Learning How to Wakeboard

Wakeboarding was always one of those things that I thought looked pretty cool, but never thought I would actually get the chance to do. But a few years ago, as we started going out on the lake more, I realized it was something I could do, and it was something that I wanted to do. I didn’t necessarily care whether it was wakeboarding or waterskiing, but I knew that I wanted to try it. I didn’t expect to be an expert or do flips or anything like that, but it seemed like it could be a fun pastime on the water.

I’ve been looking around for an instructor, but nothing panned out until this year, when I just happened upon someone who offered wakeboard lessons. We talked a little bit, he showed me his boat, and I was in. I just had to wait until it was a little warmer, and I had a free weekend.

Well, it finally happened a few weeks ago. I brought a friend and we joined the guy on his boat, and he went over the basics of how to wakeboard. Now let me tell you, I’ve never done anything similar. I understood the basics of what he was saying, but wasn’t sure how it would translate into doing.

Most of the people I had talked beforehand to told me it was easy. Getting up was the hard part, but once you were up it was a piece of cake. I hoped what they told me was true, and as we got out on the lake, I put on the wakeboard, and let myself drift behind the boat, trying to remember everything the instructor had told me.

It was hard.

Well, not hard, so to speak. I was just terrible. Like maybe I should have done some more wakeboarding research before I went. Or maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference. Each time I fell, the boat swung around and they told me what to do differently the next time. And I tried, and it didn’t work.

Eventually the instructor jumped into the water with me and tried to push me up, but uh, that didn’t work either. He insisted that I was up, when I wasn’t. I had no idea what I was doing, but I definitely wasn’t up.

The other part of wakeboarding? If you’ve never done it before, it’s tiring. With each attempt my arms got more tired. And eventually I knew I needed to take a break before going again. I was disappointed I couldn’t get up, wondering if I was ever going to.

Once someone else took a turn, I got back in the water, hoping something would change. I failed a few more times, before we made a breakthrough. The problem? I was trying to lead with the wrong leg. Of course, theoretically it shouldn’t matter. But as the instructor told me, your body has a preference, and it was definitely letting me know as it tried to turn the other way.

So the boat looped back around, I got the rope, and the plan was to try and get up, leading with my other leg. Lo and behold, I made it up! It was so exciting to finally be able to do it, and I felt so accomplished. I might have been grinning like an idiot.

The only problem? By that time I had been trying so many times, my arms were just dead. It was so hard to stay up, to hold on to the rope and let it pull me. I only rode twice before I had to quit, my hand shaking as I got back in the boat.

Now that I’ve had my first taste of wakeboarding, I really want to go again! It was so fun and rewarding to get up, and I know that the second time around I can do so much better. I won’t have to waste all my energy trying to figure out how to stand up, and I can start learning some tricks.


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