How to Look Cool at the Cable Park

Austin Pratt wakeboarding
Austin Pratt making it look good at OWC.Bill Doster

Unfortunately, looking cool isn’t really something that can be taught. That part is ­entirely up to you. We can, however, take you through some common pitfalls that prevent riders from allowing their style to emerge.

First, let’s get the don’ts out of the way. We’ve looped in Austin Pratt to add some real-world perspective on the matter. Austin says: “It’s cool to get inspired by other people’s riding, but don’t go blatantly copy someone’s style. Pre-spinning is a big no-no — pop first, and then spin. And I think we all know that zeaching [not squaring up your board properly on the rail] is a big no-no too.”

Now for the do’s on our list. Austin says: “Be yourself. Not everyone is going to think that all your tricks are cool, so you’re going to have to ­accept that. Grab your board properly, tee up your rail hits, and find creative ways to be different.”

With that said, there is a difference between learning and free-riding. When you’re learning something new, you might end up looking a bit kooky — which is normal. Don’t be afraid to try something new because you think you’ll look dumb. You won’t learn anything that way. Once you’ve landed your new trick, however, you have a responsibility to add some style to it and make it your own. Austin says: “In my mind, getting creative is what gives a rider his style. Your creativity is what will separate you from everyone else.” Don’t be the guy who does the same tricks every lap and never falls. You’ve got to take some risks if you want to discover your own style. Above all, have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.


LearnWake has some big things coming soon in the park-riding department. In the meantime, head over to to see our in-depth instructional videos, browse our extensive trick library, and even get your own video analyzed of that new trick you've been working on.