Be a pro Wakeboarder
Meet Amber Wing, Australia’s Women’s national champion. She shares her wakeboarding tips on what gear to wear when riding, especially for women.
Quesion: Today we are talking about the importance of wearing the right gear.
Amber, how imperitive is this?
Amber: It’s super important to have, you know, gear that fits you properly. When you are out there riding, and you know, you’ve got a vest on if you take a hard crash you don’t want your vest falling of you because that’s a floatation device, you’re going to start sinking if you are knocked out.
With your boots on your board, you want them to fit your foot properly, coz when you are landing a trick you don’t want to role an ankle or have one foot come out and you gonna twist a knee or something like that.
For women in specific, you know it’s really important to wear wetsuit shorts. If you are taking crashes, and your legs are apart it’s not real good for the ladies so, either wear wetsuit shorts or definitely wearing board shorts. I really don’t like seeing girls out there in just a bikini bottom. I know the guys do but …
Question: There’s some great gear in the market now for girls. Can you talk us through some of the products?
Amber: Sure, like you’ve got a full range of girls boards , for every size for younger girls and for women as well. Boots that are specifically designed and made for the women’s foot that’s smaller and skinnier so that it fits right.
You’ve got vests that are built for women’s body so that they’ve got bust panels they fit, you know, a women’s body comfortably and you can be out there, having fun and..
Question: So it’s probably better to get a life jacket for each person rather than just one board jacket for the entire family.?
Amber: You know, definitely because when you’re on the bright anyway every single person in the boat has to have an approved jacket. So, you might as well have one that fits you properly.
Question: I thank you very much for your time , Amber
Amber: Thank you.
An important wakeboarding tip is to know your rules, especially for your local area. If you plan on riding the waters in NSW make sure you check out the Maritime website, it is jam-packed full of useful local boating knowledge.
Other Australian states have their own websites as well you may want to google these for more specifics. Some boating areas may have restrictions on where you can wakeboard, the speed limits in certain areas. So make sure you do a double check before you head out onto the water ways.
If you are new to driving for a rider, there are some important things to remember as each rider is different.
Question: I know you, viewers, at home might ride in rivers or lakes, now the rules vary slightly if you are on the urban coast of waters. And Amber Wing, she’s got some advice for us. Amber.
Amber: The main wakeboarding tips would be just be aware you of the other boaters , the rivers get really busy, there’s plenty of channel markers so ensure stay within the channel . There’s different speed zones, no wakes zones and no ski zones , so beware of those and, in your local area ensure know the rules of your waterways.
Question: Amber, in grand scheme of things wakeboarding is still relatively new. Do you have some great advice or wakeboarding tips to newcomers into the sport on how to drive?
Amber: When you are driving the boat, you know every rider wants to have the smoothest conditions as possible, so when a rides falls off you wanna stop the boat to a slow turn .
Don’t accelerate to pick up your rider because you are eventually gonna hit those rollers and it just, creates rough water for everyone. And also just being really aware about who is in the water and what other boats are around ’cause when people are falling off you just want to avoid them and keep a lot of distance because you just wanna be safe out there.
Question: Amber, now before we get into the boat, what are some of the key tips and things that we need to do before we drop the boat in the water?
Amber: Before we have the boat lined up in the queue to put your boat in the water, you wanna make sure that all the gear is in the back, got to cover off, you check the for the plug or the bond and then you and you unhook the nose of the boat as long as your boat is not on rollers. If your boat is on rollers, make sure you back the boat in first and then unhook.
Amber Wing and The Wakeboard Traveller discuss another wakeboarding tip on nutrition and riding. She walks you through her typical eating program for a day.
is there any special tips Amber can give as a gym enthusiast?
How to Attach Indy Wakboard Handle to Rope and Cat
Buying a Wakeboard
So you want to buy a wakeboard…
Buying a wakeboard can be pretty daunting if you have never done it before and have no idea what you are looking for.
Going into a store and testing various boards is by far the best thing you can do but we can give you some quick guidelines here to get you started.
Assuming you are a beginner we will start with the simplistic core points of how to buy a wakeboard that will work for you, and move forward from there.
- Firstly we need to evaluate your height and your weight, as this will immediately reflect the size of your board. If you are an average height of 170cm (5 and a half feet) with an average weight of 70kg (154pounds) then a board around 135cm – 138cm in length will probably work best for you. The length of your board can give you a solid platform to stand on whilst on the water but if you have it too long it will become to hard to manoeuvre. A longer length will also give you more rocker in the tip and tail. This means when the wakeboard is laid flat on the ground it will go up at each end and look like a banana, this will keep your nose up out of the water and help avoid nasty face plants whilst riding. Selecting a board that is too big will result in a long, slow, heavy and hard learning curve and selecting a board too small could mean many, many face plants.
- Boots – Boots are important for stability and support for both your ankles and your board. Boots should be fit nice and snug, not to tight. You don’t want the boots to cut off circulation to your feet or stop you from coming out of them in case of a bad fall. You also don’t want them to be so sloppy on your feet like clowns shoes otherwise every-time you try and turn the board or cross the wake you will fall out of your boots. The Base – On the bottom of each wakeboard are unique channels, rails, fins or moulded fins. Each of these things individually plays an important part on how the board performs and will vary for each level of rider. A flat-bottomed base (no channels or fins) is widely generalised as a board for expert riders or park boards designed to hit rails and kickers. As a beginner you will want to have some traction on the water and ideally any combination of these fins and channels will help your learning curve on top of the water before you step up to hitting rails and kickers in the park.
- Price – The price of a wakeboard will vary on many different things from the country you live in to the brand you want to get. Ultimately a good board and boot package will cost approximately between 200 – 500 USD. If you are after a particular professional signature board and boots you could be looking at around 500 – 900 USD
- Ultimately the best thing to do is find a wakeboard to suit your needs. As much as it is easy to try a friends board you will want to be careful not to hurt yourself on a board that may be too big or small or not suited for your feet.
Before you buy a wakeboard as a beginner it is always best to head to your local store and try a few out and talk to the local shop pro.
Or if you know what you’re looking at already and want to buy a wakeboard, maybe head over to my wakeboard company and check out our latest boards and gear to strap your self to this summer.