Surface Spins - The Wakeboard Coach Tips and Tricks

Surface Spins

Surface spins are a huge part of learning proper technique on board control as well as learning how to pass a handle properly.

One of the first accomplishments most of my students have within the first day of me working with them is Surface Spins. They teach all kinds of important basics of Wakeboarding.

  • Balance- It’s so important that you learn from the beginning the dynamics of standing on water if you’ve never done that before. Surface Spins will give you way more balance understanding than just riding alone.
  • Stability- Once your stable with either foot forward you’ll open many more doors on the board.
  • Proper weight distribution- The board is designed for you to have even weight on it when you ride. The tough part is getting your brain wrapped around the idea that you don’t have to lean back.
  • Control standing sideways- Board sports challenge everything we’ve ever learned since we learned to walk. Instead of everything being front and back it’s now lead by which hipbone is in front.
  • Control of the handle-The handle makes Wakeboarding way more difficult than most board sports, since it takes your arms away when you seek balance. Handle placement will determine which part of your body gets pulled down the lake.

The first one you want to learn is the standard surface 180. Ride in the middle of the Wake between 12 and 15 mph. The reason for the slow speed is to eliminate some hard crashes. The slow speed will enable you to release your fins easier. Also if you do catch an edge the impact won’t be quite as devastating.

Here’s where your hips come into play. If you’re riding Left foot forward think of your left hipbone being your steering wheel. You want to point it directly to the boat in line with the V of the handle. When you’re ready to spin lower your center of gravity keeping your weight centered on the board. Turning from left to right rotate your right hipbone until it is pointing to the boat in line with the V. Ride in this (switch) position for a good 10 seconds before you try to return to your normal stance.

Once you get these down, try to add the handle pass behind the back to complete the full 360. When you pass the handle behind your back you want to keep both palms of your hands upward with your knuckles against your back.
Take it slow and let the board slide. You don’t need to rush the spin.
When trying the 3 you may have difficulty getting the handle pass try these tricks.

  • Stop in the 180 and let your arms out, in a quick jerking motion pull them back in and try the handle pass all at once.
  • Keep your eyes on the horizon when pulling in for the pass, when your head goes down, your spine will curve and throw off your balance.
  • Pass the handle close to your back, the closer it is the less chance of falling backwards toward the boat.

Good Luck,
Dave Briscoe