Learning how to wakeboard is fun and exciting, and there is no denying that this popular sport is go-to for an adrenaline rush out on the water. If you have a boat ready with wakeboarding equipment to tow you across the water and you have all the necessary wakeboarding gear (including safety items!), then you are set to start learning how to wakeboard. If you are interested in learning how to perform a surface 180 on the water, then you likely already have some experience on a wakeboard.
If you are still at the very beginning of your wakeboarding journey, you can access our other beginner’s guide to wakeboarding tricks, but if you feel comfortable with your wakeboarding skills and ready to take on a more advanced beginner move, this guide will help you learn what to do to master the surface 180.
What is a surface 180?
The surface 180 can also be referred to as a type of “surface spin”, a wakeboarding trick that keeps your wakeboard on the water while you rotate it. It is a great move to learn after you have become comfortable with other beginner basics as it keeps you on the surface of the water while still providing a challenge. Many wakeboarders recommend learning this move before you try learning how to leave the water with things like ollies and jumps, making it a good next step as you learn how to ride the wake.
Moves to Know Before Learning the Surface 180
Before you move on to learning the surface 180, you should make sure you have some of the wakeboarding basics down. These basics include moves such as:
- Getting up on the wakeboard – This first move takes practice. Just as with all wakeboarding moves, it is important not to let yourself get discouraged as you learn them. Remember, even wake legends, started here as beginners!
- Edging – After you know how to get on the wakeboard and find your balance out on the water, you can start moving your board from side to side within the wake. This involves switching from toe side to heelside, and vice versa.
- Crossing the wake – Once you are comfortable with edging you can move in and out of the wake by crossing it. Practicing this move will help you learn how to shift your weight on the board and move your body in preparation for more complex moves.
- Switch Stance – This is an optional move to know beforehand, but one that will help you when you are trying to learn the surface 180 as the move requires it. In switch stance, you wakeboard with your feet the opposite way that you would normally place them. In other words, if you usually wakeboard with your right foot in front, in switch stance your left foot would be in front and your right foot would be in the back. This switch stance is also called the goofy stance, and mastering this move is a beneficial precursor to moves that involve turning or spinning, like the surface 180.
How to Perform a Surface 180 on a Wakeboard
To perform a surface 180, your front and back feet are going to switch position as you spin your board. This spin, or rotation, will be completed on the surface of the water so you do not need to worry about jumping or getting any air with this one. Some wakeboarders find this move easier to perform if they start in their switch stance and then switch to their regular stance, but you should try it both ways to find your own preference for the move. Even if you do not start in switch stance, you will find yourself in switch at some point during this move, so it is a good idea to be prepared for this goofy stance, especially if it is unfamiliar to you before you learn the surface 180.
5 Steps to Doing a Surface 180
- Lock your elbows in to your sides.
- Bend your knees and use your hips to turn your body (keeping your weight in your heels will help with this step).
- DO NOT LOOK DOWN!
- Use your back foot to lead and initiate the spin.
- Spin 180 degrees in one direction (facing outward behind the boat towards the water) and then back again to complete the trick.
To complete the surface 180 you will need to be in switch stance at some point, either at the beginning or the end of the trick when you find yourself out of your typical stance with your opposite foot in front.
Frontside and Backside
There are two types of surface 180s, referred to as either the frontside or backside. When you are turning your chest in the direction of the boat as you spin, you are in frontside. If your chest is moving away from the boat as you spin, then you are in backside. If you successfully complete the trick, you will do both during the surface 180, but you can lead with either one.
Advancing the Surface 180 Wakeboarding Trick
Once you have practiced the surface 180 and feel comfortable with the trick, you might just be ready to take on the surface 360! The surface 360 is similar to the 180 in that they are both surface tricks that keep you on the water without getting any air, but it takes the 180 to a new level. If you would rather go for a more timeless move that keeps things simple but exciting, check out our next guide to learn how to do a powerslide!
Keep in mind that even though these are beginner level wakeboarding tricks, you should still take precautions when it comes to your safety, especially as you try more advanced moves. Always wear appropriate gear while wakeboarding and ensure that your driver has access to safety equipment as well. If you are not sure what you need to stay safe on the water, check out our wakeboarding gear blog!