Friday, 5 March 2010

Guide to Wakeboarding Spin Tricks

Newcomers to wakeboarding are generally a bit bemused by the number of different spin tricks! Every tiny variation in degree, facing side and handle-pass technique warrants a different name... and while they all look the same, the number of different names is incredibly hard to keep track of! Today we give you some wakeboarding tips (both boarding and viewing), for telling the difference between different tricks.

Degrees of spin

The degree of spin is often involved in naming a trick, and is relatively easy to figure out - especially when you get a few more wakeboarding viewing hours under your belt. For ready reference:

* A half-circle spin is a 180
* A full circle spin is a 360
* A one-and-a-half circle spin is a 540
* A double full circle spin is a 720
* A two-and-a-half circle spin is a 900

Backside v frontside, toeside v heelside

For those used to watch rollerblading or skateboarding, you'll be used to the contrast between frontside and backside tricks in wakeboarding. A frontside trick is one in which the rider's chest is leading the spin and faces the boat first, a backside trick is one where the rider's back faces the boat first.
However, the terms 'toeside' and 'heelside' are more often used in defining different wakeboarding tricks. A toeside trick is initiated if the rider's toes are facing the wakeboard at the beginning of the trick; in a heelside trick their heels are facing the wake. Heelside tricks are easier to initiate - your muscle layout works a little better for getting the required pop.

Techniques for spin tricks

Spins can be either on-axis or off-axis; again, once you have either seen them in action (or better yet, tried them yourself!), the difference is fairly easy to understand. An on-axis spin is one where the board remains parallel to the water throughout the spin. Off-axis spins are those in which the board moves away from a level angle, before returning to land. Wakeboarding advice sometimes pegs one or the other of these techniques as easier - in reality, it is down to personal preference. You will sometimes see off-axis spins noted with the acronym 'OA'... frustratingly the same acronym that would be used for 'On Axis'! On axis wakeboarding spins simply don't get the 'OA' in their name.

Ways of passing the handle

Any degree of spin over 180 in wakeboarding will require passing the handle, at some stage! Usually riders prefer to pass it behind their backs, but there are several other techniques:

* Baller: When the rider passes the handle between their legs instead of behind their back
* Flatline spins: In these wakeboarding tricks, the rider goes over the rope rather than passing the handle.
* Osmosis: This advanced handle pass 'throws' the handle from one hand back to itself, bypassing the other hand completely
* Wrapped: If the rope is wrapped around the rider's back before they start their trick, it is called a wrapped trick. If they land with the rope wrapped around their back, it is called 'landing blind'.

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