Sunny summer days behind the boat are hard to beat! If you’re someone who loves getting in the water and trying out new sports, learning how to wakesurf might be the perfect activity for you! It’s great for all ages and easy for those who are just starting out. It’s also a wonderful way to enjoy a day out on the lake, get some exercise, and have fun with friends! If wakesurfing is something you think you might enjoy, continue reading to learn how to wakesurf with some of these top tips!
Before you even get started learning how to wakesurf, you need to first be sure that you have the proper gear. Most importantly, you’ll need to make sure you have access to the right type of boat. Not every boat works for wakesurfing. Generally, boats don’t create a large enough wake for this sport. Also, it can be dangerous to attempt to surf behind just any boat. You’ll want to make sure you have an inboard boat, without an exposed propellor.
Next, you’ll want to make sure that you have the right wakesurf board when learning how to wakesurf. Wakesurf boards, just like boards for any other sport, come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different levels of experience and types of feel you’re looking for. For those just starting out, we recommend using a board that is longer and offers plenty of stability.
You’ll also need the proper rope for wakesurfing. This is different from a rope used for wakeboarding or water skiing. Most wakesurf ropes have knots so that you can pull yourself forward to help you find the perfect spot in the wave.
Lastly, be sure you have a life vest to keep yourself safe while you’re in the water when learning how to wakesurf.
Now that you have all the gear, let’s move on to how to actually get started on a wakesurf board!
The Basics of Wakesurfing
Before you learn how to wakesurf, it’s helpful to first figure out if your board stance is regular or goofy. Regular means that you’ll be leading with your left foot and facing the right. Goofy means your right foot is in the front and you’ll be facing the left. If you’ve ever skateboarded or snowboarded, you’ll likely know which way feels more natural. If you’re unsure, a quick way to test is to have someone push you from behind and see which foot you catch yourself with. If it’s the right foot, you’ll be regular, and if it’s the left foot, you’re goofy.
Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to get in the water and learn how to wakesurf!
Similar to wakeboarding or water skiing, you’ll start off in the water and behind the boat. Unlike wakeboarding, however, you don’t strap your feet onto a wakesurf board. Instead, you simply have to balance, just like surfing.
You’ll want to sit in the water with your feet resting on the board, heels resting on top. Keep a good hold on the tow rope.
Once the boat starts moving, dig your heels into the board, bend your knees, and let the momentum help you bring your weight over your feet until you’re in a standing position.
As you’re learning to wakesurf, remember to not overthink it! Let the boat do most of the work. Don’t work too hard to try to stand up or rush into a surfing position. Your board and stance will naturally move sideways as you start to stand up—you don’t have to force it!
It may take you a few tries to get up successfully, especially if you’ve never tried any water sports before, so keep at it and don’t get discouraged! Know that learning how to wakesurf takes time and practice—you’ll get there eventually!
Dropping the Rope
Once you’ve gotten up, you may feel a bit wobbly. This is normal, especially when you’re learning how to wakesurf. Try your best to find a good standing posture. Remember that there’s no rush in dropping the rope. You’ll want to first find that “sweet spot” in the wave where you’ll be able to keep a steady pace.
It’s helpful to have someone spotting you from the back of the boat. When you feel like you’ve found that perfect place in the wave, toss the rope to your spotter or into the water and out of the way of you and your board.
Now that you’ve gotten up and tossed the rope, you’re officially wakesurfing! Congratulations! All you need to focus on now is staying up! Know that your board is very responsive and that some of the slightest movements will affect your ride. If you want to speed up, shift your weight forward toward your front foot. If you want to slow down, you’ll shift your weight to your back foot.
Keep up a motion of going up into the wave and then dropping back down to maintain your speed and your balance.
Hopefully, this is a helpful guide as you begin your journey, learning how to wakesurf! Whether this is a hobby you want to try once or something you hope to continue for years to come, wakesurfing is a fun sport and something worth learning!