Dominik Gührs beim Wakeboard-Event Red Bull Rising High in Aktion
© Florian Süß / Red Bull Content Pool
Wakeboarding

Wakeboard tricks: 7 tips to help you get started!

So you've been wakeboarding a few times and want a new challenge, or to take your self to the next level? Then it's time to learn a few tricks!
By Andi Spies (translation by Stephen Farrelly)
6 min readPublished on
Wakeboard pro Felix Georgii has some tips ready for you to work on your trick skills step by step.
01

Tricks in the Flat

If you do a trick on the water, ie without obstacles or the cable line, it is called "doing a trick on the flat". These are probably the safest manoeuvres you can try.

Bunny Hop or Ollie

The simplest but also the most essential trick in wakeboarding, the ollie or bunny hop is important as many other tricks, such as jumping on obstacles, are based on it.
The ollie is an unassisted attempt to jump out of the water. Here you push the board down with a short and hard impulse while pulling the front knee. The board comes out of the water. The longer you practice, the higher your bunny hops should get - so practice hard.

Riding Switch

To ride switch, you need to do a small forward-facing jump by jumping out of the water like an ollie, only rotating your board 180 degrees. Now your front foot is behind, so you’re riding switch. It can help you to practice this since some tricks will land you switch. Important: To keep control of the board when riding switch, try to distribute your weight over the middle of the board. This way the whole edge stays in the water and your front shoulder should stay over the board at all times.

Surface 360

A surface 360 ​​is a 360 degree rotation on the wakeboard without the wakeboard leaving the water. The trick can be performed frontside and backside. The distribution of the weight is the same on both legs. It becomes problematic after 180 degrees, because here the front and the back foot have changed position. Now you have to initiate the second 180-degree rotation from the switch stance, which requires a little more practice.

3 min

Red Bull Secret Spot Germany - Mission 1

Dominik Gührs and Freddy von Osten show you the best wakeboarding spots in Germany.

02

Tricks on Obstacles

Tipp von Felix Georgii:
It is best to ride over every obstacle at the beginning. You don't even have to think about the tricks until you can safely ride over the kicker and every rail...
If you've followed Felix's advice, the world of obstacle tricks is open to you.

Kicker Tricks

Dominik Guhrs jumps over an obstacle with the wakeboard.

Dominik Gührs am Reschensee

© Tony Hassler/Red Bull Content Pool

The kicker is available in different sizes, whereby both the length and the height vary and the steepness of the kicker can be influenced as a result. Depending on which side of the rope the kicker is on, the level of difficulty varies. A kicker on the left of the rope is easier for Regular and Goofy for a kicker on the right.

Straight Air

When driving onto the kicker, your approach angle should not be too steep. But you mustn't climb onto the kicker too early, ie with too much pull on the rope. On the kicker you try to adopt a compressed posture with a low centre of gravity. You keep the board flat and level. You stay in this posture even in the air and let go of the handlebar with your back hand. Shortly before landing you stretch your legs slightly to cushion the impact on the water.

Heelside Frontside 180 (HS FS 180)

For this trick, you'll approach heelside and jump over the front, twisting your torso forward in the direction of travel.
Prerequisite for this trick is the HS FS Ollie and the safe descent of the kicker. You already know the approach and ascent from the straight air. To take off, you ride over the outside of the kicker, which is the side that is further away from the cable car, and jump off with a straight board.
When you take off, the rotation is initiated by opening your shoulders in the direction of the rotation. In the flight phase it is important that the upper body remains centred over the board. This works best if you adopt a compact posture and let go of the line with your back hand.-0">Heelside an und springst über die Vorderseite, sodass dein du deinen Oberkörper in Fahrtrichtung nach vorne drehst.

2 min

Wake Crane

Three top riders rip around a custom wakeboard park built from a crane and a bunch of cargo containers.

Grabs

Here are four simple grabs that are good to incorporate into your jumps over the kicker:
Indy: The back hand grabs the toeside edge in the middle between the feet.
Mute: The front hand grabs the same spot as the Indy.
Tailgrab: The back hand grabs the tail and the front leg is stretched (boned). A classic grab for straight airs.
German wakeboarder Felix Georgii in action.

Felix Georgii

© Florian Süß

Nosegrab: The front hand grabs the nose. The grave is well suited for the HS FS 180 described above.
03

Tricks on Rails, Boxes, Tables and Pipes

Boardslide

Mythai Part Two

Part 2 of Dominik Guhr's two-parter Mythai

© [unknown]

With the boardslide, you approach the backside edge and then get onto the obstacle at a slight angle. Your body stays nice and compact, your knees are relaxed and you let go of your back hand for better balance. For the first attempts it is easier if the nose is at a 45 degree angle to the obstacle, later the board should slide across the obstacle, ie at a 90 degree angle.
"There are different obstacles in the cable parks. A butter box is the best place to start, because it's nice and wide and you don't fall off the sides that easily. You can also approach the boardslide on a short and wide table," says Felix.
If you feel confident on the box and table, you can try the trick on the narrower slider.
The final opponent among the obstacles is the pipe. The round shape offers the board little surface contact. This makes it harder to keep your balance while sliding.
Rails can vary in steepness and therefore also have different levels of difficulty; the steeper, the more pull there is on the line at the end and the more difficult it is to stand the railslide cleanly.

Invert Tricks

Advanced riders can try invert tricks where the board is in the air overhead. You don't need any obstacles to jump off, only the power of the line. At full speed you bring maximum pull on the line by actively tilting and thus catapult yourself out of the water.
The air tricks can be divided into four subcategories: raleys, flips, rolls and whips. The simplest of the inverts is the basic raley.

The Raley

You ride sideways away from the cable car and put a lot of tension on the line. To do this, you put maximum pressure on the heel side with your heels and at the same time make sure that your upper body remains straight.
With an impulse you misjudged the board so much that the line pulls you forwards and upwards. At the highest point, bring your legs up behind you and assume the so-called Superman position.
Red Bull Wake of Steel 2014 Linz Felix Georgii

Up, up and away, Felix Georgii!

© Tim Korbmacher

To land, pull your legs forward again, bring the board under your body and turn the nose back in the direction of travel. You can also vary the Raley with different grabs.
Dominik Gührs shows you what a really fat Raley looks like here:

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Felix Georgii

With a strong snowboarding background, Felix Georgii is pushing the boundaries of wakeboarding by focusing on hitting gnarly rails and ledges.

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