fact, wait for the boat to pull you up and out of the water and back up onto your board. Chill out with the strength factor and let things happen naturally – your instructor will give you guidance. Also, one more thing to note is that if you’re training as a man and woman that women tend to be able to get back up quicker than men grasp it because they don’t put as much strength/force into it.
Tips For Getting On Your Wakeboard
It’s much easier to get back up in the water if you position yourself like you’re sitting on a chair that has a reclined back while pointing the board out of the water.
The next step is to bring your knees up towards your chest as much as you can. Stay like this while the boat starts to pull.
Then push on your legs with your knees straight – fighting the push of the water against the rope or cable will make this step much harder for you to get up, so it’s best to avoid doing that.
Stay in a squatted position with your bum down and as close to the wakeboard as possible. Do this until the board is fully planed. If you don’t – you’ll be standing up too early, your board will sink, and you’ll end up letting go of the rope.
If you run out of steam – take a break! You’ll get used to it, and it’ll become second nature in no time.
Learning At A Cable Park Is Easier Than Being Pulled By A Boat
If you start to learn wakeboarding at a cable park vs behind a boat, you’ll likely be launching from a starting dock which is a floating deck that is level with the water allowing you to start off sitting down on solid ground which can make getting up and going much easier compared to a deep water start.
Cable Park Wakeboarding Challenges
If you are planning to learn at a cable park, there are a few things you’ll need to know. Being pulled at a cable park is a little different to being pulled by a boat as the cable/robe is at a more elevated angle. When being pulled by a boat the pull will be forwards, but at a cable park, it’s an upwards pull.
Some learners, especially those who started off being pulled by a boat may find the ride more challenging because of the angle of the pull. This means that while a cable can pull you far easier than a boat can, the ride when you’re up will be an entirely different one, and you’ll need to adapt.
How Difficult Is It To Learn Wakeboarding Tricks?
As a beginner, your chances of doing a full-on trick are slim, but if you’re committed, and you put in enough time and effort – you’ll get amazing results and endless fun.
Wakeboarding is more about the end goal than the right here and now – especially at the start anyways. You’ll belly flop and face dive off the wire trying to get your tricks right but when you know how – you’ll remember forever, and that’s an advantage in this sport. It’s not easy to cut hard and jump high across the wake. More sophisticated tricks such as backflips, tantrums, etc. require significant engagement and some level of fearlessness.
Many wakeboarding beginners won’t even be willing to attempt such harder major flights and flips before they have at least a dozen “normal” wakeboard lessons. Riders that board in cable parks typically attempt to learn jump tricks on-ramps in the park. While experienced park borders make these tricks look easy, they are harder than they seem. You can often start as a beginner with basic tricks on the beginner pieces, initially riding at low speeds.
What Is Easier – Wakeboarding or Water Skiing?
A lot of people who have experienced both of these sports would say that getting up on a board is easier than getting up on water skis because the boards are larger. Wakeboards have a larger surface area, and the pulling speed is much slower, which means you have more time to stabilise yourself. Wakeboarding is also a lot less harsh on the body.