Wakesurfing is the fastest growing watersport in the industry and, because of this, there are a lot of beginners out there. We wanted to help get you started on the right foot, so we caught up with Craig Kotilinek from Wakeboarding Magazine to get some tips:
1. Don’t wakesurf behind an outboard or stern drive boat
2. Build a wave by using displacement
To get a solid wave for wakesurfing, you’ll need to weight one side of the boat, favouring the stern. Build the wave on the port side for left foot forward surfers (regular) and on the starboard side for right foot forward surfers (goofy). You can use people, external bags or, if you are lucky enough to have these, internal ballast tanks. If it’s your first time, it may take a few passes to get the wave to the rider’s liking, just be sure never to exceed your boat’s NMMA tag for maximum capacity.
Ideal speed is between 17 and 22 km/h (11 and 14 mph). You will know you have a good wave when there is a clean wake with a nice curl at the end.
3. Use a wakesurf specific rope
Always use a wakesurf specific rope, as they are bigger, safer and more convenient than traditional ropes. Make sure to attach your rope to the pylon or tower where it will allow the handle to sit in the pocket of the wave.
4. Don’t try to stand up too quickly or kick the board out in front of you when getting up
Getting up for the first time can be a challenge, but after a few tries you should get the hang of it. Be sure to keep your heels on the board and apply downward pressure as the boat moves forward. Keep your knees toward your chest and get the board underneath you as quickly as possible, but be sure not to stand up too quickly!
5. Learn to manoeuvre once you get up
Once you are up, you can turn by applying pressure to your heels or toes. Applying weight to front of the board will speed you up, while applying weight to the back will slow you down.
Once you are riding the wave in the pocket, the wave will push you forward. Compensate for this by applying more pressure on your back foot. When you are comfortable on the wave and the rope is slack, you can let go of the rope and ride just by the force of the wave. A spotter should be there to pull the rope in after you let go.
As you improve, you can generate more speed by pumping up the wave and moving back down the face. You can also start doing moves like stalls and 360s!
Good luck out there and make sure to share photos of your first time with us on Facebook!