What you’ll need to get started:
Make sure you have the right size board, if you don’t, getting up can be difficult. Check out the Inland Surfer Board Finder to find the right size board for you.
A wakesurf rope. These ropes are designed to pull you up and into the sweet spot. A wakeboarding rope can be too long and thin, resulting in a rope wrapping around your arm or catching your hands.
Before you start, make sure you are wearing a USCG approved life jacket and are riding behind an inboard boat that is weighted correctly.
Once you’re in the water:
Now that you’re in the water, place the board flat on the water between you and the boat. Place your heels on the edge of the deck pad closest to you and lean back. Your life jacket will keep you upright so just relax and point your toes to the sky. Remember, keep your muscles loose and toes to your nose.
Let the boat driver know that you are ready to go. Keep both hands on the rope and your arms straight – do not bend your arms while getting up.
Once the boat gets moving and the slack is taken out of the rope, bend your knees and lean back. Push your heels downward into to the board, which will flip the board right up to your feet using the resistance of the boat pulling you. At this point, the driver should begin to increase the speed.
Once the board has flipped up and is pushing against your feet, it’s critical that you remain in a squatting position, like your poppin’ a squat in the woods. Additionally, you will naturally go where you look, so look away from the boat toward the flat water ahead, and you will begin to move away from the wake, remaining in a squatted position with your heels pressing down slightly. This combination of looking ahead and leaning slightly back will let you edge you away from the wake.
Once you are out of the wake and in the flats, just stand up like you normally would. It’s important to remember to keep your arms straight and your knees slightly bent. You have much more balance with a slight bend to your knees, which will help keep you upright. Also, remember to keep slight pressure on your heels.
Now that you are up and cruising, move your front foot forward to the toe edge of the board. Remember, you have the rope in your hands, so just lean back slightly and inch your front foot forward. This is the hardest part of the getting up process but it’s the most critical. Positioning your feet correctly in the most important skill you need to advance beyond the beginner stage.
Once your feet are in position, begin to transfer your weight from your heels to the balls of your feet. This pressure on the toe-side of the board will move the board inward toward the wake. Remember to look at the part of the wake you are heading toward.
Once you’ve made it to the pocket of the wake, where the wake begins to curl, let go of the rope with your back hand only. Apply pressure to the balls of your front and back foot, this will push your toe side edge into the wake and build speed toward the back of the boat or swim step. If this happens too quickly, just lean back on your back foot and the board will slow down. Remember: front foot is the gas and back foot is the brake. Keep your movements small, less is more here!
Once you’re able to ride in the pocket of the wake with the rope slack, you are ready to throw the rope. Throw the rope to the other side of the wake, your friends in the boat can take care of the rest. Congrats, you are surfing!