How much time do you spend watching wakesurfing videos—the flips, tricks and mind-boggling moves that make you wonder, how did they do that?
No worries, we’ve all been there. There is certainly something alluring about seeing just how far we can take our favorite sport—with some practice, of course!
But that’s just the thing. No one ever got to those levels of high-octane action without time, practice and lots of trial and error. Fortunately for us wakesurfers, “trial and error” is all part of the fun! It has to be—is there anything better than getting up on the board and riding the wake, relishing the cool spray around you, even if you fall a few times along the way?
In pursuit of wakesurfing perfection, some tricks take lots of time and practice. And you’ll get there. But before you do, why not have some fun—and entertain your fans on-board—by picking up some simple tricks you can try out today? Read on to see five of our favorites—and don’t worry: these moves may be simple, but carrying them out is nothing short of a splashing good time.
One of the best “tricks” a wakesurfer can learn is the art of the carve. Not only is it a fun way to ride the wake, but it provides a sturdy foundation for so many more elaborate moves down the line—so it’s certainly one worth getting right.
Carving is all about a fluid, back-and-forth motion—sort of letting you rock with the wake at a leisurely pace. To do it, position yourself at the center of your board. Drop back, and turn the nose of your board up toward the top of the wave (pushing your front foot forward ever so slightly) to ride it up—then, swing back down by pushing your back foot toward the boat. This will result in a breezy back-and-forth motion, letting you ride the wave comfortably, while that final push with your back results in a small explosion of spray… a fun visual flourish, especially on a hot day.
Floating, or rising to “stand” at the top of the wave, is a fun visual trick—the wakesurfer’s equivalent to walking on water. It entails a lot of the same basic movements from carving. In fact, the setup is essentially equal! The two moves only differ in the follow-through. Instead of immediately pushing your back foot, which will bring you back toward the bottom of the wave, try to maintain your foot position once you get to the top of the wake. If you’re able to hold it, with a slight bit of pressure on your forward foot, you’ll look as though you are floating seamlessly at the top of the wave, if only for a few seconds!
The rail grab is another simple trick that lends itself to so many others (including one we’ll explore at the end of today’s list, the fire hydrant). As a wakesurfer, you want to feel comfortable grabbing onto the edge of your board with your hand, and that’s basically all the rail grab entails. Crouch down low, keeping your knees close to your body, and then grab the front of your board. You can take a page out of the surfer’s book, and grab with your right hand if your left foot is forward (or vice a versa), but that’s just the beginning—after you nail this move, you’ll learn the right place and time to grab your board to give you the best traction and control.
What many people may not realize is that wakesurfing isn’t a no-hands sport! In fact, because you’re not holding a rope (like you are while wakeboarding or waterskiing), you are actually free—and encouraged—to use your hands as guides as you surf. You can also stick a hand into the water itself to slow you down or help you perfect a trickier move, like the 360 turn.
The rail grab is just one of several surf-inspired moves that can help add to your on-the-water technique, earning you some serious style points to boot.
There’s something especially exhilarating about hanging five or ten. Another carry-over from surfing lingo, to hang five is to simply ride your board with one foot (a.k.a., five toes) toeing the front edge of the board—to hang ten, is to ride with both feet up front. Five is a little easier to start with, though, so that’s worth tackling first!
This is a trick that you can perform any time on board, but it’s actually a little easier if you start with the rope still in hand (before you toss it back and can stand on your own). As you’re holding the rope, slowly inch your front foot forward, until your toes are just over the front edge of the board. Once you get into a comfortable rhythm, you can let the rope go. It might take a few tries before you’re able to hang five for more than a few seconds, but you’ll get there. And wow, is the result worth it! Not only do you get to enjoy the unique vantage point of being up front—to the point that you almost feel like you’re flying through the air—but you’ll also look seriously in control, adding to the stylish aspect of this sport we so love.
We told you the rail grab would come in handy! For this fun trick, you’ll stick one leg and one arm into the air, leaving the opposite hand grabbing the board, and the opposite foot planted on it. There’s no perfect way to do this, but many wakesurfers have achieved success by lowering their body first, getting into a rail grab position, then simply raising the front foot into the air.
The chief aim with this trick? Have fun! It looks cool and you feel cool doing it like you’re playing a game of on-the-water Twister.
Now that you have these simply satisfying tricks under your belt, put them to the test on the water. There’s no better time than today to enjoy the thrill of wakesurfing!