Blind 180 - The Wakeboard Coach Tips and Tricks

Blind 180

The blind 180 is the stepping stone link to every rotational trick that you'll ever encounter. The most difficult part of any spin is the time that your blind to the boat and making the handle pass behind your back. Blind 180's will teach you the proper head & eye placement and help with handle control necessary to achieve any rotational trick your heart desires.

The easiest way to learn these is through many steps that will help you avoid that nasty back smacking, healside edge crash. Before trying this you should at least have your bunny hop 180's and wake-to-wake 180's dialed in.

OK, the easiest and least painful way to start is without the rope. Have your driver put the boat into a whip, edge out on the whip and generate is much speed is you can. Let go the rope, jump up and try to rotate the board blind. If you're left foot forward than you want to cut to your left and your rotation will be to the right. The biggest trick is making sure that your head is the last thing to rotate. Make sure you get in the air with your eyes focused on something in the same direction the boat is going, start the rotation with your hips as you land your eyes should be exactly 180 degrees of the direction that you were going. This method will help you learn how to rotate without fighting the pull the rope. It is crucial however, that your eyes focus on something when you land 180 degrees from where you're going. One way that you can ensure this is to look over your shoulder when you're still riding behind the boat and find an object, tree, house, or whatever is behind you. Then when you let go of the rope and go for the blind 180,you'll have an object to look for. Once you get this down regular then go ahead and try switch. When you can consistently land and sink slowly in control, then you're ready to start adding the rope.

There are just a few things that you may have to troubleshoot. If you're over rotating when you land that's because your eyes are looking back toward the boat. If your board is sticking to the water and you're taking a back smacker, it's because you're turning your head before you get off the water.

Your driver can be a huge factor when you try it with a rope for the first time. You want to have your driver put you in the same whip that they did when you were letting go of the rope. At the peak of your whip have your driver turn the boat back toward you so that it's traveling in the same direction you are, and put the boat in neutral. This should cause your rope to go slack, but you'll still have enough speed to stay on top of the water. Jump up and do your blind 180 the same way you did without the rope, but this time as you land put the handle directly on your butt cheek. There are two things that make you stick to the water blind. This works on every trick you'll ever land blind. One is to keep your eyes locked on something behind you, which you already learned without the handle. Two is to push your butt back toward the handle just as you land. Your eyes will help to keep your board stuck to the water and pushing your butt will keep you from getting pulled over backwards. Again once you can do this regular learning it switch immediately.

Once you can consistently do this on each side, you can have your driver get rid of some of the whip, until ultimately the boat remains in a straight line and you create your own speed. Troubleshooting on this should be exactly the same as the troubleshooting I gave you when you did this without the rope. One thing I would add, if you're getting yanked out the back consistently it's because you're not pushing your butt toward the handle.

Once you get this down with the boat going in a straight line, then we can start adding a wake. To start, let's slow the boat down to about 16 or 18 miles per hour. You want to start inside the wake, cut from inside to outside wake wait until your completely peaked out, and then rotate your blind 180. It's really important now that you keep control of the handle because there's a lot stronger pull directly behind the boat than there is out wide. It's also extremely important, that you don't rotate on the way up. As long as you're going up the rope is tight, if you try to rotate with a tight line it'll pull you onto your back. Make sure again that you're really using your eyes, and they're locked in on an object as you impact the water. Also make sure as soon as you impact that you're pushing your backside toward the handle. As soon as you learn this regular learn it switch immediately. On average to get this far it should take you anywhere from two days of solid riding to a week.

After you've accomplished a single wake blind 180, then it's time to go wake to wake. You may want to shorten your line to start. This will make the wakes closer together, which means you won't have to cut so hard to clear them. The biggest trick wake to wake is patience, because you're cutting harder to clear the wake your increasing the tension on the line. To be able to rotate blind you have to wait for the tension to be gone. Remember never rotate, on the way up only rotate on the way down. This is by far the hardest thing to grasp when trying these wake to wake. Remember the harder you cut the tighter the line is, and the tighter the line is the harder it is to rotate. Start off by just doing some wake-to-wake jumps. You want just enough speed to land on the down slope of the second wake. When just doing jumps you should be able to feel when the peak of your jump is and be able to feel when you start coming down, this will be the point that you initiate the blind 180. The first time you try the wake-to-wake blind 180 you'll find that it's difficult to hang onto the line. This comes solely from turning too soon. If you find your having a hard time sticking to the water, then your eyes probably aren't locked on an object. When you can consistently do this at this line length, then try going back to your normal length. And as soon as you get this regular, learn it switch!!

After you get this down, try a toe side 360 and a switch toe side 360. You'll notice that the first 180 of this is natural the second 180 is the blind 180 you just learned. This will open many doors in the world of spinning you've got the hardest part down. But, if you just can't get it, you can always come to Briscoe's Ride Center!

Good luck,
Dave Briscoe