Wakeboarding is fun, but we all know that there are forces out of our control that can make any rider frustrated while taking a set. Some forces are out of our hands while others can be avoided if the rest of the population were simply educated. None the less, these are five instances that really grind our gears and the best way to deal with them.
Okay, let’s be honest. There is not a whole lot you can do about weather patterns. Wind is wind and no matter how frustrating, if it decides to blow there isn’t anything you can do about it. Your best option is to look at the forecast and try to ride at times where it is blowing the least. This might mean that you have to get up before the sun in some cases, but that is a small price to pay for a buttery set. Your other option on a windy day is to stay near shorelines that are well protected, but apart from that you may just have to suck it up and deal with it.
Tubers… Public enemy number one of all wakeboarders, waterskiers, and watersports athletes alike. If it’s Fourth of July or Labor Day you may as well surrender to the tubers. There are much more of them than there are of you. The days that you have a chance to make a difference though are the days when there is just one tuber out on the lake ruining the water for everyone else. Anyone with a pulse has the ability to tube, so 9/10 times those tubers have just never learned to ride anything else. If you want to get rid of a tuber, turn them into a rider. Teach them how to get up on a board or ski and they will have more fun doing that than getting thrown around on a tube.
The Jet Ski That Follows You
These water mosquitos are not just annoying, but also a safety hazard. They tend to hang back about 50-feet from the rider and jump the wake back and forth. This of course ruins your chances of getting any smooth water when you turn around, and as said before, it’s dangerous for a collision. There is more than one way to deal with these guys. One way is to stand up in the boat, get mad, wave your arms telling them to leave you alone, and yell how it’s a safety hazard. Another option is to stop the boat, wait until they get bored, and see if they leave. A final option is to negotiate, saying that after your rider is done that you will give them one pass at surf speed. Chances are if they take one jump at surf speed they will be too scared to chase you again.
The Cable Tugger
Unfortunately, not every cable park you attend has the luxury of a beginner and advanced side. This means that your local spot may have to be shared with people who have never gotten up before, all the way to professional athletes. If you’re an experienced rider, you know that there can be nothing more frustrating than sharing a cable with someone who has just learned to throw some deep carves. They probably haven’t learned to hit an obstacle yet, but man can they tug that cable line. The easiest solution, if at all possible, is to try to stay at least one carrier away from these guys. That’s not always an option though. These riders are so new to the sport that they don’t even know that what they’re doing is affecting you. Education is key. Talk to them and let them know proper cable etiquette, or even better yet, teach them to hit an obstacle. That will keep them much more occupied, as well as keeping the line moving faster.
Power Turn Pick Ups
You know that feeling when it’s a perfect day out but the one other boat on the lake seems to be sending rollers everywhere and ruining it for everyone? It seems impossible that someone who is riding can be wrecking the lake for everyone. Most likely, the problem is that they’re power turning to get back to their rider. This means that whenever their rider falls they are turning around at full speed and sending rollers in every direction. Not only does this wreck the lake, but it actually takes the boat longer to get to the fallen rider. The best way to pick up a dropped rider is to: 1) disengage the boat into idle speed, 2) once at idle speed throw the wheel all the way left or right, 3) let the wake you have made swing you 180 degrees around, 4) idle slowly back to your rider. Once you explain and demonstrate this to someone who is guilty of power turns, they will see how much more effective this method it.