Getting Started with Wakesurfing

Wakesurfing has skyrocketed in popularity as an accessible new watersport. This guide covers the basic steps for novices to safely learn the ropes of gliding across the wakes behind a boat.

Equipment Needed

A wakesurf board is specifically designed for stability. Entry-level boards are largewide and stiff for added control as skills improve.

Wakesurf Bindings

Bindings that strap to boots let beginners find their footing more easily than barefoot models.

Understanding Wake Dynamics

Wakes break differently than ocean waves. Knowing when to drop in and how the boat creates swell is essential.

Starting in Slow Zones

Many begin near the boat on flat water until basic balance is gained before moving to riding wakes.

Selecting a Boat

Most suitable boats displace water to generate waist-to-chest high swells for practice. Ballast systems customize wave size.

Using a Spotter

An experienced driver maintains safe distance and speed control as skills progress.

Fundamentals on the Water

distribute weight evenly, lower center of gravity, carve on the wake and squat to prevent falling when catching combos.

Popping Up Progressively

Start kneeling, then stand gradually while holding the line or tow pylon.

Learning Basic Techniques

Riding to the nose, cutting back swerves and short carving puts initial balance to the test.

Beginning Trick Attempts

Try squatting or throwing subtle aerials like hand/foot drags as skills sharpen.

Safety Considerations

Wear a life jacket, avoid body parts in rope areas, establish hand signals, don’t surf alone and inspect gear for damage.

Being Aware of Conditions

Wind, afternoon chop or crowded lineups require extra caution.

Taking Wakesurfing to the Next Level

Riding switch stanceRacing competitively
Holding toeside/heelsideAerial tricks over waves
Carving sharper cuts360 spins
Butter turnsInverted riding

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need my own boat to start?

No, many surf schools offer beginner lessons and boat/gear rentals.

How long does it take to learn?

Most can stand up within a few sessions, but improving form takes regular practice over weeks/months.

Can other boat activities transfer skills?

Water skiing, wakeboarding experience aids balance slightly, but techniques differ significantly.


With the right safety precautions, equipment and incremental practicing of fundamental maneuvers, wakesurfing offers a fun new way to experience the thrill of wakesports. Dedicated beginners can expect to start connecting rides across multiple wake sections within a few taught sessions.

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