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Tips for Beginning Wakeboarders

Wakeboarding is an exhilarating sport that first came about in Australia in the 1980s. The cousin to waterskiing and surfboarding, wakeboarding consists of a rider bound to a single, buoyant, fiberglass-coated board while gripping a tow rope anchored to a wake boat or an overhead cable tow. If you’re looking for a new water hobby then wakeboarding might be a great fit.

Family Powersports Lubbock knows how exciting a new sport can be but we also know the importance of learning about it before trying it. We’ve put together a guide with some tips to help you learn how to wakeboard. If you’re interested in checking out some of our gear, visit us at our dealership in Lubbock, Texas near Lake Tanglewood, Seminole, Plainview, and Big Spring.


Let’s start with the basics. For starters, the sport requires quite a bit of upper arm strength. If this isn’t your strong suit, don’t worry because your upper arm strength will naturally build during your time learning and practicing. Don’t be surprised if your upper arms ache after your first few attempts on the water. One thing you should do is make sure your grip isn’t too tight and you’re not locking your elbows so hard that you damage your joints. Don’t pull on the rope. Instead, allow the rope to pull you.

Unless you’re a real natural, you’ll probably fall off a couple times while you’re learning. Be prepared to hit the water because this can be painful if your body slams into it. Of course, you should know how to swim so you’re not flailing in the water if you fall. When you first start out, use a larger wakeboard and a shorter tow rope so you can find your balance sooner. Listen closely to the person operating the boat and to any instructors you might be working with because their observation and tips regarding your technique can be very helpful.


When you’re a beginner, you may want to consider going to a local wakeboarding park if you don’t know any other pros who have their own wake boats. Renting a wakeboard for the afternoon is an excellent way to test out the lifestyle. At a park, you’ll be able to rent a wakeboard that suits both your weight and skill level and they’ll either have boats that will tow you or an overhead cable tow so you can grab on and ride.

You will also need to rent or buy a wetsuit to keep your body warm in the water because as we mentioned, you might fall a few times when you’re starting out. Other important equipment includes a buoyancy aid or life jacket to keep you afloat, a padded impact vest that will protect you from falls, and a helmet. Helmets are usually recommended most when you’re cable riding.

Footing & Balance

Before getting on a wakeboard, you should first determine your natural footing style. Regular footing puts your left foot in front of you and goofy footing puts your right foot forward. Regardless of which style you are, be sure to the find the stance that offers the most stability and that you feel most comfortable with. Another way to determine your footing is to run a short distance and come to a fast stop. The foot you extend to stop yourself is your leading foot.

When you get on the wakeboard, you’ll strap your feet to the bindings that affix to metal screws in the board. If you’re starting from a cable, then you will be on a kneeboard to start before hitting the water. If you’re going behind a boat instead, you’ll have to start in the water and the board will float up in front of you while you’re partially submerged. Try to relax and crouch on your board with your knees close to your chest. Stretch your arms out as you grip the handle. As the boat speeds up and you move forward, the board will roll up onto the water and pull you into a standing position. Remain crouched with your knees bent until you feel balanced.

Standing Up

Once you’re comfortable, slowly straighten your legs and keep your arms outstretched while watching the boat ahead of you rather than focusing on your footing. Keep your knees slightly bent while bringing the handle to your side to align with the hip extended towards the front but no higher. Congratulations! You’re now in the wakeboarding position. As long as you keep your eyes forward and your knees loose enough to adjust your balance as your board skips over the water, you should be able to stay on the board and ride like this for a long time.

Ready to start wakeboarding? Head on over to Family Powersports Lubbock in Lubbock, Texas near Lake Tanglewood, Seminole, Plainview, and Big Spring to get started today!

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