This was the summer of learning
We finally figured it out.
After getting the video "Class In Session I" and many
attempts, the kids, friends and I can now successfully wakeboard.
We spent much more time this summer boarding than skiing.
Here is David airborne on my board.
Yes, even big guys can board
Last summer I tried to get up on David's board (135cm) and could
not. This summer I got a Liquid Force Rhythm 147 cm. The larger
board was a big help. I got up on my third try.
When learning, it helped to have the front binding facing more
nearly forward on the board. After a bit we changed to a neutral
stance to be able to switch to a "goofy" stance with
the other foot forward.
As we learned, it was a fun competition between David and myself
to see who could do the next trick. We kept leap-frogging each
other and goading each other on to do more.
After becoming comfortable in the normal stance we then moved
on to goofy. Once we could ride in either stance it was time for
180s. There are many variations with increasing levels of difficulty.
Photography and falls
Timing is everything and with a digital camera, the 1-2 second
delay after you depress the shutter release is very annoying.
When he pushed the button I looked REALLY GOOD (honest). Anyway
the shot did capture one of my many spectacular falls. Lots of
water in the air is good for the amusement of the spectators in
This landing did not hurt. Front edge catches are another matter
altogether. We learned to release early on a forward fall to avoid
being slapped on the water and having the insides of our eyelids
To hold 'em or to fold 'em?
Knowing when to let go of the handle is also important. Holding
on too long can result in a painful face plant. This is usually
done by catching the leading edge of the board and then slapping
the water hard with your body (kind of like a high speed belly
flop) and peelng your eye lids open on impact.
Sometimes, you just loose your grip. Hard to tell exactly what
David was thinking here.
Amusing the spotter
Our attepmts to learn new tricks provides nearly endless amusement for the spotter.
Whether we go (too) big and fall or "save" a landing with some spectacular maneuvering, the wakeboarding is fun to watch.
Teaching and learning
Last summer (2002)we taught a total of 10 people how to board.
We have now mastered 180s both on the surface and wake. Power
slides and butter slides are a lot of fun. For more information
on tricks and techniques try: http://www.wakeboarder.com/tricks/tricks.phtml
The "Detention" and "Class in session" videos
are a big help as well.
This summer clearing the wake has become much more consistent
with the pylon and side sacks.
So far, we have not yet successfully landed a 360 or a flip.
Having a pylon is a big advantage. We went boarding on a friend's
boat with a pylon the ease of getting up is a big difference ,
but also the increase in altitude on jumps is tremendous.
Here is a shot of Elyse learning.
At first skiers who make the transition to boarding hold the
rope in front of them rather than at the hip. This causes them
to go through the water at an angle and zoom out of the wake in
an uncontrolled manner. Invariably they will be out on heel side
and then are stuck as they cannot turn strongly enough to toe
side to cross back in the wake.
Simply letting go with the rear hand allows the handle to move
to your side and straighten out.
This allows the boarder to practice in the wake and get comfortable
with steering heel to toe.
This page last updated 7/19/03
©2000-2003 Mark Bronkalla