Wakeboard Tips For Beginners

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I threw together a few wakeboard tips for beginners to help you get started in the world of wakeboarding. Getting started with the wakeboarding is easy, even more if you are a snowboarder, skateboarder or do any other similar sport. First thing to remember is – don’t be afraid. This is the common mistake beginners make, the are all stiff and lean back so they slip.

The second advice I lay on your soul – If you fall, let go of the rope or you will get into all sorts of funny (for spectators) and uncomfortable (for yourself) positions :).

Safety First!

Wear a life jacket which saves you a lot of energy if you fall in the water a lot. Swiming with a wakeboard attached to your feet is not fun or easy. Also the boat driver should be remembered that as a beginner you need less speed to keep going.

What Kind Of Wakeboard to Choose?


Wakeboard bottom

You should choose a light board that is easy to manage. Large wakeboards with large fins will be more stable, better hold direction and you will progress faster. You will also be less tired, smaller wakeboard means more drag and water resistance and more pain in the arms.

What About The Rope?

When learning it is easier to be further away from the boat where the water is calm and smooth. The boats wake will give you problems. So make the rope longer.. anyway it should be at least about 15 meters long.

Setting She Bindings And Stance On The Wakeboard?

So you have your wakeboard, your boat and someone to drive it, life jacket and a rope. Now it is time to determine your stance and set your bindings. First thing to do when setting your stance is to determine your dominant leg – which foot will be in front, left or right? This will be very easy for the experienced skateboarders or snowboarders. But there is nothing to panic about if you are new to the water sport. There are more ways to find out which foot goes where. One of the most common ways is this – ask someone to push you from behind and which ever the foot you step forward is your lead foot. You can also try sliding on the floor and see which position feels better.

Wake bindings

Wake bindings are actually “shoes” that are attached to the wake.

Now you can set up your bindings. Beginners should keep the bindings just at their shoulder width apart. The back binding should be slightly closer to the rear fin, so your weight is shifted a little bit towards the tail. The its time  to set the degrees. For back foot try to maintain zero degrees angle, that means keep you back foot should straight across the board, your front foot should be kept at 9 to 27 degrees pointing forward, towards the nose. If you will rent the wakeboard first time you go out (this is a good idea:) ) the angles will be probably set for beginners so just figure out which foot goes in front.

Also – wakeboard bindings should fit. If they are tight you will get tired and even worse, get hurt as your legs will stay in the bindings when you fall. If they are to loose you will not be able to ride for long. If the bindings don’t fit, you can not balance and control the wakeboard on the water and you will fall more often.

A Tips For First Time

Now you are ready to start, what to do in the water? Before hitting the water always check the bindings and the fins for security. Grab the rope and get into position. You should float on back with a life vest on, kind of like sitting deep in a comfy chair. And start in deep water. Bend your knees and bring the wakeboard between your body and the boat. The board should be at ninety degrees to the rope and arms should be on each side of the front knee. The tip of the board should be just above the water surface.

When the boat starts to pull you slowly stand up. Start slow and keep in mind that when you try to stand up from the water, the wakeboard will give much more resistance then when you pick up your speed. So slowly release the pressure on the wakeboard and stand up. You should not try to pull the rope and the boat, this is common mistake with beginners. Let the boat pull you :)! After you are more or less standing and the board is out of the water put a little more weight on your rear foot. This will straighten the board. Keep in mind that this has to be done in one smoooooth motion.  Now smile, you are riding sideways and you are wakeboarding. YES!! :)

Watch out for that boat that is pulling you, do not get to close to it, power boats have screw propellers which you do not want to meet first hand. Also, as a beginner any old rope will do, rope made for waterskiing will be just fine. But when you want to learn wakeboarding tricks, you need to buy a specific rope for wakeboarding.

Now what? Well, the wakeboard tips for beginners end here, you are not a complete beginner anymore.


  • aj wolf says:

    I need instructions on the effects of moving bindings to heel side or toe side. Also the effects of moving bindings foreward and backward and if they need to match.
    thank yoy
    AJ Wolf

  • wakygrl says:

    Just stay centered as far as heel side/toe side goes…

  • cody says:

    im new to this and i dont if there should be two fins or one fin on my board.can someone help me?

  • wake says:

    If you are a beginner it doesn’t really matter, what matters is that fins are big enough to help you hold your line on the water. If you have one fin (that means one in front and one in the back) they should be bigger than if you have two fins (two in front and two in the back).

  • Cody says:

    o ok i ment shoulthere be a fin on the front and a fin on the back?

    • Garret says:

      There doesn’t have to be one on both front and back. It depends on the riding style. If you’re going to ride switch (opposite foot forward), it is necessary to have fins in front and back. If your style is just riding the same foot forward the entire time, I’ve seen guys ride with one fin in the back for stability leaving the front to glide more. I recommend leaving both front and back on until basics are solid.

  • wake says:

    Yep! ;)

  • Style says:

    If I shorten my rope will i increase the pop of the wake?

  • Style says:

    Would it increase the size of the wake do to the fact i’d be closer to the boat?

  • Brian says:

    I’ve just started wake boarding and love it. I’ve been snowboarding for years so i kinda picked it right up. First day i went out i busted my foot up pretty bad though. So my question is what to do to help prevent injurys like these. Should the bindings be more tight/loose? When i fell my foot came half way out of the binding and that was that.

  • jjonthejetplane says:

    ok so i was just woundering wat happens wen u fall (faceplant/backwords)? do just let go of the rope? thats wat im scared of… hehe ;D but ya none of the vid.’s iv seen tell me how to recover from a slip up or if i feel like im going to fall… n im pretty usre i need that info b4 i get into the water… (first time wakeboarder.. got new boat havent taken it out yet im 14 and im a girl…:D) PLZ REPLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;)[s][/s][s][/s]

  • davy says:

    JJ, if you fall, let go of the rope! :) You can try and save yourself from falling until you actually hit the water, but when you do you are pretty much finished and you wont be able to get back up. So let go of the rope.

  • nate says:

    Can someone tell me in easy terms or direct me to where i can learn how to carve on my wakeboard? I can get up just about every time. No problem. But i just go over to one side and hang out. I can turn very well.

  • nate says:

    Sorry i ment i CANT turn

  • Toni says:

    hi, me and a friend have been wakeboarding at sea for a couple of years, with my glasstron (no tower)and we love it…but we have a problem, after every session we get fucked up pain in the lower back. What are we doing wrong?? What can we do to avoid it?

  • ben says:

    The trick is to practice leaning back on your heel-side or toe-side edges. Practice makes perfect

  • john says:

    are your feet suppose to come out of bindings when you fall off the wake board.or are they suppose to stay in bindings.

  • Jake says:

    Your feet should not come out of the bindings. It’s very similar to falling on a snowboard but usually not nearly as painful. You will fall, but after you’ve taken a couple of good licks you won’t be afraid of it anymore because you’ll have better technique. It will work you out a lot, so keep up on your fitness and it won’t hurt as much when you’re done. Pushups and situps are your friend especially when you’re first starting out.

  • Jake says:

    Keep up on your fitness, you are working muscle groups your body isn’t used to. Warm up and stretch out before and after. Also stand up straighter when you ride. It sounds weird but it works.

  • Jake says:

    I’ve only wakeboarded once and it was pretty sweet. i got outside of the wake but when i tryed to get back in, down I went. Am I rushing myself? Can anyone give me some advise on how to get back in easily?????

  • micah says:

    i just started wakeboarding and i see ppl grinding the wake and i wat to know how u do it :P plzzz

  • micah says:

    hey to get over the wake just lean back a lil ad ull be finethats how i do it

  • Vient says:

    I’ve been wakeboarding and i dont know if my board is to big for me, and the board is and , been doing it for a year and i havent done alot of tricks, and i know how to do em, only do do 360 surface( its hard sometimes ) ollie 180 and almost a backroll.8)

  • mini says:

    Um…. this is so annoying and scary I’m about
    to start wakeboarding lessons in east coast singapore and I’m scared of going up the sloaps beacause someone might slice my head in half!

  • sash says:

    I need help can’t do it!
    more tips!

  • luke f. says:

    my name is luke i am 17 years old. i skateboarded for a log time and have very good balance. i have wakeboarded before many diffrent times and loved it to the point i dont want to do any other sport. my question is it to late to start wakeboarding and doing something with it?

  • b says:

    is there a weight limit. for a big guy what type of board would you advise?

  • Zack says:

    I have seen people that arn’t using any fins on the board. Is this a deffernt type of board and can a board that has a fin ride switch by doing a 180?

  • Jeremy says:

    ok. so i have only tried to get up on a wake board one time. i got up for like twenty feet then i feel. when i tried to tern the board wouldn’t and i snowboard really well. i tried turning on my toes like i alway do when snowboarding and that didn’t work what am i doing wrong? plz help!

  • Crouchbaseball11 says:

    Thanks for the instructions. I will be a pro in notime. plus I needed to know how to set my feet.

  • Patrick Russell says:

    The weekend past was the first time wakeboarding… I thought i had though of everything, i was wrong. i didn’t understand how the position of the bindings would affect my riding. The first two times i got up i had my left foot forward.. The third time i decided to put my right foot forward. After i did a HUGE Face Plant (lol) i was after spraining my ankle, or something like that… i realized that on my third try my front foot had an angle of zero and my back(Now injured)foot was angled back. I’m guessing this is why i got injured…

  • Chelsea says:

    I just got a wake broad and it only came with one fin. should i put it at the back or the front??

  • matty boy says:

    chealsea, if it only came with 1 fin then you should always put it at the tail end of the board, otherwise the board will wantto twist as there would be more drag at the front if the fin was at the front. also, only havin a fin at the back will make you unable to ride ‘switch'(trailing foot forward and leading foot backwards) ur best option would be to make or buy another fin or if your board has fins moulded in, ride without the extra fin:D

  • FL wakenoarder says:

    Been wakeboarding for 5 or so years now and have had many people ask me to teach them . I’ve come to realize its one of the most difficult things to teach. Major things I have learned to help beginners is 1 use a shorter rope at beginning 2 wakeboarding is like surfing use rear foot to drear 3 when it comes to Getting air it is all bout type of boat pulling type of board riding length of rope and speed and angle coming into the wake.

  • Bryce says:

    I’ve just started to wakeboard and I can get up but then my tail comes out and I can’t ride the other way and I fall I don’t use the fins tho.

  • jacks mom says:

    40 something mom was a great water skier (2 skis, one, barefoot) in her day. Tried unsuccessfully to wakeboard. Driver said to just push my feet like i was trying to stand up. I couldn’t even get up because the rope would pull from my hands so fast. In fact, three days later my forearms are so sore i can’t hold a pen or open a jar/bottle top! yikes..could it be that he was gunning the boat too fast when I said ‘hit it?’ Or am i just an epic failure at this sport? I never had the chance to get up the rope yanked so fast out of my hands.

  • ddaannaa says:

    I was looking at my wakeboard my dad got me the other day and it didn’t come with any fins! There weren’t any molded ones or detachable ones that came with it/on it. I’m pretty new at this so should I go buy some to put on it or go with out? Thanks for your help!

  • just me says:

    I’m 13 and I just tried wakeboarding for the first time today and I’m hooked. I can’t think of anything except gettin on again. Its weird I like it so much yet I suck so bad at it.
    Well I got up on my first try (but I ski, waterski and kinda snowbord ) but turning is hard. I’m a goofy and I always end up swerving to the right side of the wake then splat on my face. How can I get more control and get back to the center part.

  • Drew says:

    Work on standing up straight and then turning on your toe edge

  • Marissa says:

    I’m a woman, 5’1, 125 lbs
    Not very tall, does it matter on wakeboard?
    I can’t get my body out of the water…..
    Water either goes over my board or if I push my board down its on top of the water and my body is still in the water and my head is being drowned……
    How do I get up?

  • Marissa says:

    Do my boots need to be closer together on the board than if a guy were using it?
    Just don’t understand why I’m having trouble getting up

  • K says:

    Marissa – boots should be closer together, a good rule of thumb is that the distance between the boots should be about the same as the width of your shoulders.

    As for the standing up – you have to do everything simultaneously. Put pressure on the board and pull yourself out of the water while extending your legs at the same time. At the same time start turning your board from sideways to straight and put more pressure on the back foot – this way you wont get water over the board. Hope this helps.

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