When it comes to riding your first obstacles it can be very scary for some people. You can see these big, large, white floating features and often have no idea where to begin with them.
That's why we're here help! Read on to find out where to begin.
We would first suggest perfecting the on water basics first and make sure you're fully confident with switch riding (riding a full lap switch), ollies and surface spins. The best thing to start with is by finding the obstacle that looks the most basic. This may be a small ramp (known as a kicker in Wakeboarding) or a small flat box (known as a slider). If you're unsure which obstacle looks the most basic at your park, we would suggest asking a few of the other riders to help you find out.
When going for a new feature we will break it down into three sections - the approach, being on the obstacle and the landing.
On your first time hitting a kicker you want to start with a gentle cut from about 15 to 20 meters away from the obstacle, allowing yourself plenty of time to cut out and prepare yourself before you go on it. Before riding onto any obstacle you want to make sure about 2 meters before you ride up it, that your board is completely flat on the water and you are not still cutting or leaning back/forwards.
Make sure that you have the handle in just your front hand with a slight bend in the arm using your back arm to balance.
When you're on the obstacle, as it's your first time hitting a feature, you are going to aim to come off it slightly early. Just try and ride up the front and come off to the inside of it before you go higher. By going just over the corner of it, it is a great way to build your confidence and get a feel for the plastic without having to fully commit to it.
As you feel your confidence improving when doing this, you can start to work to go higher and higher until you're going off the top of the obstacle or all the way along if it's a flat box. To do this , you want to leave your cut slightly later each time but while still remembering to stay in control and give yourself the time needed to set up before riding onto it.
ALWAYS REMEMBER - stay low and keep your weight central. On a box this is especially important as you want to stay balanced all the way along it.
When in the air, you want to focus on looking where you're going, rather than looking down, as well keeping that slight bend in the front arm and focusing on bending your knees as you come down to land.
"If you look down, you'll go down!"
Whenever you are approaching a plastic feature in the cable park, you always want to make sure your board is completely flat when you are about 1 to 2 meters away from riding onto it.
Once you start to get confident you can play around with using your legs to pop you off the top of the kicker, cutting later and trying to grab your board off the kicker. If you're riding rails, try different board slides, lip slides and pressing both on the tail and nose.
This will unlock so many more tricks for you and will really allow you to progress your riding. Be sure not to rush to get onto the features and remember to perfect those basics first.
Start your cut 15 to 20 meters away from the feature
Have an easy and controlled edge into the obstacle
Flatten off your board 1 to 2 meters away
Have one arm holding on with a slight bend in it, using your other arm to balance
Look where you're going with your head and chest up
Bend your knees as you land
Good luck with this one!