Wakesurfing is a fun and exciting water sport where the rider trails behind the boat, and the wake propels them forward so they do not need to have a rope attached to the boat after getting up. Getting up on a wakesurf board requires some practice and coordination, but once you get the hang of it, it can be a thrilling experience.
Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get up on a wakesurf board.
Choose the right board
Make sure you have the appropriate wakesurf board for your skill level and body weight. In general, larger boards are more stable and easier for beginners to learn on.
Establish what foot should be in the front
As a general rule of thumb, your dominant foot should be on the back of the board. For example, if you kick a ball with your right foot, your left foot will be at the tip of the board and your right foot will be at the back of the board. If you are left foot forward, or a “regular” rider the tip of the board will point to the left. If you are a right foot forward, or “goofy” rider, the tip of the board will point to the right.
Proper body position
Sit in the water facing the boat in a cannonball position with your feet on the board. The board's direction will depend on what foot forward you are. Hold the handle with both hands and let the rope be between your knees. Keep your knees bent, and position the board horizontal to the boat in the water with the edge up out of the water.
Communication with the boat driver
Establish hand signals or verbal communication with the boat driver, so you can communicate effectively when you are ready for the boat to go. Tip: pick a different word besides "go" – this can sound like "no" and cause for stressful communication in chaotic moments. Say things like "Ready" or "Hit it!"
Get the slack out of the rope
As the boat starts moving, let the rope handle pull you forward, removing the slack in the rope. This slow start will allow you to get up on the board without the pull being too strong. Remember: let the boat pull you up; do NOT try and pull yourself up out of the water. This means leave your arms straigh!
As the boat pulls your shoulders forward, gradually rise up from your crouched position while keeping your weight on your back foot. Focus on maintaining a slight bend in your knees.
Shift weight to the back foot
As you start to feel the board rise and plane on the water, shift most of your weight to your back foot. This helps the board come up to the surface and reduces the chances of nose-diving. Remember: look with your eyes the direction you want to go, not down at your feet. This will help keep you balanced.
Find the "sweet spot"
Position your feet shoulder-width apart, with your front foot at an angle across the board. Find the "sweet spot" on the board where you feel most comfortable and balanced. This takes practice! Very small, subtle movements and weight shifts will create a big effect, so practice these micro-movements until you feel balanced and comfortable with slack in the rope. When you're able to ride for a period of time without tension in the rope, this is the "sweet spot" where the wave is doing the work!
Let go of the rope!
As you get comfortable standing on the wakesurf board and riding the wake, you can let go of the rope and start surfing the wake freely. Tip: gently toss/place the rope over to the other side of the wake, and let a spotter from the boat pull the rope in. This will help you keep your balance, and will avoid hitting a passenger with the rope who might not be paying attention!
Remember, it might take a few attempts before you get the hang of it. Don't get discouraged, and keep practicing. It's all about finding your balance and getting comfortable on the board. Always follow proper safety guidelines and wear a life jacket while wakesurfing. Enjoy the ride and have fun!