Before even considering catching air, you must be very comfortable riding a wakeboard and even catching an inch of air. Otherwise, you will slip off of the board before you even begin the trick. You must master the art of gluing your feet to the board before you can jump in the air. You also need really good timing in order to get a lot of air instead of merely speed and no height.
How to Get Air Wakeboarding?
To get big air, have the right equipment first. Learn how to ride the board, and get comfortable with it. Drift into the wakes and cross them. Leverage your body against the boat’s pull. Pay attention to timing. Push against the wake and push yourself up, instead of jumping. Don’t skip any steps. Focus on height instead of speed.
Once your boat is taking you at a comfortable speed, get out wide and drift in slowly with your knees bent and a strong body structure. The key word here is ‘slowly’ because many people tend to turn in hard and go too fast to get any air. Once you reach the wake, spring up tall and push against the force of the wake. Try to think of the wake propelling you into the air rather than you pushing yourself up because then you will caress the wave with your board and catch more air. Most riders’ biggest mistake is trying too hard to get air because you spring up too hard. You have to jump at the perfect time to catch the perfect amount of air.
Another way of explaining it is that you need to learn to catch the ‘pop’. This is the little jump and once you get a feel for when that happens, you can time your body to spring up stiffening your legs simultaneously. This will create the best conditions for a vertical push. Once you are flying through the air, you can either bring your knees up and grab your board or stay straight to prepare for your landing but either way, the one thing you cannot do is land with the front of your board angled down into the water.
Before you hit the wake, make sure to stay on edge. This may seem like it would make you cut right through the wake, but if the timing is right, it will cause you to swing in an arc due to the boat pulling you since staying on edge makes you go the opposite direction of the boat. Stay on edge all the way through and you’ll swing because the rope tension will be so high. This is also the key to getting a lot of air: rope tension.
It will take more than a few tries in order to get the timing perfect as many riders take weeks to master it. All you have to do is stay on edge on the way to the wake and spring up once you get to the wake to amplify that ‘pop’. From there, all you have to do is stay upright and land with the board at the same angle as the jump began with. If you are trying to perform a pass or a hand switch, make sure that you do not let go of the rope too early as that will eliminate some of your height. Wakeboarding experts will be the first to say that the best way to learn to catch air is to practice often.