Contests are important for wakeboarders of all levels, because they push you to be a better rider. When you’re matched up against other riders and everything is on the table, you can gauge yourself and find out what your strong points are and where you could use a little work. Wakeboarding contests help drive me to constantly improve my skills, and when I do well, they reinforce my commitment, which also makes me ride harder. But there are a few things you should keep in mind when putting together a run to make sure you make the most of your time on the water.
Add variety Make sure you throw a good combination of spins, flips and straight airs. You want to show the judges you’re a good all-around rider, so sometimes just laying down your hardest tricks isn’t the answer. Mix it up and never throw the same type of trick back to back.
Get consistent Don’t put a trick into your run until you can nail it almost every time. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should, especially if you don’t need it to win.
Make a plan I walk every course I’m going to ride and look for spots that are shallow, calm, rough or windy to plan out a run that best utilizes the course and its conditions. Don’t waste any space, and make sure you watch every rider to figure out what you have to do to win. A lot of riders beat themselves by trying to do more than they need to and not landing some of their tricks.
Learn from the experience Don’t walk away defeated if you don’t win every time. Contests are a great opportunity to boost your confidence and help you realize the areas where you need to work harder. They give me the dedication to train harder and come back every weekend with the best run I can produce, and they can help everyone become a stronger rider for it.
Words: Phillip Soven Photo: Rodrigo Donoso