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-   -   Tips on getting a big guy on a wakeboard (http://www.wakeworld.com/forum/showthread.php?t=782848)

RPM_DLX 08-18-2010 11:04 PM

Tips on getting a big guy on a wakeboard
I will start by saying I am a pretty big guy, 300+lbs. I bought a Hyperlite Apex 147 board, which was the largest board I could find. I have been trying several times and we recently bought a new boat with a tower. The tower has helped my progress. I have managed to get up somewhat but as soon as I get up, I lose it. I have had some people say i am too far forward which in some cases is true. Other times it seems like the board is wanting to move around and trying to get it steady is too difficult. So, does anyone have any tips/tricks I should try? I tried a smaller board just to see if maybe a lighter and more manueverable board would help but that wasnt the case. The big board definately helps. We have pulled the rope in to as close as 50 ft but I dont really find the rope length to make much of a difference. Any help would be greatly appreciated. I think my biggest issue is that while I am letting the boat pull me up, I end up too far forward in the process. I guess I need to figure a way to stay leaned back but still let the boat pull me up.

aliwake 08-18-2010 11:59 PM

How experienced is your boat driver? he might be thinking he needs to hammer it cos you're a big dude, but you'll actually still need really smooth acceleration.
One solution to the board feeling loose might be to put some bigger fins on it while you're learning? I have no idea about the axis shape, but i wouldn't have thought that would be necessary.
Maybe if you lean on your heels a little once you're on top of the water the board will feel a bit more stable because you'll be cutting.
If you're too far forward, an easy trick to getting your stance more upright is to stick your chest out, and look at the boat - not down at the water. when you stick your chest out, make sure you don't straighten your legs at the same time - they need to stay bent.
hard to make other suggestions without seeing you. Get someone to take a vid next time you're out and post it up!

hyperlite 08-19-2010 4:04 AM


eccpaint 08-19-2010 5:50 AM

Everything Alice said plus, if you are wobbly, try keeping the handle close to your leading knee until you can gain control. When you are struggling/nervous, a lot of times when you tighten your arms up the handle gets pulled to the middle (away from your leading hip) which may cause the board to turn. Also, your boat driver can help by getting you up in a turn to get you on the outside of the wake.

RPM_DLX 08-19-2010 8:15 AM

Thanks guys, all very good ideas. My boat driver starts pretty mellow. I couldnt hang on with the handle when the boat gets gassed hard, so now my drive does slow and smooth. I dont think there are any driver isses, jusr rider issues....LOL. I did just get a new set of bindings that fell like they are snugger and I am looking forward to trying them out this weekend. I will give all of those ideas a try. I think looking at the boat may help. I know with motorcycles on the street, its all about looking where you want to go. I think in the past I am always looking at the board trying to figure out when I am on top of the water. So, maybe since I am looking at the water, thats where I go...LOL

I appreciate all the great feedback.

Chuch 08-19-2010 8:46 AM

Sometimes, if it looks like its going to help, I will tell someone to let go with their rear hand in order to get themselves sideways the first couple of times. Once comfortable getting that down...put it back on.

tre 08-19-2010 10:29 AM

I find that almost all new wakeboarders try to go forward like they are skiing. It is hard for them to go sideways and get the tip of the board pointed at the boat. I think that is why you feel the board is "slippery".

What I also find is that the front tip of the board is going under water and they are sinking the board or they are not turning the board. I can see the bottom of the board the whole time they are trying to get up (not good).

I am guessing one of those two scenerios are true?

If so, try turning the front of the board just slightly so the tip is out of the water and the back is in the water as you hear the driver gas the throttle - put more of your weight on your back leg at the same time. Make sure the front of the board stays out of the water. Try to get the front of the board pointed to the back of the boat. This is what I've always told new riders for the last 10 years and that always seems to get them up.

cwb4me 08-19-2010 10:40 AM

TRE the thread says he is 300 + lbs . it would be much easier and much less pull if he came up toes pointed at the boat like the pros do.then your board acts like a airplane wing. if your toes are 1" higher than your heels you create lift with a much bigger surface area than your board tip pointed at the boat . then you would have more force pulling you over the front. i am right handed and i show students all the time i can get up with only my left arm on the handle using this technique. it works.

eccpaint 08-20-2010 7:05 AM

I agree with Robert . Using the board like a wing is way more effective and a lot less pull on your arms.

0klahoma_Breakdown 08-20-2010 10:41 AM

I have had luck teaching some ppl by really shortening the rope. We jokingly call it the short bus but it works...not sure of the length but I am talking Surfrope short. This usually gives an angle for the rider to repeatedly learn how to place the board and pop on top of the water. After several successful starts we will start to lengthen the rope.

digg311 08-20-2010 10:46 AM

Here are my thoughts... and I used to ride at 330 lbs... okay, well, I tried to. When I had trouble getting up, it was because I was fighting everything too much. I thought I could muscle it out. Turns out, you don't need any muscle.
Definitely keep your toes pointed at the boat and let that board plane up.
Relax your legs and allow the boat to pull you over the board. Be sure to suck your knees into your chest as much as you can.
As soon as you get on plane stand up, point the nose and pull that rope into your lead hip. Based on your description of the board getting squirrely under you, it definitely sounds like you've got too much weight on the front foot. Shift a little weight onto your back leg and stand tall. Keeping the handle in will help all this. I know when I was bigger I would get tired quick and let that handle go way out in front of me... arms stretched long... and that would pull me toward the front. It's all related.
Good luck man! Let us know how it goes.

baitkiller 08-20-2010 11:07 AM


buffalow 08-20-2010 11:32 AM

Just what rich said. As a300+ (formally 360) that does inverts and spins,I was used to muscling my way through every sport. This does not work for wakeboarding. I fought it for weeks trying to get up.

You will need more speed and rope fyi! When you start learning more, hit me up and I can give you big tips since the physics behind us ridding are much different that a 150 pounder. The mechanics are the same however.

What part of the country are you in? Maybe I can get a buddy to help you.

digg311 08-21-2010 10:05 PM

Buffalow -
If you ever make it up to Seattle, look me up. I'll hook you up with some free sets in exchange for some of those physics tips!


RPM_DLX 08-23-2010 7:15 PM

I just wanted to thank everyone for giving me tips. I finally got up on the wakeboard this last weekend. I think the big thing that made the difference was not looking down at the water. As soon as I did that, it just happened. I managed to get up several times and as my wife told me, once you get up, its alot easier to get up after. Now I need to start figuring out what I am doing once I get up....LOL

cwb4me 08-23-2010 8:13 PM

RM body position push hips towards toes bend knees you should be straight from knees to shoulders don't bend at the waist or twist hips. lean against the line relax arms and lean against the line. to turn put weight on toes or heels .

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