Are you feeling ready for jumping the wake? If you’re feeling more relaxed and confident out on the water, you’ve probably been considering learning how to jump the wake. It’s a natural feeling – after all – it’s what you signed up for right?
How hard can it be, I mean, you’ve mastered the board and the water and getting up and being pulled – surely catching some air is easy! Erm… not exactly, you’ll need some time to perfect your skills unless you just so happen to be a complete and utter natural!
If you’re ready to start jumping the wake and you can’t wait to get behind the boat to learn how here are a few tips and tricks to get you going!
Learning the Progressive Edge
It’s almost unreal when you watch professional wakeboarders, how they can produce so much speed and pop off the top of the wake. Knowing how to maintain a progressive edge is one of the main keys. In a nutshell, when you move into the wake, a progressive edge starts at first slowly, then moves faster and faster until you reach the lip to get airborne.
Think of a swinging wrecking ball to tear it down even more. When the ball begins to bounce, it is slowest when it comes back from the structure. But it continues to fly faster and faster before the impact. All you need to do is cut out until you have a little slack in your rope to leverage the strength of the progressive edge in your jumps. Then cut back in the direction of the wake, first slowly but then faster by digging your heels or toes deeper and harder into the edge as the rope builds more resistance. Try to pick an angle and keep your eye on the position on the wake where you want to leap from to imagine this.
Stand Tall and Lift Off – Approach The Wake
Your first reaction when you first approach the wake would be to try to leap from the top of the wake. And giving an extra kick from the top of the ramp seems rational. But in fact, it’s only a few moments before you even reach the wake that you get big air.
You will note that there is a tiny dip as you reach the wake that leads straight into the incline. Hold your legs straight while you are high at the very bottom of this dip stand. This is going to help you consume all the speed and campy goodness your wake has to bring. Pull your knees up towards your chest after you have left the lip to increase the height of your jump. Now at this stage, a lot of people are going to put a hand in the air to try, and mid-air stabilises themselves. These automatic moves are often referred to as a “rodeo,” since it makes you look like you’re riding a bull with one hand on the rope and one hand up. Bring the rope near your waist to keep yourself balanced when airborne and keep your head looking forward to your landing spot.
Hit The Wake, Land Smooth and Ride Away
You should already be aiming for your landing spot at the height of your jump. If you have locked your landing area, avoid pointing down the nose of your board, as this can result in some pretty nasty spills. Focus instead on keeping your knees bent and on the other side of the wake, putting your tail down. Locking your legs on impact, particularly if you land in the flats, can jolt your joints and even cause some pretty inconvenient injuries. Finally, hold the same angle for a few moments as you are riding away. This will ensure that you do not unnecessarily catch an edge and fall as you hit the wake.
Fly as Often as You Can
To become a well-rounded wakeboarder, learning to jump properly is important. And mastering the basics will provide the basis for performing bigger and better tricks that you need. Each time, it takes years of practice to perform perfect jumps, so keep at it.
Bend Your Knees To Be Top of The Wakeboard
There’s always going to be jumps where you take big falls, get off the axis, or land funny. Though, keep working on it, you’ll be soaring higher than ever with a little bit of practice and learning how and when to bend your knees.