Surprisingly, this is not a hard trick to do. As P.J. Marks of the Wakeboard Camp says, "It's a hard trick to learn, but once you learn it, it's the easiest trick there is." Marks says you are ready to start trying Raleys when you are totally skying your jumps and landing out in the flats with perfect control every time. He says the Raley is a really easy trick; the only hard thing is mental. After years of jumping under control, it's tough to get your brain to let you get the board out behind you and your hands out in front of you.
To learn the Raley, Marks says he gets people to cut out three-quarters of the way. "The key is to really wait to get on your edge until right in the foam. So do a really slow turn and instead of a low, squatty cut, I try to get people to push the board out in front of them. The distance between your board and your butt should be as far as you can make it." In other words, lock your legs out on the cut. This gives you more leverage to kick out higher.
People think they need to cut super-hard and super-fast. You don't. What you want to do is load the line through the wake and then back off your edge just a little bit by standing up and letting the handle up. This causes the board to snap over your head. You'll still be on your edge, but the motion from cutting hard to letting off a little does the work. When the wake kicks you, your board will swing behind you and you'll be doing a Raley.
Charley Patterson of O-Town Watersports gives the same tips but in a different way. Patterson also says you should have a good strong progressive edge, and he stresses edging up and through the entire wake. He says it is critical that you are as tall as possible with your hips up on your approach. He cautions not to drop your butt to edging like on a normal cut because it takes away from your height. Then you should keep the rope close to your hips as you come off the top. In your approach, your weight is on your heels. Don't transfer your weight to your toes until you are completely in the air. Also, wait until you are in the air to let your arms up.
Both instructors say the only thing you should be worried about is the cut. Naturally you should keep your head up looking at the boat, but the whole trick is done at the cut. You shouldn't have to do anything in the air if you do it right. Marks also adds that you shouldn't have to bring it back down. When you go off the wake, your body hyper-extends and snaps behind you. Then, when your body reaches the limits of its flexibility, your back automatically snaps the board back down. The more you let your arms out, the easier it is to get the board back under you. Patterson says to be sure to keep your eyes on the shore or the boat, and when the board starts to come down, bend your elbows and pull the rope to your hips.
Although this is a move you pretty much have too commit to, you can build up to it by shortening the line and trying it at first at a slower speed. You also might want to put on a wetsuit and a vest for more body protection.