Wakeboarding is all about getting big air! Mastering a few fundamental wakeboarding techniques will have you popping off the wake like never before.
To get bigger air on a wake board the rider must first understand what physically is happening when they get “pop” off the wake. Pop is generated by loading the line, resisting the water pressure as you ride up the wake, and standing tall when leaving the wake.
Loading the Line
When a rider edges around on a wakeboard the line tension or “load” is going to increase and decrease in equal proportion to how hard the rider is edging. To get the most height out of a wake jump we want the load on the line to be strong when we leave the wake. The easiest way to insure that their is enough load on the rope to clear the wake is to use a progressive edge.
The progressive edge is the foundation for your first wake jump all the way through the most advanced raley variation. Learn it! Live it! Love it! To execute a progressive edge you must setup correctly. Edge away from the heelside wake on your toeside edge. When you get to a point where you can no longer edge out any further coast. Wait for the boat to pull all of the slack out the rope and bend your knees so that you are in a seated position with your hips pointed towards the sky. Allow the pull from the boat to begin your edge into the wake. Slowly increase your edging speed by leaning away from the boat. Hold your edge all the way through the wake so that you will have line tension and water pressure to pop off the wake.
Popping Off the Wake
Popping off the wake is the most confusing part of a heelside jump for most riders. Most riders want to flatten out and push off the wake which will not work. When you flatten off you lose line tension and the water pressure on your board decreases, which eliminates your pop. To properly pop off the wake hold your edge all the way up the wake and stand all the way tall as you ride up the wake so that when you leave the wake all the water pressure in on your heels and your legs are completely locked out. You are not so much jumping the wake as you are pressing against the water and pushing your hips up and out as you ride up the wake.
Body Position In The Air
Now that you are flying higher through the air with more control you can suck your knees up and grab your board, or you can stay in a tall position to setup for the landing.
The softest and easiest landing will come from landing on edge at the same angle you left the opposite wake from. If you land flat and break at the waist you will lose control and fall forward. Land on edge with your hips and chest facing up and absorb the landing by bending your knees. If you do all of this correctly you will be setup perfectly for a toeside wake jump.
I hope this advice takes your riding to new heights! If you want to learn more about wakeboard technique stop by Riptank Boardshop in Lubbock, TX and we would be thrilled to help you out!