How to Make the Most of Your Wake
The wake jump is the foundation of every wake trick, no matter what you’re riding behind the boat. Looking at the bio-mechanics allows you to become cognizant of why at times you can boost off the wake easily, and at others you can barely get off the water. Often, it also explains why you take the same falls over and over.
There are three components that are all easy to manage on their own, but you must be able to combine these components in the short space from the bottom of the wake to the release at the top of the wake. The concept of going ‘up’ using the wake is a simple one; it is the ability to manage the timing of these three components that will boost you to more air time and make all your tricks look better. Watch the video above to see Neil demonstrate.
Component #1: Body Position
Your body position should always be the first thing on your mind. You will need to have your weight evenly distributed with your center of gravity directly over top of your board. Uneven weight prevents you from properly edging your board towards the wake; when your body position is centered, you will be able to extend both legs into your jump.
Component #2: Edging and Rope Control
The rope can either work with you or against you, but it’s pointless to try to fight with the boat for it. If you tie a handle to a tree and try to jump up while leaning away, you will find it’s difficult to get off the ground; the more you lean away, the harder it is to get height from your jump. If you continue to lean away as you land, the landing will be harder; not only on your knees and back, but also on your ego. This same principle applies behind the boat. Use the rope to manage your body position instead of fighting with the boat; otherwise, you pull yourself right out of the proper body position.
Trick Tip: Bring your elbows to your hips as you go up the wake; this helps you get over the board and in a position to extend upwards.
Component #3: Edging and Speed
The harder you edge at the wake, the more speed you will have. While good for getting more air, the speed makes it difficult to manage your body position going up the wake. Too much speed can cause you to ‘brace yourself’ for the wake, creating further problems with your body position. Think about edging the board under you as you go from the bottom of the wake to the top. This allows your legs to extend up from the wake as opposed to away from the boat.
Trick Tip: Lengthen your rope as you begin to play with these concepts. A longer rope and a softer approach will land you in the middle of the wake as opposed to the top of the opposite wake in a dangerous position. Once you are comfortable with a consistent take off you can shorten the rope drastically so that you are able to cross both wakes in a much smaller distance.