One of the key things you have to learn as a beginner wakeboarder is how to position yourself on the board. If you don’t know where to place your feet or how to stand, you’ll fall off the board or won’t be able to get up on the water at all. We’re going to break the process down for you and help you learn how to position your body, how your board should be positioned, and where the rope should be when you’re learning how to wakeboard.
Correct Body Position
The most important factor in wakeboarding is how your body is positioned on the wakeboard. If you don’t have this down, you will fall or not be able to get up where you want to be. When you’re up on the board, your feet should be shoulder width apart. Your weight should be centered between both feet, and your knees should be slightly bent. Your shoulders and hips need to be lined up with the board. While holding the tow rope, your elbows should be straight and the handle should be in front of your hips between your knees. You should hold onto the tow rope with both hands, palms facing down towards the water. The board and your body will be in line with the boat. Your dominant foot will be in the rear, while your other foot is in the front. Not sure which foot is dominant? There are a number of tests to help you determine your dominant foot and figure out if you are better suited to a regular or goofy stance.
Your body position while you’re trying to get up on your board is important. For a regular water start, you’ll be on your back in the water holding onto the handle of the tow rope. The rope will be between your knees, which should be bent up close to your chest. Your arms should be straight, and your whole body should be relaxed and slightly leaned back. As you’re coming out of the water, stay slightly leaned back with your knees bent. Be sure to put more weight on your heels to ensure the wakeboard is at a positive angle, and you will rise out of the water and get up on your wakeboard successfully.
Correct Board Position
While you’re waiting to get up in the water, your wakeboard should be slightly above the water, facing the back the boat. As you’re in the process of getting up on the water, you should pay attention to your weight and where it is placed on the board. To rise up out of the water, your weight should be slightly more on your heels with the board angled at least 10 degrees. Once you’re up on the water, you should shift your body to where the board is in line with the boat. Depending on the tricks you’re performing while you’re up, you will need to be aware of when to shift your weight to your toes or your heels to change the angle of the board.
Correct Rope Position
The position of the rope when you wakeboard is important because if your rope is not in the proper position, then you won’t get up on the water. One end of the rope will be attached to the boat’s tow point, usually on a wakeboard tower. The other end has a handle allowing the rider to hold onto the tow line. Before you get up on your board, you should be holding onto the rope handle between your legs. In the process of getting up, the rope will still be centered, and then once you’re up, you will turn your body sideways, still holding onto the rope.
Position Mistakes to Avoid
When you’re first learning how to wakeboard, you’re bound to make mistakes. If you know which body position mistakes are common, you can be aware of them as you’re practicing getting up on your board. Here are common body position mistakes and ways to prevent or correct them.
Incorrect Board Position When Getting Up
As you’re coming up out of the water from a deep water start, the way your board is positioned makes a huge difference. If you put more weight on your toes and create a negative angle, you will sink into the water. If your board is flat and straight, you’ll stay at that level in the water. To correct these mistakes, you should put slightly more pressure on your heels and create a positive angle with the board, at least 10 degrees.
Bending Arms Instead of Straightening
Another mistake newbies make is bending their arms while holding onto the rope, causing them to fall forward. You will want to keep your arms straight as you’re coming up out of the water. It may take a lot of practice and even strength building to keep your arms straight.
Straightening Legs Instead of Bending Knees
New wakeboard riders may find themselves trying to straighten their legs as they try to come out of the water. If your legs are straight, you won’t come up out of the water. To rise out of the water, you want your knees slightly bent up towards your chest. By being in this position instead of keeping your legs straight, the boat will do quite a bit of work helping you get up on the water.
Board Wobbles Until You Fall
Falling is common when you are first learning how to wakeboard. If your board wobbles underneath you causing you to fall, you are likely keeping your legs too straight and your body tensed. You need to relax and bend your knees as you’re coming out of the water and as you’re up.
Carving Hard to One Side
Some riders find that they are carving hard to one side and can’t get off that edge. Usually this means you have too much weight on one edge of the wakeboard, and the handle of the tow rope isn’t in front of your hip. You will want to evenly distribute your weight across the board and make sure you aren’t leaning one way or the other. The handle should be held near your front hip.
The way you stand on your wakeboard makes a huge difference in the way you ride. Your body’s position will either keep you up on your board or make you fall. If you want to know more about getting up on your wakeboard, check out our beginner’s guide to getting up on your wakeboard.