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How to Get Up on a Wakeboard

Always remember to keep you knees bent, especially as the rope tightens up.
Always remember to keep you knees bent, especially as the rope tightens up.
Photo by Raymond D. Petersen III

The summer is officially here. The days are longer, the temperatures warmer, and the bathing suits are coming out of the closets. Summer time also brings in a bunch more activities ranging from swimming, tubing (whether behind a boat or on a river), diving, and my personal favorite wakeboarding.

For those who have not followed up with the advancements of water sports for the past 30 years; wakeboarding is a sport which involves a person riding on a board, which looks similar to a snowboard, behind a tow boat.

Those who have done wakeboarding can truly testify to the quick addiction that can come with this sport. But before a person can feel this strong affection for the sport, they must first be able to get up on a wakeboard.

First thing to keep in mind when you are in the water is to relax. When your mind and body are relaxed you will find it becomes easier to execute the proper movements to standing up on a wakeboard.

Now, you are already strapped into the board and in the water. What you want to do is keep the board in front of your body with the handle and rope over the toeside edge of the board.

The term toeside comes from the side of the board that your toes are facing. Heelside refers to the edge of the board that your heels are facing.

As the rope begins to tighten up, you want to keep your knees bent. One good mental thought would be to imagine yourself holding two dollar bills on the inside of your knees. You definitely do not want to lose those bills to the water so keep your knees bent.

Also keep your arms straight and relaxed. They can be either around your legs or between your legs; either method will work. As the boat begins to pull you, the water will begin to move over the toeside edge of the board. Do not get worried because this will always happen when you keep your knees bent. As your knees stay bent your board will naturally move itself on top of the water.

Be sure to keep your arms relaxed. If you try to pull yourself up with your arms, you will end up faceplanting in the water. Just stay relaxed and let the boat pull you up on top of the water, it will be much easier and take less strain on your body.

Keep your knees bent still! When your board begins to skim across the water, or hydroplane, then it would be alright to stand and turn your right or left foot forward. Determining if you prefer riding left or right foot forward is strictly up to you. It is simply whatever feels most natural for you. Most riders will usually ride left foot forward, or regular; and others will ride right foot forward, or goofy. Whichever way you decide you can help yourself by bringing your corresponding hip to the handle of the rope.

From here you have officially learned a crucial building block to a sport that will leave you entertained for years to come!


  • Brian La Rue 5 years ago

    Nice action shot. I wanted to see if she made though!

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