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Wakeboarding Terminology

About Wakeboarding | Wakeboarding Terminology | Wakeboarding Equipment
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Air: Getting in the air, the amount of space between the rider and the water.

Air Trick: A trick performed using line tension for lift instead of the wake.

Air Raley: The rider hits the wake and allows his board and body to swing up over his head while he crosses the wake. Rider then swings the board and body down and lands on the opposite side of the wake.

Backside: Same as heelside.

Backside Boardslide/Lipslide: A Boardslide or Lipslide where the rider approached the slider or wake with their back closest to the object being used.

Backside Roll: Rider approaches the wake carving the heelside edge of the board, then rolls the board up over his head and lands in the same direction he started.

Backside Spin: A spin where the rider rotates with the back of their body towards the boat first. For a left-foot forward rider this would be clockwise. Sometimes mistakenly referred to as a "blindside spin".

Ballast: Extra weight added to the boat to make the wake bigger. Ballast can be people, fat sacks, lead, or anything else that's heavy. Some boats include Ballast systems which are built in systems that fill with water.

Bindings: The rubber/foam boots that are attached the board to hold the board to the riders feet.

Blind: When a rider spins and lands in rotation that he's completely "blind" to the wake or boat. The rider can't see or orientate his landing. It's blind - a blind 360 would be spinning blind to the boat. Tantrum to blind would be a completely "blind" landing.

Boat speed: The speed is up to the wakeboarder, but it's usually between 18-22 mph. Wakeboarders need a boat speed fast enough to help them accelerate so they can land a move way out in the flats but not so fast that it flattens out the wake of the boat.

Butter Slide: Rider approaches the wake, then hops the board and lands on the edge of the wake with the board sideways (perpendicular to the wake) and slides the board on top of the wake.

Board: A shorter version of "wakeboard".

Boarder: A shorter version of "wakeboarder".

Board Rack: A rack used for holding wakeboards and wakeskates. Usually attached to an extended pylon or tower.

Boardslide: A slide on an obstacle or wake where the nose of the board is what travels over the obstacle. So if you approache a slider with your chest facing it and ollie up and slide with the nose over the slider, it's a Frontside Boardslide.

Boat: A wakeboarder or wakeskater is usually pulled by a motorized boat.

Boat Speed: Refers to the speed the boat is going while pulling a wakeboarder. Most riders ride between 18-24 mph depending on rope length and skill level.

Bonk: The act of touching/hitting your board on an obstacle. If a rider "bonks a buoy", they're hitting their board agains the buoy briefly.

Butt Check: When the rider lands a trick and drags or slaps their butt on the water. Generally this is considered a sloppy landing.

Butter: A term used for smooth water.

Core: The inside material used in a wakeboard. Common cores are foam, honeycomb, or wood.

Corked Spin: Another name for an off-axis spin. When a rider spins and the rider leaves their vertical axis and the board rises up to shoulder level or higher while spinning.

Digger: A bad wreck.

Dock Start: The rider starts standing or sitting on the dock and the boats pulls him out.

Double-Up: A term that describes a type of wake that is created. The boat does a wide turn and crosses it's own wakes at about a 90-degree angle; the wakes converge causing the resulting wake to be twice the size.. The rider cuts on the inside of the turn and when the wakes cross each other, he cuts back and hits the wakes coming together.

Deep-Water Start: The normal way to start riding a wakeboard is to sit in deep water and let the boat start going and pull you up on top of the water.

Edge: The sides of the wakeboard are called edges. You have a Heelside Edge and a Toeside Edge on your board.

EVA Foam: A lightweight foam used in bindings and rope handles.

Extended Pylon: A pylon which is usually 6-feet tall or higher, used to attach the rope to so it's higher off the water. A higher rope gives less downward pull on the rider while in the air.

Eye-Opener: A fall where you faceplant so fast that you can't manage to close your eyes before hitting the water. We don't recommend falling this way.

Fakie: Riding the board backward. Considered a more difficult riding position for a wakeboarder. Can also use the term switchstance.

540: A 540-degree rotation in the air. (1/2 rotation more than a 360 degree rotation)

Faceplant: A fall where you catch your toeside edge causing you to fall very quickly so your face slaps the water hard.

Fakie: A term from skateboarding that means riding the board in your normal riding position, but traveling the other direction. This can't really be done in wakeboarding since you can't change your foot position, so fakie is often interchanged with the term "Switchstance" in wakeboarding, which just means that the rider is riding the board with their opposite foot forward.

Fat Sack: A sack that is filled with water and placed in the boat to make the wake bigger.

Fin: A fin is the skeg on the front and back of the board to help stabilize the board in the water.

Flip: The term can be interchanged with "Invert", but in wakeboarding a Flip is usually a term used to define a tip over tail upside down rotation. There are a few exceptions though.

Frontside Boardslide/Lipslide: A Boardslide or Lipslide where the rider approached the slider or wake with the front of their body closest to the object being used.

Frontside Spin: A spin where the rider rotates with the front of their body towards the boat first. For a left-foot forward rider, this would be a spin in the counter-clockwise direction.

Glass: A term for smooth water.

Goofy Foot: Wakeboarders who ride with their right foot forward.

Grab: While in the air, if the rider reaches down to the board and clasps their hand on it, it's a "Grab". There are lots of different types of grabs that can be done alone or added to other tricks.

Grind: Rider approaches an obstacle and slides the board along the obstacle. Also called a rail slide.

Half-Cab: Rider approaches fakie, performs an 180-degree rotation while crossing both wakes in the air and lands in a forward position on the opposite side of the wake.

Handle: The handle is at the end of the rope, and is usually between 12"-15" wide.

Handle Pass: When the rope handle is passed from one hand to the other, it's called a Handle Pass. It's usually only used to referred to when the rider passes the handle behind their back.

Heelside Edge: The Heelside Edge is the side of the board closest to your heels. Most riders are more comfortable edging with this edge when beginning.

Helmet: A helmet is usually used when riders hit obstacles such as slider or kickers.

Invert: When the rider goes upside down while in the air, it's called an Invert.

Jib: To hit a rail, slider, dock, etc. Basically riding/sliding something that isn't water.

Kevlar: A non-stretch material used in ropes similar to Spectra. Wakeboarders want a Kevlar or Spectra rope that doesn't stretch.

KGB: Backside roll with a blind 360.

Kicker: A ramp hit by a wakeboarder or wakeskater to catch air.

Life Jacket: A life vest or jacket is used to float the rider in the water.

Lipslide: A slide on an obstacle or wake where the tail of the board travels over the obstacle first. So if you approach a slider with your chest facing it and ollie up and put the tail of the board over the obstacle, you're doing a Frontside Lipslide.

Loading the Line: This is a term used for building line tension in the rope when edging progressively. You want to "load the line" to build tension in the rope so it releases when you leave the wake to give you maximum pop.

Lube: A slippery substanced used to help get your feet into bindings. There are some specially made lubes, but some people used shaving cream or soap.

Mobe or Mobius: An invert that also contains at least a 360 degree spin in it.

Monkey Spin: Another name for an off-axis spin. When a rider spins and the rider leaves their vertical axis and the board rises up to shoulder level or higher while spinning.

Nose: The tip of the board, the closest end to the boat.

911: Backside raley with a twist.

Olé: A rider rotates with handle over head. (ie. whirlybird)

Off-Axis Spin: When a rider does a spin but goes off the vertical axis so the board usually gets up to shoulder level or above.

Pop: This is when you release from the wake, you generate pop. Pop is also similar to the term "Air".

Progressive Edge: The proper technique to be used when edging. A progressive edge is when the rider build their edge as they approach the wake so that their hardest edge is right when they hit the wake.

Pylon: A metal pole used for attaching the rope to the boat.

Rail: A long rail made of metal, PVC, or wood used as an object to slide by a wakeboarder or wakeskater.

Raley-Based Tricks: Tricks built off of the Raley, which means they are all tricks with your body extended back with the board above your head, yet aren't inverted flips.

Rampy Wake: A wake that has a very gradual slope to it. This type of wake is better for tricks where the rider edges all the way through the wake.

Regular Foot: A rider who rides with their left foot forward on their wakeboard.

Revert: Used to describe landing Switch or Fakie. A Roll To Revert is a Back Roll with a 180 causing the rider to land backwards, or Revert.

Rider: Preferred slang term for a wakeboarder. Calling them riders emphasizes the crossover with all other boarding sports like snowboarding.

Rocker: The amount of curvature in a wakeboard. If a wakeboard has 2 inches of Rocker, then the tip and tail are 2 inches higher than the middle of the board. There are two types of rocker, continuous and three-stage. Continuous rocker is a smooth curve, while a board with three-stages of rocker, with a flat spot in the middle of the board.

Roll: A rider approaches the wake and rolls the board around and over his head.

Rope: The rope connects the handle to the boat. Common wakeboarding rope lengths are between 55'-80'.

720: A 720-degree rotation. Two complete rotations & two handle passes.

Speedball: Two complete front flip rotations. Darin Shapiro is the only known rider to be able to complete with the trick. It has only been done on the double-up maneuver.

Stoked: Describes riders when they are pumped up and confident.

Slider: A long rail made of metal, PVC, or wood used as an object to slide by a wakeboarder or wakeskater.

Spectra Rope: A spectra rope is one that is made out of the material called Spectra, which is a non-stretch substance. Wakeboarders want to use a non-stretch rope made of Spectra or Kevlar.

Spin: A spin is when the rider and board rotate around on a vertical axis.

Stack: Another term for a bad wreck.

Standing Tall: When the rider is about to pop off the wake they want to stand tall, which means extending at the hips and knees so they don't absorb the energy created by the impact of the wake.

Steep Wake: A steep wake is a wake that is very abrupt and steep in shape. It's closer to being a wall, and is better for tricks where the rider wants to stop and pop, or go up more instead of going out.

Style: The look a rider has while riding. A unique style is a unique look to their ride. Things usually considered stylish are well-held grabs, smooth landings, tweaking out tricks, etc.

Surface Trick: A trick performed with the board on the water the whole time.

Switchstance: Riding the board backwards from your normal riding stance.

Tantrum: A back flip over the wake coming off a heel edge.

Tail: The end of the board farthest from the boat when riding.

Thumb Screws: These are screws used to screw the bindings onto the board. Other products used for this are Lokz, Hyperlocks, Bones, G-bolts, etc.

Tip: The end of the board closest to the boat when riding.

Toeside: It is the side of the board where the rider's toes are closest to one edge while positioned in the bindings.

Tower: A "cage-like" aluminum attachment to a boat used for tying the rope to, placing boardracks, speakers, etc.

Triple-Up Just like a Double-Up, except the boat makes an additional kink which it drives back through to make a roller even bigger than a Double-up.

Tweak: When a rider puts a little extra on a move ... makes a bigger arc, extends the board further, etc.

360: A 360-degree rotation in the air either passing the handle or wrapping the rope around your body.

Wake: The wave created behind the boat which is used by a wakeboarder to jump of off or slide.

Wakeboarder: The person riding the wakeboard.

Wakeskate: A combination of a wakeboard and a skateboard. The board doesn't have bindings, is smaller, and covered with grip tape or a sticky foam.

Washy Wake: A wake that isn't very clean. This means that it's sort of bumpy and there may be a white turbulent water on the top of the wake.

Wrapped: When the rider has the rope wrapped around their back when riding they are are going to perform a wrapped trick. It allows a rider to spin without doing a handle pass, so it allows for unique grabs.

Wreck: When the rider falls and can no longer hold on to the rope.

Vest: A life jacket, used to float the rider in the water.