Basic Wakeboarding Guide

Find out the wakeboarding basics you need to know from speed to line length, driving tips and getting up for the first time:

SPEED: Get going at just 12 mph for the kids' first time, around 18 mph for adults. Accelerate slightly if you need to adjust the wake so that it breaks near the front foot of the rider.

LINE LENGTH: 65 feet is a good distance for beginners, who will appreciate being back where the wakes are softer and farther apart, though many riders start at around 50 feet (the shorter the rope length makes it easier to get up). More experienced riders will want to be at about 75 feet, where the wakes are more defined and tighter.

DRIVING TIPS: Drive straight to establish consistent wakes that the rider can enjoy. An observer should always be facing the rider so the driver can focus on that path and the speed.

WHAT A WAKEBOADER DOES FIRST: Keep both your knees bent, arms straight, shoulders back and both feet in front of you on the board, which will be perpendicular to the tow rope. Look straight ahead (not at your feet) and keep the handle low at your front hip as you LET the boat pull you out of the water. As you rise onto the water, the board will automatically rotate to be in line with the tow rope. Now you can stand up, with knees still bent slightly and keeping your weight equal over both feet. Let your upper body stay motionless, with shoulders level and perpendicular to the tow rope.

WHAT TO DO NEXT: Cross the wake into the trough to get a feel of how to use the wake as a launch ramp for larger moves and tricks. Jump the wake to wake at a narrower part to build your confidence. When riders have the appropriate skills to take on larger wakes, drive in a steady circle to cross your boat's own wakes - or a figure 8 - leading to a double-sized "double up" where the wakes meet one another.

Remember, don't forget your PFD!!!

Content from this article was used courtesy of the Water Sports Industry Association (WSIA). You can visit their website to learn more: