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Raley Scoop Explained: Learn to Raley

Today, we're going to dive into one of the most sought-after wakeboarding tricks, the Raley. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced rider it's important to understand the fundamentals of this trick and to be able to make a realistic assessment of your own riding to see if you are ready for the Raley or not. In this tutorial, we'll break down the essential components of the Raley, including the scoop or release, how to build a strong heelside edge, and common mistakes to avoid.

What is a Raley?

For new wakeboarders, the Raley has got to be one of the most impressive tricks to watch for the first time. It involves edging hard on the heels to create a large amount of tension in the rope, followed by a release from the water resulting in the rider flying high in the air in a "superman" position. It's an advanced trick; and to be able to successfully perform consistently; requires good board control, strength and knowledge of the cable.

What is the "Scoop"?

The movement performed at the end of the heelside edge is commonly referred to as the "Scoop" or it can also be known as "dig" or "release". This is what send the rider up into the air! This is usually the part of learning a raley which most people find difficult. Before we actually try and throw the raley we need to first make sure that we've got a couple of key skills dialled in first.

Building a Strong Heelside Edge

Before attempting the Raley, it's crucial to have a strong heelside edge. Too often we see people attempting to raley without having a reliable heelside edge. This means that they are unable to build tension in the rope which we will discuss shortly. A strong heelside edge will allow you to edge hard without feeling as though your board is going to slip out from underneath you. Practicing heelside and toeside edging and slowly increasing your edging intensity is a great way to practice this. Push your heels deep in to the water and use the water underneath your board for support.

Building Tension

Simply edging hard is not enough to get you the height you need for a raley. Knowing how to build line tension is incredibly important in understanding how the raley actually works. Have you ever tried to do a very short hard edge when riding? No doubt you will have felt the cable "ping" you off your edge. Think of the cable system and rope as almost a massive bungee. In order to build up tension we need to provide a lot of resistance against the cable. Keep your arms locked in strong at your hips and your buttocks squeezed when edging hard will really build up lots of tension in the rope. This may take some practice but eventually you will be able to feel the tension building when edging. Once you've got that nailed it's time to think about the scoop.

The Scoop

As you build up your edge progressively you will feel the tension building. Once you can feel the tension is strong in the line you want to think about using your front foot to do one final hard edge away from the direction you're moving in. It's important to keep your arms in and your buttocks squeezed so you don't lose any tension in the rope! This action of edging away will create the lift that you need for the trick. It's important to keep the board locked on its edge and edge away from the cable to maintain tension in the rope. Avoid flattening off your board and trying to ollie, as this will result in a loss of all tension and probably a nasty front edge...

Common Mistakes to Avoid

One of the most common mistakes people make when attempting the raley for the first time is flattening off their board during the release. This mistake will cause you to lose tension in the rope and prevent you from getting the lift you need for the trick. Another mistake to avoid is attempting the raley before mastering basic board control. If you're not able to build tension through your heelside edge correctly, it will be challenging to perform the trick successfully.

Final Thoughts

The raley is an advanced wakeboarding trick that requires practice, patience, and perseverance. Although there may be some slams along the way, understanding the fundamentals of the trick can make all the difference. In this tutorial, we covered the importance of building a strong heelside edge, the release or scoop, and common mistakes to avoid. With these tips and techniques, you'll be one step closer to mastering the raley!

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