No, it is not basic, you can find many people that have been riding for years that do not have good edging technique. It can be boring learning it as well. We all love the feeling of hitting the wake and getting some and then start working on tricks. But there are a few basics, if overlooked, can hinder your progression. A good heel and toeside edge, regular and switch, is crucial to becoming a good rider.
I recommend the DVD series, The Book. If your brother works on the basics, and not skip the checkpoints, he will be clearing the wake no problem.