Things to Know Before Wakeboarding for the First Time

Get started wakeboarding with these tips.

Beginner wakeboarding tips
Increase your confidence and have more fun wakeboarding. Courtesy Liepa Girskaitė

Throughout the years of training I’ve seen many women who won’t try wakeboarding because they think someone will laugh at them. If you don’t want to feel awkward for not knowing what to do and where to begin, this article is for you. In the first part I will tell you some general tips for feeling more confident on your first time wakeboarding and in the second part I’ll introduce some different wakeboarding types and give you tips specifically for each type.

1. Teachers have seen it all

If you have doubts about trying wakeboarding because you’re scared that your mistakes will be funny for the instructors, don’t. They have seen so many beginners that your mistakes won’t be different from anyone else’s. It’s not funny at all when a person tries something for a first time. You should be proud for pushing your boundaries and learning new things. 

2. Get information about rental equipment

Make sure the wakeboarding spot provides rental equipment, ask for the prices and if it’s included in the session price. You can check the rental equipment prices on their website or social media. If you don’t find it, you can always contact them. 


3. Bad weather shouldn’t stop you

The only bad weather for wakeboarding might be thunders, lightnings and hurricanes. If it’s just raining, don’t let it stop you – you can wear a wetsuit for some warmth in the water, but the feeling of riding in the rain is also really nice. However, don’t forget some warmer clothes for the time when you’re out of the water. 

4. Bring a swimsuit and a towel

One-piece swimsuit is way better than bikini for a simple reason – it stays in its place when you fall into the water. For extra comfort, you may grab a pair of boardshorts. If you don’t have it, even simple denim shorts will do. Just make sure to grab an extra pair. If it’s a colder day you might want to ask for a wetsuit but keep in mind that most probably it will be rental. If you are putting on a rental wetsuit, it’s highly recommended to wear a swimsuit under it. 

5. Come 20 minutes earlier

This time should be enough for you to change clothes and get your first instructions.


6. Tell staff that it’s your first time 

This way it will be much easier for them to prepare you for the best riding experience. They will know that you need the equipment, the instructions and guidance. If you are really scared or have some previous traumas that you think might have an impact on your riding, inform the staff about it. 

7. Rental wetsuit

If you rent a wetsuit, ask the staff which way to put it on. Usually rental wetsuits are drying inside out and therefore you may get confused which side is the right one. 

8. Warm up and stretch

Don’t forget that wakeboarding is not just a fun thing to do, but it’s also sport. Before engaging in any sports you should warm up before and stretch your muscles after.


9. Ask questions

You shouldn’t be ashamed to ask questions – this is absolutely normal. If you’re scared, let the staff know. If you have doubts about something, just be honest and your first experience will be really nice. 

10. Muscles may be sore for a few days 

Yes, your muscles might be sore after the wakeboarding sessiont. Especially 1 or 2 days after. But it’s because when you’re wakeboarding, many different muscle groups are working. If you start wakeboarding regularly, it will be less sore each time. Some protein shakes or amino acids may help, but consult with professionals before using it. 

With this guide you should be fully prepared for your first wakeboarding lesson no matter if it’s in the cable park or behind the boat. Don’t hesitate asking questions and don’t forget – wakeboarding is fun and interesting activity which you can do as a hobby or train for the competitions. There are also no age limits – you can bring your kids or grandma to start wakeboarding together. 


Further on, you’ll find specific tips for different wakeboarding types. 

Two Tower System

Also called System 2, ore 2.0 System, but it always means the same. This system pulls you back and forth at first, later you learn how to do the turns. An important thing is that  usually in the two tower systems you have to book your session in advance – sometimes even a week before. The time slot for one session is 20 minutes and it’s an average time that is enough for one ride. If you ask for my recommendation, I would say the best practice is to book an hour, take a friend and share that hour together switching every 15 minutes. This way you will have enough time to understand how wakeboarding works and have time to rest between sessions while your friend is riding. The speed of this cable can be adjusted regarding your experience level as there is one person riding at the time. This cable is really good for beginners because you get full attention for yourself. If you fall, the cable is stopped and you can continue your ride. With the good instructor or/and operator, you should stand up on the wakeboard during your first session. Also, sometimes these cables have a radio helmet and the instructor can talk to you while you’re in the water. It really helps for a good wakeboarding start, so you should ask if they have this helmet.

Indoor wakepark

This is exceptional and rare, but you can find the indoor wakeparks mainly in the countries with cold winters. Indoor wakepark is best for people who are afraid of water and want to start slow. The coach is always by your side, the water is warm and soft, and you always see that it’s not deep. You may need to book the time in advance and ask how the riding time is distributed between riders as each indoor park has their own system. Either way, you might need to dedicate 1 to 2 hours for this pleasure.

Full Size Cable

This is a cable which has 5 to 6 towers and pulls you around the lake. There usually are 8-10 riders at the time and the system is not stopped when the rider falls so you should ask staff for safety instructions. For an easy start you should first try with a knee board to understand the cable tension principles. When you’re able to go full lap then you should ask for an ‘easy-up’ board. This board has foot straps instead of boots, so when you fall, your crashes hurt less. Also it has fins which help you to keep the balance.

At last, if you’re doing well, you’ll get a wakeboard with boots and you’ll be ready to wakeboard. 

Some full size cables have beginners’ hours when they slow down the system for an easier start. You might want to ask when these hours are and go then because it will be much easier to start with the slower system. Usually you might need around 4 hours at the cable to be able to stand on the board and feel the real pleasure of it (the time varies and depends on each person and their physical abilities).


There are many different types of boats, but you might want to start on the specific wakeboarding boat. These usually have the wake shapers and the rope with the handle is usually attached at the top of the boat. You can wakeboard on various different boats, but you might want to start on the special wakeboarding boat. 

When this boat moves, it creates the wake behind, which later can be used for tricks. Usually the time slot for one session is approximately 30 minutes from which 20 minutes you’re actually riding as it takes some time to go further into the lake and back. However, if it’s possible, I would suggest to grab some friends, rent a boat for a couple of hours and have a great time together on the water. 

All credit to Women Wakeboarding, see original post here.


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