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Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       08-31-2016, 6:50 AM Reply   
I grew up water skiing (double and slalom), started when I was around 10. I am 35 now and back in 2014 I wakeboarded for the first time. I got right up and instantly feel in love with the sport. In 2015 I purchased my own board and started to practicing more. So far this summer I have 20 – 30 runs in. Progress has been slow but I can get up without any problems, go in and out of the wake on both sides, surface 180s, and small wake jumps. I cannot jump wake to wake yet.

My question is what should I be focused on to really start to improve my skills? I would like to be able to jump wake to wake and do some basic tricks. I am no longer in high school so I am definitely more caution than I once was but I would still like to improve.

I am 35, 6’2” and weigh 185. I ride a 2014 Ronix Vault 144 with Ronix One Bindings. I board behind a 21’ IO ski boat. No tower or ballast.


1. The Ronix Vault has two detachable 1.7” center fins. I normally ride with these and the board feels very stable and has little slip or loose feel to it. Should I remove the fins? Do I need to get used to the loose feel?

2. I have a hard time getting much air when I jump the wake. I am assuming I am not hitting the wake properly and not getting the ‘pop’ which everybody talks about. I have watched a lot of different videos but obviously I’m not getting something right. Tips?

3. Is there any good video based online courses? Where instructors give you feedback based on videos of yourself boarding? I plan on taking an in person course next year. The closest one is 5 hours away so not the most convenient but my only choice.

I am sure boarding behind a non-wakeboard boat doesn’t help but I know that a different boat is not going to all of the sudden make me a great wakeboarder.

Any and all advice would be greatly appreciated it! Thanks!
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-31-2016, 7:20 AM Reply   

or can you post a video on here of you jumping? There are a lot of guys one here that know what their talking about.

No tower is hurting you some and no ballast. Just remember edge away from the wake out into the flats. Then coast straight and let the boat pull all the slack out of the rope before you turn in. Then start your edge slow and build it up. I used to count to 10, turn in and count 1,2,3 nice and slow and when you hit the wake be close to 10 and at your hardest part of the cut. If you back off your edge you lose speed and line tension.
Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       08-31-2016, 8:06 AM Reply   
Thanks for the reply. I'm going to take some video to post this weekend. Fingers crossed for good conditions!
Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       08-31-2016, 8:07 AM Reply   
Do you think I should leave the detachable fins on my Vault?
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-31-2016, 8:52 AM Reply   
yes leave them on there. When you cut really thing about turning the board up on its edge.
Old     (scooterinsk)      Join Date: Jul 2016       08-31-2016, 9:37 AM Reply   
I started wakeboarding a couple years ago on a Vault as well. I found the 1.7 fins let me cheat on edging, you could "turn" the board to change direction rather than edge the board. I took the fins off but I didn't like how loose it was so I went to my local shop and picked up a set of 1.0 fins and put those on, it was perfect for me.

This year I picked up a Ronix One ATR Carbon, I absolutely love it.
Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       08-31-2016, 1:26 PM Reply   
Where online can I order different fins? I got my board and bindings from but I don't see any other fins on there.
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       08-31-2016, 2:43 PM Reply
Old     (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       08-31-2016, 3:40 PM Reply   
What speed and length are you riding at?
Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       09-01-2016, 8:19 AM Reply   
@Blair - Thank you!

@Jeffrey - Great question. I use a Ronix wakeboard rope and I believe all of the removable loops are removed. I will measure it this weekend. Speed is right at 20 MPH. It is hard to tell exactly because our boat is doesn't have a super accurate speedometer and being an I/O it is hard to get a consistent speed around 20 due to the boat wanting to plane out vs not.
Old     (Zteven)      Join Date: Sep 2013       09-01-2016, 12:11 PM Reply

The videos cut out part way through unless you get a subscription, but you can read the transcripts below the videos.
Old     (eternalshadow)      Join Date: Nov 2001       09-01-2016, 2:17 PM Reply   
Jereme - If you have all of the loops removed you're likely in the 55-60' range which is where I used to ride behind a 17.5' I/O. 20 mph is an alright speed for that line length, you could try to increase your speed to 21-22 to see if that makes a difference.

As noted above you really want to focus on a progressive edge (counting is good advice). There's a tendency to cut too hard and flatten off. If you were to measure your speed/force it would look like this (on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the fastest) 1-4-8-10-8-6-air. If you find yourself pulling forward it's a good indication of flattening off.

Other things to focus on is your grip, handle position, stance, foot weighting:
Grip - both palms down
Handle vertical position - around your belt line/navel (handle should stay in this area of the body)
Stance - hips forward, shoulders back - it's important to keep your hips forward and not to break at your hip (don't stick your bum out)
Feet - shoulderish width apart, mounted similar to how your feet are on ground (slight angle outward), with approximately 60% of your weight on your rear foot

See this video for an example of what I consider a good stance
Old     (cheesydog)      Join Date: Mar 2009       09-01-2016, 10:04 PM Reply   
If you have the patience, the best results I've seen are when new riders really take a lot of time with the basics and forget about wake to wake for a little while. I would focus on working on re-entry pops HS and TS, switch and regular. Inside out grabs and spins, work on nice big ollies until you can ollie 180 and 360, one wake grabs, 180s and 3s. All of these things teach you about board control, line tension and pop. So when you go wake to wake the technique and board awareness is all dialed in, and you learn to pop UP, instead of just using speed to get wake to wake. The number one problem I see with recreational riders is they rush into going wake to wake and learn bad habits which become almost impossible to break and limit progression.
Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       09-02-2016, 12:31 PM Reply   
Thanks for all the tips! I joined and have started watching the videos. Heading out to the lake tomorrow. I'll get some video to post.
Old     (jjt23)      Join Date: Aug 2016       09-02-2016, 2:17 PM Reply   
In order to practice surface 180 like this video -

I should take the removable fins off correct?
Old     (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       09-02-2016, 7:28 PM Reply   
If your slowing the boat down to do those there is no need. As long as you lean back you should have a problem. I still do them that way sometime at 23.5
Old     (westsidarider)      Join Date: Feb 2003       09-04-2016, 9:51 AM Reply   
Those surface 180s are exactly what you should be focusing on. They really help you learn handle control and rope tension. Also by switching back and forth between riding switch and regular will help on a ton of other fundamental techniques like weight placement and edge control. Think about just moving the handle and subtle weight transfers from left to right foot and such. Also learning to trust what you feel under your feet and not looking down will help tremendously. Once your comfortable with those surface 180s and balance and edge transfers is when you should start doing small inside to outside jumps off the wake and also outside to inside one wake jumps. As you become more comfortable with the little things and keeps those under control, you will be able to safely start taking the jumps bigger and bigger without a huge risk of taking a hard edge crash. It may sound boring as there's not a lot of adrenalin in doing the small stuff but as you start pushing for the bigger stuff it will cut your learning curve down a ton and you will be way more comfortable and in control.

Removing fins can do a couple things, both positive and negative(kind of). Removing the fins will make it easier to do the surface spins and switch from edge to edge but will make it harder for you to learn how to set your edge when cutting ( which is actually a good thing but will just take you longer ). Proper edge setting will help with loading the line and staying in control by not getting slack in the line. Once you learn how to edge without the fins and have fundamentals somewhat dialed in to where your jumping and landing in control, you may opt to put the fins back on and all the sudden advance forward way faster.

Good luck and just remember to have fun and never forget the fundamentals. Even the most advanced pros still go out and do full sets of just the basic stuff like 180s and wake jumps.


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