The majority of us don’t live in a climate that allows us to enjoy the water all year round. For many wakeboarders, the winter months can be tough and when spring rolls around, they may feel a little rusty on their boards. Luckily, we’ve put together a list of six things you can do during the off-season to enhance your skills and stay ready for next season.
Balancing on a snowboard and balancing on a wakeboard are similar in the sense that they both work the same muscles and engage your core. Snowboard tricks involve jumping, grabbing, spinning and board control just like wakeboard tricks. It goes without saying that spending the winter on the slopes will help you immensely when it’s time to take your tricks to the water again.
2. Study/Watch Videos
Just like professional athletes in major sports leagues “watch tape” to improve, wakeboarders should watch instructional videos in their down time. Learning a new trick, technique or even studying videos of your runs from the past summer will go a long way in helping you get better. Additionally, instead of watching your favorite pro rider for fun, focus on their technique and rewind the video if you can’t understand how they pulled a certain trick off. Learn from the best.
3. Balance Boards/Balance Exercises
If you aren’t sure what a balance board is, it is essentially a skateboard deck on top of a cylinder and is great for improving your stability (you can even do some tricks on them once you get the hang of it). If you have the space, you can set up a balance board and watch TV while you train.
Alternatively, you can also get a balance trainer, which is essentially an exercise ball cut in half. Keeping your balance atop the balance trainer will engage your core and strengthen those muscles. You can even do squats and one-footed exercises to hone your skills (more on working out later)
4. Upgrade Your Gear
Sure, it’s not the gear that makes the wakeboarder, but better gear can’t hurt. Use the off-season to set aside some of your hard earned cash to upgrade your board and/or bindings. Love your board? No problem, maybe you just want to upgrade your tower, rope or pylon.
Getting new gear gives you even more reason to look forward to the upcoming season (You can check out some accessories on Discover Boating).
If you’ve never been trampolining, even just for fun, you are missing out. We aren’t talking about setting up a round trampoline in your backyard, these indoor facilities are a great, safe way to increase your jumping ability and control yourself in the air. Plus, it’s incredibly fun!
6. Lift Weights/Work Out
This should go without saying, but any physical activity will be easier if you are in good shape. As mentioned a few times above, having strong core muscles is an absolute must if you want to excel at wakeboarding. If you need a routine, professional wakeboarder Shaun Murray wrote an article on Discover Boating recently outlining the best exercises for wakeboarders. If you are lifting weights and doing core exercises in the off-season, you will notice a huge difference in your abilities on your board come spring.