Rider is edging in toward the wake with his weight is on his toes


The “rocker” is the bend in a wakeboard from tip to tail. There are many various types of rocker shapes, but the most common are the continuous and three-stage rocker. A continuous rocker is a smooth curve that does not change from tip to tail, while a three-stage rocker has two distinct bend points, almost like a skateboard deck but not nearly as drastic. Wakeboards with continuous rocker are faster to ride because the water flows without disruption across the bottom of the wakeboard. Wakeboards with a three-stage rocker push more water in front of the wakeboard, making the ride slower; however riders are able to jump higher off the water because the three-stage rocker increases the “pop” off the wake.

Switch | Stance | Fakie | Revert

These terms all mean the same thing (riding the board with the rider’s opposite foot forward)


Boards are buoyant with the core usually made up of foam, honeycomb or wood mixed with resin and coated with fiberglass. Metal screws are inserted to attach bindings and fins. The configuration and positioning of the fins and bindings vary according to rider preference and are adjusted for a variety of reasons. A wakeboarder will change the type of fins used for different types of tricks. For example, shallow fins (which do not protrude into the water very far) are better for surface tricks, such as flat spins. Many newer board models contain small moulded fins on the board, allowing the rider to use smaller centre fins and also to create less drag. Board hardware is often set up to allow a rider to ride “Switch” or “Fakie,” with either foot forward. Such setups are usually symmetrical in layout. New riders normally set up their boards to be comfortable to ride with their “natural” foot forward, which does not allow for riding Switch without modifications.

Heel Side

Rider is edging in toward the wake with his weight on his heels


Using edging techniques, the rider can move outside of the wake or cut rapidly in toward the wake. Jumps are performed by riding towards and up the wake and launching into the air. This can also be done by riding up a kicker (a jump). There is also the slider (a rail bar) in which a rider approaches and rides along keeping his balance. Once a rider improves in the sport, he or she can progress to tricks high in the air. As the rider edges towards the wake against the pull of the rope, the rider builds pressure against the water on the bottom of the board and gains speed and momentum toward the wake. When the rider rides up the wake, the energy of the wake launches him airborne. While in the air, the rider attempts to do tricks. Tricks vary from beginner to advanced.

Frontside and Backside

On frontside spins the rider rotates his front (or chest) toward the boat. On backside spins the rider rotates his back toward the boat. Learn frontside spins first since they are easier.


A golden rule in wakeboarding is to keep the handle close to your hips whenever you are doing a trick. If the rider is just going along behind the boat, it is fine to have his elbows straight and the handle out, but whenever the rider wants to get air off the wake it’s important to teach him to bring the handle in toward his hips. When the rider starts his cut toward the wake; instruct him to bring the handle in slightly, and as he gets air off the wake he should pull the handle in a little more toward his hips while he is in the air. That way if the rider lands a little off balance he can give some of the line tension back to the boat without getting pulled out of the front of the board. Having the handle out and away from the hips on landings will always lead to hard falls.

How To Properly Hold The Handle

For wakeboarding, use the knuckles up grip.


The key to wakeboarding is mastering the proper wakeboarding body position. It is a good idea to demonstrate this body position on dry land with your rider before entering the water. The proper wakeboard body position is:
  • feet in a sideways stance to the boat
  • upper body slightly twisted towards the boat through the hips and shoulders
  • weight centered over the feet with slightly more weight on the rear foot
  • handle down and arms straight
  • knees slightly bent with head up