So, you're ready to become a Wakeboarding mega babe but every time you get submerged in the water with your board on your feet - or standing at the cable with the bar to your hip - someone says go and you find yourself flying through the air and/or water with your arms above your head and your board very much behind you….
Well, Supergirl, we know the feeling.
Wakeboarding is such an epic sport and there are constant progression opportunities to keep you in love with it. The problem is that pesky wakeboard start. It's a big old hurdle to get over, not least because either behind a boat or at a cable, it feels like all eyes are on you and when you do that superman impression, your arms might hurt a bit but your pride hurts even more.
The thing is, the only way to get through it is determination and the truth is, once you've nailed it just a couple of times, that muscle memory will edge deep into your mind and you will be onto the next stage immediately. Keep at it. Because the riding is so worth it.
As usual, we have compiled the best video clips to help you either behind a boat or at a cable park, to be up and riding in no time.
It is older than old school, but for a boat start, this is simple, well spoken and easy to follow…
It's another old school, but this one takes you through a nice step by step at a Cable Park through Wakeboard, Kneeboard and the Wake Skate
And then when you're really ready… You could try this…
(NOTE. Don't try this until you're ready.)
SECRETS - BEHIND A BOAT
If you're sat in the water - board on feet - rope in hand - ready for that engine to fire up - and you're comfortably waiting? You might be in trouble. When you're learning, the right position is quite uncomfortable. Get uncomfortable and it will start to become easy.
Bend your knees so they are touching your chest - now pull them a bit higher - uncomfortable right? Once your knees are nice and high and tickling your collarbone, put your arms directly through the middle of your knees with your arms as straight as you can and then relax all of your joints. Sounds hard, right?
You are almost creating a barrier, using the board at 90 degrees to the water, between you and the boat and in order to do that, you need those knees bent so high that it can hurt.
Once you start finding it easy, it gets more comfortable as you have a bit of time to adapt your position when the boat starts to pull.
Do the opposite of what you're suppose to do
Don't try and stand up. I know, right. Don't? Yea, don't.
If you're sat there super uncomfortable (see point 1) in the right position - then as the boat starts to pull, there is a natural roll, like a hinge on the water, that will pull you up. Let it take you.
Once the hingy roll has brought you enough out of the water, only then should you start pushing through your legs. Sometimes you're being pulled through the water for a little while as the boat gains enough speed but just let it pull while you sit back and wait.
If you try too hard to pull yourself up, it is likely that you will over exert that energy, catch the front of your board (otherwise known as catching an edge) and off you go into superman.
SECRETS - AT A CABLE PARK
Are you a bit goofy?
Work out which side you are but don't be afraid to try both. Goofy and Regular are terms that relate to which foot forward your ride most comfortably (Goofy = right foot forward, Regular = left foot forward).
There's a bit of a technique to work this out - when you're standing on dry land, a stranger might come up behind you and give you a shove. Don't get frustrated and shove them back, they're probably trying to see which leg you fall forward onto - that’s your front foot.
But when you know, don't be afraid to try both. Some cable parks might start with a small turn as soon as you start, slightly left or slightly right, turning heel side or toe side could be tricky for you and actually easier on your non-natural foot forward. Give them both a go if you're really getting stuck - it's also great practise for when you're ready to ride 'switch' (more on that later)
Get ready for the pull
Very different to a boat start, a cable park start begins with a pull - no, a yank. Get ready for it.
Stand on the dock like you're ready for war. Front foot forward, a slight lean back and the handle bar tucked up right on your hip. When the cable clicks round to you, you will be pulled at the speed of the cable from standing.
The first time you feel it, it's a bit of a shock and if it takes you by surprise, remember the only thing that is keeping you pulling, is that tight grip you have on the handle. Let go if it doesn't work out. Just. Let. Go.
In reality, the pull isn't that hard and if you're in a good body position, soft knees, soft elbows, strong arms and a lean back into the pull - you will go with it with ease.