Moving across the water on a wakeboard as you are towed behind a boat is an exhilarating watersport. Otherwise known as wakeboarding, this exciting, popular sport is great for an adrenaline rush. When you are a beginner wakeboarder, you are going to need to be patient with yourself and be prepared to land in the water more often than you land your tricks, but if you stick to beginner-level moves at first then you will have a better time while you learn and perfect your new wakeboarding skills.
Starting out by learning moves that keep your wakeboard on the water, like slides, is easier and better for your safety. If you have already mastered less complex beginner surface wakeboarding moves, then you might just be ready for the butter slide!
What is the butter slide?
As you are learning how to slide across the water, one move you will want to learn as a beginner wakeboarder is the butter slide. You can perform this wakeboarding trick in a number of ways, but at its core the move is about sliding your wakeboard sideways across the water and grinding the wake. It is a more advanced move that requires that you have some other basics down first (so be prepared with the right wakeboarding gear!), but once you are ready to try this one on you are in for a great adrenaline rush!
Moves to Know Before Learning the Butter Slide
The butter slide is a type of slide wakeboarding trick, but it is a little more complicated than simply gliding across the water. If you have not already mastered some more basic moves before taking this one on, it may be a good idea to start with the following and come back to this one after you have some more experience on the wakeboard:
- Getting Up on the Wakeboard – The very first thing you should know how to do before you can ride the wake is how to get up on the wakeboard. This skill is the first thing every wakeboarder learns. It acquaints you with the wakeboard, water and movement of the watersport to get you ready for more. We teamed up with professional wakeboarder, Cobe Mikacich, to help you learn this wakeboarding skill!
- Edging – Edging requires balance and ability to maneuver the wakeboard on the water as you ride from side to side within the wake. This move can be performed both heel side and toeside, so it is a great move to learn before trying to slide your board across the water.
- Riding Switch – If you want to do a butter slide 180, you are going to need to know how to ride switch first. When you are riding in switch stance, you ride with your feet the opposite way you would normally have them placed. For example, if you normally ride the wake with your right foot in front on the wakeboard, then your left foot would be in front instead when you are in switch. Otherwise known as the goofy stance, this move is a must-have wakeboarding skill for more advanced tricks, like the surface 180 and butter slide.
How to Perform the Butter Slide on a Wakeboard
Learning the butter slide is going to help you learn board control, so as a beginner wakeboarder this is an ideal move to add to your list of wakeboarding tricks to learn as you play on the water. To perform the trick, you are going to turn your board at an angle and grind the wake. The steps involved to perform the move depend on which one you are doing, as it comes in several different types.
Different Types of Butter Slides
- Frontside Butter Slide – Frontside means that the front of your body is facing in the direction you are travelling as you rotate the wakeboard. In a frontside butter slide you move your wakeboard at a 90 degree angle while facing where you are going.
- Backside Butter Slide – Backside means that the front of your body is facing away from of the direction you are travelling as you rotate the wakeboard. In other words, your back will be facing where you are going. In a backside butter slide you move your wakeboard at a 90 degree angle while facing the opposite direction of where you are going, making this type of slide slightly more complex for beginners.
- Butter Slide 180 – A butter slide 180 is like a butter slide, but you add more of an angle. So, instead of turning at just 90 degrees, you rotate your wakeboard to a 180 degree angle. This type is best saved until after you can successfully perform a basic, frontside butter slide.
6 Steps to Doing a Butter Slide
There will be variations on these steps depending on which type of butter slide you want to perform, but here are six steps to a basic, frontside butter slide:
- Approach the wake toeside.
- As you reach the top of the wake, let go of the handle with your front hand.
- Pull your front foot towards you. This should kick the tail of your wakeboard into the wake.
- Move the board so that it is sideways at a 90 degree angle over the wake, keeping your body weight even on both feet. If done properly, the only part of your board touching the water at this time should be the center of it.
- Keep the rope tight to your hips and lean back and slide for as long as you like!
- To end the trick, pull the handle to your back hip and slide your back foot towards the boat and front foot towards the wake. You want to edge away from the wake on your toes.
Take Your Butter Slide to the Next Level
If you feel ready to take your butter slide to the next level, then try the butter slide 180 or a nothing butter slide. With a nothing butter slide, you put the handle between your knees while you are in a butter slide. This one is definitely a more advanced wakeboarding trick, but once you have all the other basics down and you have found your confidence as a rider, it is time to challenge yourself to hone your wakeboarding skills.
As you continue practicing wakeboarding and learning new moves, remember that even wake legends had to start somewhere and they were beginners once, too. So, try not to let yourself get discouraged, and good luck out there on the water!