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Billy Allen Aug 12th, 2019

Wakeboarding – Tips and Tricks

Campfire Collective Ambassador Billy Allen performing trick on his wakeboard.

Well, thanks for sticking with me up until this point. I’m back writing again, and this time I am going to give you a few pointers about three of my favourite tricks. I do these tricks when I’m just out having fun and not focused on my competition tricks. 

These tricks are intermediate level tricks. If you are comfortable jumping the wake both heel-side and toe-side, and riding both switch and regular, these tricks would be a great addition to your repertoire.

The Tantrum

First off, I should mention that wakeboarding tricks are notorious for having strange names. The tantrum, is not an exception. However, some say that the name has a purpose. A tantrum is a heel-side backflip. This was my very first invert I learned on a wakeboard, and is the foundation to a ton of progressive advanced tricks. The easiest way to learn to do a tantrum is to be able to do a backflip on a trampoline, or into a pool. This will give you the air awareness and teach you to spot your landings.

Now that you’ve mastered the backflip off the water, it is time to take it behind the boat. You will cut out wide, like you are attempting a heel-side wake jump. Approach the wake with a moderately aggressive edge. This trick is easier with more height.

The hardest part about a tantrum is the takeoff. As you approach the ride up the wake, you are going to let off your edge completely, squaring your shoulders to the wake. To do this, you’ll take your back hand off the handle, and throw it out to your side and above your head, like a kid throwing a tantrum (there’s where the name comes in).

This will trip you backwards, propelling your feet over your head. Once you are in the air, you want to keep your head looking backwards until you can see the water. Once you see the water, you want to prepare for the landing. Knees bent, shoulder strong, and chest up. Just like that you landed your first tantrum. The next step with this trick would be learning to grab it. Once you are comfortable doing the tantrum, bring your knees to your chest. Reach your hand down to your board in the middle of your legs. This is called an Indy grabbed tantrum.

If you’re more of a visual learner, check out this instructional video online: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFxuxB9bqLQ 

The Heel-side Frontside 360

This is another great intermediate level trick, that once mastered, can be very stylish, and a trick all riders love to do in every wakeboard session. The heel-side frontside 360 is one of the fundamental spins every wakeboarder should learn as they progress. To perform this trick, you want to cut in as if you are going to do a heel-side wake jump. As you approach the top of the wake, you’re going to stand tall. Edge all the way through the wake, keeping two hands on the handle.

Once you are in the air, you want to turn your shoulders towards the boat, and give a hard pull on the handle to your back hip. You will now let go with your front hand, and reach behind your back, passing the handle back to your lead hand. Once you receive the handle, make sure to have your chest tall, and knees bent for landing. The 360 can be intimidating because you are exposing yourself by turning your back to the boat. It is really important to be patient and keep both your hands on the handle until you’re in the air and can give that hard pull to your opposing hip.

The Scarecrow

Another crazy name, right! The scarecrow is a toe-side front roll, with a frontside 180. It sounds complicated, but some people actually find it easier than a front roll. The Scarecrow is one of the first inverts I would recommend. It is important that you’re comfortable with a toe-side approach for this trick.

You will edge out nice and wide, and approach the wake with the handle tight to your front hip, your chest up, and your shoulders turned into the wake. As you come up the wake, you will stand tall, turn your head towards the boat, and look back over your front shoulder. This will push your chest forwards, and cause the rotation to happen.

It almost gives you a sensation of diving into the wake. As you come around, you’ll be able to spot your landing. Keep the handle tight to your body throughout the whole rotation, with both hands on the handle. This is an extremely fun trick. You can make it unique by grabbing the board in different places once you are comfortable with the trick.

Check this video out to help: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlwtpZlZVII 

All of the tricks I’ve discussed are essential in the progression of a wakeboarder, and stand as great building blocks. Stay tuned for more wakeboarding tricks and tips!

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