If you’re adventurous and looking for a new challenge, you should consider wakeboarding. This addicting watersport is gaining momentum around the world. To get the most out of your experience, learning how to jump on a wakeboard takes the fun to a whole new level.
Doing tricks on a wakeboard can be daunting when you’re just starting out. But when you begin to focus on the sport as being fun rather than dangerous, you’ll be more comfortable trying new tricks. And to stand out, learning how to jump on a wakeboard is essential.
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Wakeboard Jumping 101
What is wakeboarding? Easy! Wakeboarding is arguably one of the most enjoyable water sports ever invented.
Many people describe wakeboarding as the perfect fusion of skateboarding, snowboarding, and surfing. It was even initially called skurfing. The sport involves a wide board attached to the person’s feet using rubber bindings.
Once you’ve picked up the basics and are comfortable gliding over the water, you will want to figure out how to jump on a wakeboard. But how hard is getting air while wakeboarding?
Thankfully, it’s not as challenging as advanced physics. Grabbing some air is easy as long as you’ve mastered the basics of steering and balancing on your wakeboard.
Before landing your first jump, you have to be prepared to get wet because only a few people get it right on their first try.
It’s going to take time and effort, so stock up on patience. But don’t worry; you will still look cool even if you fail on your initial attempt.
Why Try Wakeboard Jumping?
After you’ve mastered the basics of riding and you want a more significant challenge, learn how to jump on a wakeboard. Not only will this trick challenge you, but it’s also the foundation of more complex maneuvers.
Once you learn how to jump on a wakeboard, you will become more fit since it gets your legs, core, and arms moving.
Through learning this trick, you can improve your reaction time due to the sudden change of position and direction. Because you’ll end up falling into the water more times than you can count, it will also boost your swimming ability and concentration.
What You Need To Wakeboard Jump?
Before you proceed in learning how to jump on a wakeboard, you first have to make sure you have the right equipment.
Many wakeboarding parks offer the stuff you need. But purchasing your own gear is one of the exciting parts of the experience. Here are some items you need before you practice how to jump on a wakeboard.
Stay Above The Water
Whether or not you know how to swim, it’s essential to get a buoyancy aid to keep you afloat while you’re waiting for the cable or boat to pick you up. That way, you don’t have to swim all the time. Buoyancy aids can also save you in case of an emergency.
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While many beginners choose to wear buoyancy aids, advanced wakeboarders opt for impact vests.
Although impact vests are not as buoyant as a floatation device, they give you support and protection when you crash while at high speeds.
Protect Your Head
- High Density Injection Molded ABS Shell with Dual Density Waterproof EVA Liner
- Multi-use Rear Mount Strap (Goggles, Head Light, Camera etc.)
- 15 Open Vents for Ventilation and Drainage
- Full Surround Interior Protection with our "Head Lock" adjustable rear fit system
- Removable cupping ear guards with water channels
One of the essential pieces of safety gear for both beginners and pros, helmets are essential in your wakeboarding arsenal.
When you play this sport, you will be traveling at high speeds. At times, you’ll encounter obstacles that place you in danger. That risk is why wearing a helmet is important.
An excellent choice for a wakeboarding helmet is the Pro-Tec Ace Water helmet. Since this helmet is for wakeboarding, it’s water-resistant, ventilated, and lightweight.
When you’re starting in the sport, choosing a wakeboard can be confusing. If you don’t know which size to get, visit a local wakeboarding shop and ask people for help.
Wakeboarding sales assistants are well versed in wakeboarding gear so they’ll be able to help you find the ideal board.
Often called wakeboard boots, wakeboard bindings are responsible for attaching your feet to the board. Similar to choosing a wakeboard, sales assistants can help you pick the best and most comfortable bindings that will suit your board.
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If you plan on wakeboarding in cold water, you need a wetsuit. Opt for a thicker wetsuit that ranges from four to five millimeters during winter, such as the Realon Wetsuit.
For summer, you can stick to two to three-millimeter wetsuits. The O’Neill Men’s Reactor Full Wetsuit is a great option.
Wetsuits consist of neoprene which traps a layer of water between the suit and your skin. This layer acts as an insulator to keep your body warm, especially in cold environments. You can also purchase neoprene gloves.
How To Jump On A Wakeboard?
At this point, you know what gear you need and have hopefully mastered the basics of the sport. So now you’re ready to learn how to jump on a wakeboard like a pro.
Do An Ollie
An ollie is a simple wakeboarding trick which refers to a jump from flat water and landing on the full surface of the board. To do an ollie, you have to be swift and precise.
To start, position yourself in the center of the wake. Point your board towards the boat. Hold the handle of the rope in front of your chest and bend your arms slightly so you can stand upright easier.
Always remember to keep your dominant hand on the rope at all times. This requirement will aid your stability during the jump.
Balance your weight equally on both legs as you move across the water.
Don’t forget to bend your knees
Before you take the leap, bend your knees. Also, keep your chest and head up, and your back straight. If your body leans forward, you might end up falling face first in the water. And be careful not to lean backward since it will throw off your balance.
Shift weight and lift your front leg
To do an ollie, you need to raise your wakeboard into the air with a burst of energy. To do this, lean back on your board slightly and transfer your body weight onto your back foot. Then, keep your bent-knee stance while your hands remain on the rope.
Try not to move your torso since you might end up leaning forward.
Now, lift your front leg and propel the board up using your back leg. Do this movement in one fluid motion after you transfer your weight to your back leg.
As your wakeboard rises with your front leg, push it down with your back leg. An ollie is a balanced reaction, so your back and front legs have to move in opposite directions at the same time.
Many wakeboarders also prefer removing their trailing hand from the rope to help them maintain balance.
When you’ve finally launched yourself into the air, just stay calm. Shift your weight to your front foot so that back of the board rises. As you reach the peak of your jump, level out the board. At this point, you’ll feel the board dropping back to the water again.
As you prepare to land, keep the back of the board lower than the front to avoid wiping out. Although you may feel tempted to stand, don’t make this mistake. Just keep your feet on the board to maintain momentum.
To land successfully, bend your knees. This trick will also help absorb the impact of your landing. Staying in a crouched position is essential as you do this trick so after you extend your leg as you jump, get back into this stable position immediately and hold it until your board hits the water.
Jump The Wake
Now that you’ve mastered the ollie, it’s time to learn how to jump on a wakeboard in the wake.
To start, trail behind the board or cable to help you gain momentum. When you’re ready to jump, turn the wakeboard toward the side of the boat. The side doesn’t matter; just choose the one you feel more comfortable navigating.
When you feel yourself being pulled back to the wake, contain the board with your lower body. Keep your knees bent and put your weight on the backend of the board. Use your body weight to maintain balance.
Position rope near your hip
To increase the air of your jump, position your rope handle near you. Turn your chest and shoulders slightly towards the boat but don’t move your torso. This step is called loading the line.
Now, pretend as if you are jumping out of the water. When the board reaches the top of the wake, pop up until you reach a standing position. While you’re in the air, maintain the position of your board and lean back while keeping your weight on your heels.
The key to a successful landing while wakeboard jumping is a straight back and bent knees. Align your back with the heel edge of your wakeboard and bend your knees to absorb the impact.
When you land, use your weight and the rope to keep yourself away from the wake and regain control. Try to land at a 45-degree angle.
Ready To Try Some Tricks?
If you’re feeling nervous, don’t worry because everyone feels this way at first. Now that you know how to jump on a wakeboard, you’re ready to head out to the water and test your skills. When you get your first air, you’ll only want to keep on doing it.
Have your own tips on how to jump on a wakeboard like a professional? We’d love to read your thoughts in the comments below!