Wakeboarding: Best Beginner Jumps to Catch Some Air

Imagine a sport that offers the thrill of surfing, snowboarding, and water skiing? Wakeboarding is exactly that, and with more than 3 million wakeboarders in the U.S. alone, people are flocking to this unique sport in droves.

Wakeboarding is challenging, fun to learn, and perfect for summer vacation. It's also a great water sport for beginners.

So, why not take the plunge and take up a new sport?

To start, let's explore the best jumps and tricks all beginners should know.

Safety First & Wakeboarding Basics 101

Wakeboarding values safety.

This is crucial for beginners, as having the right footing, gear, and precautions are central to executing those first jumps safely.


Wakeboarder in a swimsuit and life jacket being cable towed

Remember these important tips before getting in the water:

  • Always wear a lifejacket: There's no getting around this one. Should you lose your grip, or trip up in the water, you need to have personal flotation device to stay above water. You'll also need a wetsuit for colder months.
  • Have a spotter at all times: What's a spotter? A spotter is a designated individual that keeps the driver updated on your position.
  • Find your footing: You need to decide what your "forward foot" is prior to getting up on your wakeboard. This is the first you start with, each and every time, so it's critical for regaining your balance when you fall off.
  • Use a short wakeboarding rope, not a long one: The shorter your rope, the easier it is to regain your stance if you fall off your board. (Experts recommend that beginners use a rope no more than 30 or 50 feet long.)
  • Keep your wakeboarding rope low: Shoot for a low position that runs parallel to the water's surface. You'll find it much easier to regain your balance that way.
  • Use the right boat speed: This is important. Make sure your driver is going no more than 14 to 19 miles per hour. Remember, wakeboarding requires a lower speed than most water sports.

With that out the way, let's learn how to stand correctly on your wakeboard so you can start executing some gnarly beginner jumps!

Use a Beginner Stance on your Wakeboard

To execute beginner jumps, you need to know how your beginner stance. This will make it much easier to stay in control.

The most common beginner's stance goes as follows:

  • First, choose the right wakeboard for you.
  • Next, you'll want to fix one of your wakeboard bindings to the very back of your board at zero degrees. This allows you to put pressure on that top rear fin, so you can better control it.
  • Then, fix your other wakeboard binding toward the front of your board, but this time, position it anywhere between 15 and 27 degrees.
  • Since this is your first time, try your best to stay close to your board as much as possible. Stay crouched on your board, tucking in your knees and arms, then slowly rise up to stand.

Now that you've found your footing, let's try some jumps.

Simple Beginner Jump

The first jump you'll want to learn is your basic single jump.

Now that you're standing up on the board, firmly grasping your wakeboarding rope, you'll need to turn out your body away from the wake.

"Wake" is a wakeboarding term used to describe the wave created by the speedboat in front of you, and turning your body away from that wave will create the speed you need to hit the jump.

In fact, the larger your turn out, the higher your simple jump will be.

Next, approach the wake. As you do this, flatten out your board onto the water's surface, making sure you're riding at a 90-degree angle to the wake.

Now, you're ready to make your jump!

Make sure you're firmly grasping your wakeboarding rope and your knees are bent. Right before hitting the wake, gently lift your chosen starting foot up.

As you feel yourself jumping over the wake, you'll need to push off the wake with your other foot, your back foot. This will launch you up and over that wave.

The simple jump is great for improving your game too. Gradually widen your turn out to increase your speed for faster, higher jumps. Once you master this jump, you'll find it much easier to expand and execute more advanced moves.

Gradually widen your turn out to increase your speed for faster, higher jumps. Once you master this jump, you'll find it much easier to expand and execute more advanced moves.

Two Wave Jumps

Once you're a rockstar at single jumping, you can start learning two-wave jumps.

First, you'll need a lot of height and speed, so you'll need to keep a wide turnout before you approach the wake.

To really master your turn out, practice a lot of simple jumps first.

Next, make sure you're crouched down on your board. Then, widen your turnout to boost your speed as you approach the jump.

Make sure your back is positioned perpendicularly to the water, or at a 90-degree angle. Don't lean too far back; that will make you fall backward before the jump.

Once you're at the wake, rise up from your board and straighten your position. Push off while steadily pulling your wakeboarding rope down to your hips, and enjoy the ride!

Once you master your single and two-wave jumps, you'll have the skills to move on to more advanced maneuvers, like 360 jumps and advanced toeside tricks.

Let's quickly recap what you need to know to prepare for your first jumps:

  • Safety first! Make sure you always have your lifejacket, a spotter you trust, and the appropriate boat speed for wakeboarding.
  • Use a short wakeboarding rope, and hold it firmly low to your waist.
  • Know your beginner stance and choose your starting foot.
  • Stay crouched on your board and gradually rise up to prepare for your jumps.
  • Practice your turn out to increase your speed for higher jumps.
  • Start with the single jump first, then two-wave, before advancing to more difficult jumps.

Ready to start mastering your beginner jumps?

You got this!

Remember these tips and tricks before heading out on your first wakeboarding session.

Steven Conte

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