Whirly Bird - The Wakeboard Coach Tips and Tricks

Whirly Bird

The Whirlybird is a great way to enter the world of Mobe’s. First of all what is a mobe? Mobe is short for Mobius. Meaning two lines that inter twine but never connect. The name was first introduced to our world through Freestyle Jumping. Basically in Wakeboarding we call a Mobe anything that has an invert combined with a 360. So enough of the history lesson lets get to the trick. A Whirly is a Tantrum with an over head blind 360. I would recommend learning at least 4 solid inverts before trying this. Here are a few that will compliment this trick, first, of course, A tantrum. Also a Toeside backroll will help with a strong base for the Whirly. Any other inverts will help with air sense, but try to stay balanced. When you learn something heal side, balance it off be learning something Toeside. Another thing that will help the overhead rotation is, take off your fins and slow the boat down to about fifteen mph. Learn some over head blind 360’s on the surface to get the feel of the rope over your head and pulling you around to a 360.

The cut for this trick will be a little different than other inverts. You can’t have a lot of tension in the line at take off or you’ll never get the handle over your head, but you need enough momentum to still clear the second wake. So try this, Go out wider on your cut than normal cut hard at the beginning and surf the wake a little earlier for your Tantrum, The idea is to learn to take your Tantrum’s up higher with less lateral movement. You should feel no tension on the line when you’re in the air, and land right on the downslope of the second wake. When you can do this on your Tantrum’s then your ready for the Whirly.

The most important thing to remember is the rope has to initiate the spin and not your head. If your head turns before the rope is over your head you will turn away from the pull of the boat and make tension in the line which won’t allow you to get the handle all the way in and over your head.

For the Whirly take the same hard edge and surf early, at the top of the wake pull both hands toward your rear shoulder, keeping your head neutral and square to your shoulders. Just as your leaving the top of the wake push your lead hand, (left for left foot forward & vice versa) straight up and over your back shoulder (right shoulder for left foot forward) the movement of your hand will initiate the rotation, once you leave the wake and you have the handle over your back shoulder, then look over your back shoulder for the second wake. This subtle movement of your head will get your body spinning. You still want to think mostly Tantrum. As long as the handle and head are in the right place the spin will just happen, but the Tantrum won’t. Any mobe that you do the base flip of it has to be thrown first. As you come around, spot your landing early and push the handle back down by your hips for your landing. If the handle stay’s high you will end up falling away from the boat on your landing. The key to this is getting that handle in a position that it will work for you and pull you around in the 360 portion of the trick.

If you tie a rope up to a tree on land you’ll see what I mean. When you pull the handle in and up over your head with tension on it, you’ll feel a spot that the handle wants to easily come back down as you rotate. Now imagine splitting your body into two sections. If you rotate with the handle over your head but on the boat side of your nose it will want to pull your handle down behind your back. But if you rotate and the handle stays on the away side of your nose then it will want to spin you around 360 degrees and back to where the pull is coming from.

Here are some trouble shooting problems.

1. Problem; I’m getting up side down and the handle is ripping out of my hands. Solution; There are only one of two things that will cause this. Either your cutting to hard into the wake and your creating more than necessary tension in the rope, or your turning away from the pull to early and that is making the line too tight. Remember the harder you cut the tighter the line is.

2. Problem; I’m starting the spin but only rotating to a Tantrum to Blind and the handle is getting pulled behind my back. Solution; This is the most common problem in a Whirly. This happens from turning your head before you get the handle into that sweet spot that will pull you back forward. Remember the handle has to get to the away side of your face before you can turn your head, if your right foot forward this means your left biceps should be in front of your right eye. And vice versa for goofy riders. Once your arm and handle reaches that spot then turn your head but not before.

3. Problem; I’m not clearing the wake’s and I’m casing the second wake and destroying my ankle’s. Solution; This usually happens when you fix the last one I mentioned because you end up backing of so much, or overcorrecting that you through the trick early or surf the wake too much and don’t have the momentum to carry you across both wakes. Try getting wider on your initial approach and cutting harder at the beginning. Surf a little harder when you get to the base of the wake to get rid of the unwanted tension, and let the momentum you created coming into the wake carry you across. If this still doesn’t solve it try shortening your rope one loop until you’re landing it, then let it back out once you can do 3 in a row.

4. Problem; I’m getting all the way around and landing on my board but can’t stop spinning, I’m going through the trick and landing on my back. Solution; This usually happens when the line is too tight at the end of the trick, It pulls your arm away from your body at the end and gets you stretched out which makes it hard to stop rotating. Crazy as it seems this is from starting the rotation too late. If you leave the wake first with hard surf that’s when the line is the least resistant against your arm. If you wait too long to get the handle over your head it will become tight faster and when your three quarters of the way through the trick the boat will start pulling you again and unwind you too quick, thus causing you to spin through. Make sure that you’re already moving the handle in with both hands while your still on the wake. Then punch it hard across your rear shoulder and straighten your arm if your arm goes straight you will rotate cleaner, where as if it is bent it will travel too much like a cowboy throwing a lasso.

The driver can help with this trick as well by driving a slight arc the same direction that the rider is cutting into the wake. This will help the line go dead enough so that the rider can get the feel of getting his handle over his head.

And I’d like to thank my driver who helped out with this shoot up in Grand Rapids, MI. Louie Cares the flying Greek, Nora, Rick & Big Daddy. Thanks for the fun.

As always learn your basics first. Before attempting this you should have all 4 180’s wake to wake, that’s Heelside 180, Toeside 180, Heelside Halfcab & Toeside Halfcab. Also a few base inverts Rolls, Front Rolls, Scarecrow, Tantrum, Roll 2 Rev. and some basic spinning sense, Grab 180’s and 360’s. Do you have to have all this before you’ll make a whirlybird?

No, but it will take some of the pain out of learning it. And trust me when you’re not ready to try a trick the crashes get pretty brutal.

Good luck and if your having any problems send me an email.

Good luck and enjoy your first Mobe.