Have you ever watched someone wakeboarding behind a boat and been curious about trying it out for yourself? Maybe you hang out on the boat while your friends are popping off the wake, intimidated by the sport? Wakeboarding is a fun water sport, and although it has a bit of a learning curve, once you learn how to get up on a wakeboard (and stay up!), we can guarantee that you’ll eagerly return to the lake with your board every summer!
Before you get started, you’ll want to be sure you’re using the proper wakeboard. With a variety of sizes and styles, it can be hard to know what one suits you best. Be sure you refer to our wakeboard sizing guide to understand what size and style you’ll need. You’ll find helpful tips on how to tell the difference between different designs and which wakeboards are best for beginners.
You’ll also need wakeboard bindings. These are what keep your feet secured to the board. Before you mount them, determine whether you ride regular or goofy. If you’ve ever skateboarded or snowboarded, you’ll probably know which way you ride. If not, find which leg is your dominant leg (you can do this by having someone push you from behind and see which leg you catch yourself with). If your right leg is dominant, you will ride regular with your left foot on the front of the wakeboard. If your left leg is dominant, it will be the opposite.
For beginners, your wakeboard bindings will likely be a binding and boot combo. For more experienced riders, you can pivot to a wakeboard boot that is separate from the binding.
In addition to bindings, you’ll need a wakeboard handle and line as well as a life jacket or wakeboard vest that fits you so that you can stay safe when getting pulled behind the boat! Now, you have all you need to learn how to get up on a wakeboard. You’ll have a much better experience learning on a set-up that is right for you, rather than a friend’s set-up that may be geared toward advanced riders or different size people.
Weather and water conditions can be a make or break for those learning how to get up on a wakeboard. First, check both the air and water temperatures so that you know you’ll be comfortable and not too cold. This is especially important when you’re going out for the first time, since you’ll be using a lot of energy trying to get up, and you’ll get tired faster when your body is cold.
Next, be sure it’s not too windy. Choppy water is never ideal when learning a new water sport, especially something trickier like learning how to get up on a wakeboard. Be sure the water is calm, and double check the forecast before heading out, since summer storms can pop up fast!
Getting Up on a Wakeboard
Now, it’s time to officially learn how to get up on a wakeboard! First, you’ll need to secure your feet in the wakeboard bindings while you’re on the boat and then slowly and carefully lower yourself into the water. You’ll want to be floating with your legs and wakeboard out in front of you, with your board perpendicular to the water.
Next, grab the line handle and hold it in front of you. The line should go between your feet and you should grip the handle with both hands. Your arms should be relaxed, and your knees should be bent. Essentially, you should be in a sitting position in the water.
Once you give the signal and the boat starts driving, you’ll be pulled forward. Keep your knees bent and stay in a crouched position while you allow your arms to straighten.
As soon as you’re pulled in a standing position, your wakeboard will turn itself so that your front foot is now facing forward and your body will be facing to the side and away from the boat. Use your hip to guide it in this direction as well.
Congratulations! You’ve now learned how to get up on a wakeboard! Remember that this likely won’t happen on your first try, so don’t get discouraged! It may take you a number of tries before you’ll be able to stand up successfully.
There are a number of mistakes that beginners make when they’re first learning how to get up on a wakeboard, so we’ll cover the most common ones.
The first is forcing yourself to a standing position when the boat starts moving. This is what many first-timers struggle with, so by simply being aware of it, this is something you can avoid! To successfully get up on your board, you shouldn’t feel like you need to force yourself up. Instead, the momentum of the boat will naturally help you into a standing position.
Another common mistake is forcing yourself to keep trying after you’ve worn yourself out. It may be frustrating to keep trying over and over again only to fall each time. But if you keep pushing yourself beyond your physical limits, you’ll grow fatigued, making it more difficult to stand up since your arms and legs will be shaky.
Another helpful tip: when you start to fall, remember to let go of the tow rope handle! It can be tempting to want to hold on for dear life but holding on for too long will result in faceplants and sore hands! So, once you hit the water, or if you feel yourself falling and know there’s no catching yourself, simply let go and try to stay relaxed!
Now that you’ve learned how to get up on a wakeboard, you’ll just need to learn how to stay up!
First, you’ll want to keep your knees bent the entire time you’re standing. This will help you to stay more sturdy and give you more control of your movements.
Next, know that you have a few options. You can stay directly behind the boat, which you may want to do the first few times you’re starting out and finding your balance. When you’re feeling adventurous, get comfortable with your edges on your wakeboard, and you can learn to cross the wake.
Hopefully, this guide will help you while you’re learning how to get up on a wakeboard! Just remember that wakeboarding, like any other sport, requires a lot of practice, so keep at it and you’re sure to improve in no time!