Every wakeboarder develops his own style — it’s just a natural part of the progression in your riding. Personally, I’d much rather watch a wakeboader who grabs and pokes all of his tricks than watch someone go out and do a bunch of not-grabbed mobe 5s or spins. I always try to incorporate style in my wakeboarding. In fact, there are certain tricks I just don’t do because I can’t rotate them or grab them properly. They just don’t feel right. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you’re pushing ahead this summer. — Shawn Watson
Work on the basics: Instead of trying to just add new moves to your bag of wakeboarding tricks, focus on some basics, like backside 180s, and try to get them completely under control. The more control you have, the more personality you can add to your wakeboarding moves. Think about it this way: If you’re riding in a contest against a guy who does exactly the same tricks as you, but you grab more of them and don’t flail around, who do you think will win?
Practice: Sure, it seems obvious, but practice really is the best way to get better. I suggest you pick up some wakeboarding videos from you local shop and really study the subtleties that give each wakeboarder his style. Decide what you like, and try to put your own stamp on it. All of a sudden, you’ll realize how much fun it actually is.
Find yourself: There’s no right or wrong way to add style to your wakeboarding. It’s all about learning the intricacies of the moves and making them your own. It’s about finding yourself on the water. The next time you go out, don’t worry about learning another mobe or adding another rotation to your spins. Instead, take the wakeboarding tricks you already have and try grabbing them or doing them switch. If you just have fun on the water, your own personal style will definitely come through.
Need some inspiration? Check out more of Watson’s signature style in Out of the Pond and Box of Fun, two of 2009’s best wakeboarding videos.
Photo: Joey Meddock