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10 Wakeboarding Tricks Every Wakeboarder Needs to Try at Least Once

Wakeboarding is a summer fun time: Sliding across the water at 20mph flipping, jumping and performing different maneuvers while pulled behind a boat. We’ve picked the top ten tricks you need to try out to level up your wakeboarding skills.


Wakeboarding is an interesting extreme sport, as you need several people as well as a motorized boat in order to partake in the activity. Most extreme sports are an individual or team sport, but including a motorized vehicle, like a boat, is where wakeboarding stands apart. You’ll need at least one person to captain the boat (though some areas require at least 2 people inside the boat, one as a captain and one as a second) and you, the wakeboarder. Traveling at speeds usually between 16 and 22 mph, wakeboarders hold onto a rope attached to the boat, feeling the spray of the water and cool winds as they speed across the water. Wakeboarders jump, flip and preform different kinds of tricks, while enjoying their time on the water.


Behind the Boat

Is wakeboarding in your summer plans? Regardless if this is your first time out on the water or if you’ve already experienced the thrill, we’ve rounded up a few of the best tricks for wakeboarders of all skill levels. When wakeboarding, you’ll need to have great swimming skills, a boat that is usable for wakeboarding, a family member or friend at the helm, a wakeboard and gear. 


Tail slide, AKA a Wheelie

Thought these terms were just for skateboarding? Think again. This is a lot of fun, and definitely hit’s the mark on the “cool” chart. What you’ll want to do is lean back on your tail while moving at a quick pace, which will turn into a water show with water spraying up in front of you in an epic way. To spice it up, drag your backhand down into the water as you lean back, as it’ll cause water to fly up on both sides behind you. 


Surface 180

This trick is one of the best for wakeboarders looking to get their start out on the water. A Surface 180 is surface spin, where you learn to rotate your board 180°. Since you are not actually leaving the water’s surface as you spin, it’s great for getting used to the movement on the water before you learn to do wakeboard jumps. So, how do you preform this trick?

Starting off, you’ll need to keep your elbows next to your body, bending your knees and turning your wakeboard by putting more weight onto your heels. The wakeboard will turn to point in the other direction, and you’ll be riding backwards, called riding “switch”. The best time to practice this manuver is when the boat is at medium speed, as you’ll be able to slide your board around easier. Soon, it will be a natural movement for you.



Now let’s get to the extra cool stuff! If you’ve seen cool images of wakeboarders cutting into the water, there’s a good chance that you are seeing a powerslide. They offer an exhilarating feeling and an “instagramable” snapshot to show off your wakeboarding skills. The bigger the spray, the better, and it’s a timeless move that is just all-around epic. 



Want to add a flare to your wakeboarding ride? Try doing  a a version of the Butterslide. You can frontside and backslide butterslides, and add in your own flips and jumps to create your own style on the boat’s wake. There are several ways to go about it: You can do a surface slide on a flipside or boardside position, carve the wake and ride it like a surfer, or try coming in on an edge. There are numerous ways you can get in on the action and incorporate various maneuvers into a wild ride. 


Try Riding Doubles

Why not share the wakeboarding experience with a friend? Grab another wakeboard and get everything hooked up to the same boat as yours, and you can engage in a little friendly rivalry! Challenge your friend to see who can create the highest wall of water, flip or jump in sync, and have a party on the boat while you’re at it.


Toss The Rope and Try Wakesurfing

As you already  know, when wakeboarding, you’ll hold a boat-towed rope throughout the duration of the ride. There is a variation of wakeboarding, however, called wakesurfing, and it’s exactly what it sounds like. As you are speeding along in the water, you’ll release our hold on the rope and ride out the wake, surf-style. It’s just life surfing, but you are in a lake, and the wave you would catch out in the sea is the wake caused by the boat’s movement. 


Try an Ollie on the Water

More commonly known in the skateboarding world, an Ollie is also popular within the wakeboarding community. It’s a trick used to get some air, and is basically using your skills to jump out of the water and into the air without using the force of the wake to launch you. 

You’ll need to jump down on the tail of your wakeboard, which compresses the water. You’ll need to pull your front foot up as well, which will help apply more force against your wakeboard and push you out of the water. The harder you push your tail, the deeper you’ll go into the water, which means you’ll be pushed back out and get a higher jump. 


Now that we’ve explored the different tricks that you can do on a wakeboard, it’s time to shine! Most importantly, make sure you have fun and enjoy your time out on the water with your friends. Wakeboarding not only is a fun activity, but it’s a sport that you can grow and learn from at your own pace while enjoying the dog days of summer. Go wide open!

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