How to Wakeboard: A Guide for Beginners

Alan Erickson
3 min readOct 31, 2022

Wakeboarding is like a cross between water skiing and surfing. It is a watersport where riders are towed behind a boat or other vehicle as they glide across the water’s surface. As they ride, wakeboarders perform tricks and stunts for an added adrenaline rush.

Wakeboarding first gained popularity in the 1980s when professional surfers began using tow-behind boats to catch waves outside surf breaks in Australia and New Zealand. Skurfer, the original wakeboard, resembled a surfboard in its pointed nose and rounded pin fins. In 1983, Howard Jacobs modified smaller surfboards by attaching wind-surfing foot straps and partial hydro slide pads, which led to its current design.

There are many ways to get started with wakeboarding, whether you’re a beginner or want to learn new tricks. One of the best parts about wakeboarding is that you don’t need much equipment to start. All you need is a board, bindings, and a tow rope. Different types and styles of boards, bindings, and ropes are available today, making choosing the right gear a bit overwhelming for beginners.

You want a big board to provide stability but not so big that it’s difficult to maneuver. If you’re a beginner, opting for a wider board is usually a good idea as it will make balancing easier. Another thing to remember is the weight limit; choose a board that can accommodate your weight and any extra gear you might be carrying.

Also, it’s essential to use a shorter rope. When you’re learning how to ride a board, you’ll want to keep your rope short enough that you can’t pull it back. But once you’ve got the hang of riding, you can use a longer rope.

Your feet should be placed shoulder-width apart and turned outwards to ride a wakeboard. This will help you keep your balance as you move through the water. It would help if you also faced outward, toward the boat’s rear. When you do this, you can perch on the swim step and squat down into the water.

Align yourself with the boat by kneeling with your arms straight. Once you’re in position, have your boat take off slowly before gradually increasing its speed. Allow your knees to reach your chest once the boat is in motion.

As a beginner, you could find yourself standing up straight. Instead, stay crunched until you’re on your wakeboard. The moment you reach the very top of your board and the boat begins to pull you forward, you can stand up. Remember to keep your arms slightly bent and your legs shoulder-width apart for balance. Do it slowly so you’re less likely to fall over. After getting up, you can begin wakeboarding by slowly rotating your dominant foot behind you.

Once you know how to use a wakeboard, you can learn cool moves like “edging” and “crossing the wake.” You must shift your weight from heel to toe within the wake to edge. You have to put weight on your forefeet and back heels and move in the direction you wish to glide if you want to edge. Edging is most effective when the arms are in a natural, relaxed position.

After some time on the water, you’ll learn to cross the wake by opening your chest and shoulders to face the boat. Maintain a steady pressure on the heels and toes while keeping your eyes on the destination. To make crossing the wake easier on yourself, bend your legs and uncross your arms.

A huge part of wakeboarding’s appeal is how difficult it is to master. In comparison to other water sports like surfing and snowboarding, wakeboarding is easy to take up, and you can start jumping the wake after only a few hours of instruction. Wakeboarding offers an exhilarating experience for anyone can enjoy it.



Alan Erickson

A custom home builder in Austin, Texas, Alan Erickson has more than 30 years of experience in the construction sector.