Wake surfing is an exciting new sport that has grown in popularity over the last few years. If you are considering trying it for the first time, here are 10 practical tips to help prepare you for your maiden voyage.
Things To Bring Before You Go Wakesurfing
Here are a few things you should consider bringing before you go out on your first wake surfing trip. Depending on where you are going, there may not be a store nearby to pick up any of these items.
Tip One: Bring some warm clothes
Even though the summer months can be hot, it’s a good idea to bring some extra warm and dry clothes. It can sometimes get chilly out on the boat with the extra wind, especially right when you get out of the water. If you are someone that gets cold easily definitely consider bringing a sweatshirt and extra dry clothes just in case yours get wet.
Tip Two: Don’t forget to pack your towels
Extra towels are always a good thing to bring before you go on a wake surfing trip.
Tip Three: Pack some snacks and drinks
You may want to pack some extra snacks, drinks, water or sport drinks to keep yourself hydrated while out on the water. While wake surfing is a pretty easy-going sport it can still be a little bit of a workout for some. Your instructors at Sol Surf Company will provide snacks and beverages as well, but it’s never a bad idea to bring the items that you enjoy!
Tip Four: Sunscreen
Depending on how long you are surfing, you may want to consider bringing some sunscreen just in case. Most boats, including ours, have a sun cover, however, if you are going to be on the water for a few hours, it’s always a good idea to consider bringing sunscreen so that you don’t burn from over-exposure to the sun.
What To Expect BEFORE You Go Wakesurfing
Tip Five: Boat Safety
As long as you have good instructors wake surfing can be very safe. Surfing with the right boat is critical. You never want to wake surf behind a boat that has an outboard motor. Outboard motors are boats where the engine and propeller are exposed. This will put you at risk of running into the propellers while surfing.
Another problem with inboard motors is that they oftentimes release exhaust emissions out toward the wake surfer. You definitely don’t want to be breathing those fumes in.
Our boat at Sol Surf Company has an inboard motor, our boat is meant specifically for watersports like wake surfing and is the safest possible way to enjoy yourself out on the water while surfing. Surfing boats provide many other features like the boat’s ballast and wedges to control every aspect of the wake so that we are able to safely accommodate every rider specifically to their style and needs.
Tip Six: Wakesurfing Safety
Life jackets – Another key thing safety item in your life jacket. These are typically provided by your wake surfing instructor or the boat owner. You should make sure before you ride that you have all the gear you need for a safe ride.
Swim platforms – A swim platform is a platform on the back of a boat that allows you to get out and swim and makes it super easy to get back onto the boat once you’re out in the water.
These platforms also make it much safer for you to wake surf. That’s because when your surfing you’ll notice that if you shift weight to your front foot you’ll shoot forward. The swim platform is your safeguard to keep you from running into the back of the boat.
Tip Seven: Falling Safely
While wake surfing you will be riding at speeds of 10-15 mph. While those speeds don’t seem very fast, you’ll want to know how to fall the correct way to avoid injury.
Once you feel yourself about to fall, it’s important to remember to drop the rope immediately. This will help you avoid any wrist, hand, or arm strains so that the boat doesn’t continue to pull you while you are in the water.
While you’re falling you want to fall gently into the water, try not to jump or push yourself into the water, and if you can try to cover your head just to be sure that the board doesn’t hit you. This will also help protect your head in case you happen to be in a shallow area when you go down.
What To Expect WHILE You Go Wakesurfing
Tip Seven: Decide if you are a Goofy or Regular Stanced Rider
This is so that your instructor knows which way to set up the wake so that you have the best possible experience while riding.
A super-easy way to tell if you are goofy or regular is to imagine yourself sliding on ice. Which foot do you put forward? If you put your right foot forward, you ride goofy.
If you put your left foot forward, then you ride regularly.
Now you can tell your instructor that and they’ll be able to give you the best wave for catered to your style of riding.
Tip Eight: Getting Up For The First Time
Getting up for the first time may take a little bit of practice, but once you get the hang of it you’ll be able to do it over and over again. It’s an awesome feeling riding the wave!
The first thing you’ll do is sit in a semi-fetal position in the water.
Next, grab onto the rope, and with your knees bent, position your feet onto the board, you’ll be able to get a good grip with your heels.
While keeping your knees tucked toward your stomach you’ll start to feel the boat pulling you. Once you feel that tension, continue letting the boat pull you forward. Don’t try to pull yourself up because that will cause you to fall forward.
Instead, let the boat do all the work for you, once you get up to a decent speed, you can stand straight up and enjoy a smooth ride.
That’s it! If you want a full in-depth “how-to” guide check out our post: How To Get Up Wake Surfing Every Time!
Tip Nine: Maneuvering Once You Get Up
One really cool thing about wake surfing is that you have the ability to gas and brake.
To gas: Simply put weight on your front foot.
To brake: Shift your weight to your back foot, and you’ll slowly drift backward.
Tip Ten: Finding The Sweet Spot
The sweet spot of the wave is where you’ll be able to ride without using the rope. This is the best part of wake surfing and makes you feel super free while out on the water.
To find the sweet spot you’ll need to be positioned in a spot on the wave where the water is pushing you forward with the boat. Once you get the hang of gassing and braking, you’ll know when you find the sweet spot because you’ll feel that you no longer have tension on the rope.
Once you feel that tension stop, go ahead and drop the rope and enjoy the ride. Congrats! Now you’re surfing!
Wake surfing is a sport that can be enjoyed by anyone who has the patience and determination to get up for the first time. The tips we’ve provided will help make your first-time experience more successful, but it takes practice! With these wake surfing basics, you should have no problem getting out of the water with a smile on your face.
Want to learn some more advanced wake surfing tips? Check out our guide on how the most popular wake surfing tricks for beginners, intermediate, and advanced riders.
Sol Surf Company In-Person Lessons/Charters (Michigan)
Interested in private wake surfing lessons? Check out our Michigan surf charters and book your wake surfing lessons today!