How to Perfect Your Wakeboarding Stance

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

If you’ve ever tried wakeboarding, you’ll know it’s exhilarating but tricky to master. There are so many things you need to be able to do at once - stand on the board, keep your balance, maneuvre on the water’s surface and, if you’re really good, perform various tricks and stunts (or if you’re really really good, break a world record or two!) If this seems like an impossible ambition, just remember that everything starts with the perfect stance. Read on for some tips on how to achieve that all-important right position on the wakeboard.

Sam Van den Haute CheckoutSam

Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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Basics of wakeboarding


Let’s start at the beginning: to participate in this watersport, you will (of course) need a wakeboard, but also some bindings to secure your feet, a tow rope which will connect you to the boat, and then the boat itself, which will need to have a wakeboarding tower. This is a structure mounted on the boat, elevated above it, that provides a high tow point for the rope. If your boat is really fancy, then the tower might include extras like speakers, lights and board racks. Having the tower helps to lift the rider up, which in turns makes it easier for them to stand up on the board and stay upright. For the proficient wakeboarder, the high tow point of the tower allows for higher jumps and generally gives them more time when they’re performing tricks. 

Getting started

As a beginner, you’ll start in the water, holding the tow rope, with your board positioned perpendicular to the boat. When the boat starts to accelerate, your task is to stand up on the  board. This is where balance and control are necessary to keep you upright and stop you from falling back into the water.

Wakeboarding doesn’t require you to be extraordinarily fit, but it helps if you have decent upper body strength, to firmly hold the tow rope. Read on for the more technical detail on how to position your body for maximum success.

The perfect stance

Your feet need to be arranged shoulder-width apart and centered over the bindings, which secure them to the board. Make sure you have a slight bend in your knees so that you can absorb the pull of the boat. A typical stance is with your dominant foot forward and you should try to distribute your weight evenly between your feet. 

Your arms should be straight but, like the knees, keeping them slightly bent and not locked, which will give you better control and absorption of the water’s movement.

Try to align your hips with the board, generally facing forward but turned slightly so that they follow the boat’s direction. This probably doesn’t need a special mention but always look forward, in the direction you’re travelling (even if your mates are on the shore, shouting and waving at you!)

Your back should be straight but also relaxed, as this will help you to stay balanced. 

One of the main reasons why people fall is because they try to get up too fast, which causes them to fall forward. The trick is to stand up slowly, like you’re rising up from a squat, once you’re on top of the water.

By following the tips above and committing to practice, you’ll soon be one of the 2.6 million people enjoying wakeboarding in the USA each year.

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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