Wake-boarding is a fun way to get a good workout and the Intracoastal Waterway & Bogue Sound are the perfect places to give it a shot.
The wet & wild cousin of skateboarding, snowboarding, waterskiing & surfing, wakeboarding is one of the fastest growing water sports in the world!
1. Wear a Lifejacket:
This tips section is no exception to this extremely important boating safety rule. Be sure to wear a life preserver, or personal flotation device (PFD), at all times when you are on the water
2. Use a Spotter
Make sure you have a designated spotter to help alert the driver to your position at all times and keep an eye out for other approaching boats or objects in the water.
3. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Before you go out on the water for the first time, one of the most basic wake-boarding tips to remember is to decide which foot you want to face forward. The foot you choose should be the foot you always instinctively put forward. When I first started to wake-board, my driver stood behind me and pushed me with slight force. Whichever foot landed forward to catch my balance was the foot I chose to face forward while wake-boarding.
4. Use a Beginner Wake-Boarding Stance
This will make the board easier to control and navigate in the water. The best way to position yourself as a new wake-boarder is to place the back binding as far back towards the end of the board and align it at zero degrees so that your weight is able to press directly on top of the rear fin. The front binding should be angled (around 15 degrees) and slightly pointed towards the front of the board.
5. Use a Shorter Rope
The shorter the length of the rope, the easier it is for beginners to get up and out of the water. The recommended length for a beginner is about 30-50 feet.
6. Stay Close to the Board at First
Keep your arms and knees tucked in and stay crouched down until you are fully out of the water. Then try standing slowly and deliberately so that balance and weight distribution are evenly maintained.
7. Distribute Your Weight Correctly
When trying to stand up and get out of the water, most of your weight needs to be on your front foot (about 60%). Once you are in a standing position, make sure to shift the weight back to distribute it evenly on the board.
8. Keep the Tow Handle Low
Beginners will find it easier to stay up if the rope handle is held in a lowered position that is parallel to the water.
9. Use the Correct Boat Speed
Be sure to make the boat driver aware that wake-boarding requires less boat speed than water-skiing or other water sports. The maximum recommended speed should be around 15-20 mph
10. Check Conditions
Be sure to check the conditions of the environment before wake-boarding. Windy conditions are often detrimental to wake-boarders because of preexisting waves. The purpose of wake-boarding is to ride the wake being made by the boat. When the water is already rough and choppy, it is much more difficult to stand up and get out of the water.
DO NOT WAKE-BOARD AT NIGHT – It is a hazard to both you and other boaters. Wake-boarding, as well as many other water sports, should only be done during the day when it is light out so others can see you!
11. Keep Calm and Wake-Board On!
Take your time, stay relaxed, and remember that practice makes perfect! Don’t become frustrated if it takes several tries or more to get up on your first time. Mistakes and spills are a normal part of the learning process!
Check out this video of me wake-boarding in the Bogue Sound
Special *SHOUT-OUT* to Jay W. for being my boat driver and to Maria L. for being my spotter!