How to Get Up on a Wakeboard

Tips to help beginner wakeboarders get up.

Wakeboarding is one of the most popular tow sports around, and, unlike wakesurfing, it can be done behind just about any type of powerboat. All you need is a little bit of wake. If you’re just starting out, here are a few tips for getting up on a wakeboard the first time.

How to Get Up on a Wakeboard
1. Set Your Feet
It's important to make sure you've properly adjusted the bindings so that they are comfortably tight on your feet. Too loose and you won't be able to properly maintain balance; too tight and your feet will hurt and it won't be any fun.
Bill Doster
How to Get Up on a Wakeboard
2. Set the Speed
No matter what the boarder does, it's important for the driver to accelerate properly to aid the boarder in getting up, and to maintain a constant speed underway. Drivers should focus on accelerating to between 18 and 20 mph and holding the boat at that speed.
Bill Doster
How to Get Up on a Wakeboard
3. Set the Board
In the water, the rider should float with the flat underside of the board facing the transom of the boat. The board should also be on its edge in the water, at a 90-degree angle to the water's surface. The rider should keep the knees bent and arms relaxed while holding the tow rope.
Bill Doster
How to Get Up on a Wakeboard
4. Let the Boat Lift You
A big beginner's mistake is to try to pull backward against the force of the boat as it accelerates. The boarder should remain in a crouched position, keeping the arms straight, until the boat's acceleration pops the board up onto the surface of the water.
Bill Doster
How to Get Up on a Wakeboard
5. Put Your Best Foot Forward
Before starting, the rider should determine which foot is more comfortable in the forward binding. On land, have someone gently push the rider from behind and see what foot he or she puts forward to maintain balance. Most people will be more comfortable with their left foot forward. Once the rider is up, have him point his leading hip toward the tow-rope handle, which points the front foot at the transom.
Bill Doster
How to Get Up on a Wakeboard
6. Move Side to Side
To get a feel for turning and going from wake to wake, work on shifting your weight between your heels and your toes. This will help set the board on either its heelside (back edge) or toeside (front edge) to enable maneuvering and cutting back and forth. Once you get comfortable with the basics, it's time to start shredding.
Bill Doster