I’ve done powerslides for more than two decades, but I still search for the glassiest spot on the lake virtually every time I ride to see how hard I can lay down my edge and push some water to the sky. The powerslide is a simple but fun trick that’s often ignored because riders are afraid of catching their heelside edge. Like a lot of moves, it requires minimal body movement, but you need to find the keys to make your powerslide look smooth and effortless. Words: Shaun Murray Photo: Bill Doster
Minimize negative consequences by first practicing inside the wake and slowing the boat down to around 13-14 mph.
Start right next to the wake that’s opposite your forward foot. Left-foot-forward riders, for example, would start next to the right wake. Begin a moderate heel edge toward the left wake.
Just after you pass the prop wash, take your back hand off the handle and relax your front arm. At the same time, kick your back foot in the direction you were just cutting. It should feel like you’re scraping your back foot’s big toe on the water while your heels begin to go into the air.
Learn Your Lean
It’s super-important to lean away from the boat so you don’t catch a heelside edge. You have the right amount of lean when your toes are in the water while your heels are in the air. Finding the right amount of lean away from the boat is key, so make sure you get this technique dialed at this point.
Bring It Back
At the end of the slide, the board should be perpendicular to the boat. As soon as you get it to 90 degrees, go back to pointing the board forward.
Once you feel like you’re dialed at slower speed, increase the boat’s speed 1 mph at a time until you’re up to about 17 mph.
Now it’s time to take your slide outside the wake. Use the same technique you established inside the wake, but try to do your slide as far from the wake as possible.
Wait for It
Don’t try slides in rollers because they’ll make you skip out. The glassier the water the better. To make your slide super-radical, try it on the whip as the boat turns around.