Are you trying to land a surface 360 and getting frustrated in the process? Well you’re in the right place. We’re going to walk you through your first 360 and help you troubleshoot your problem areas. This will be a very long and laborious series of posts, but as you learn your 3, you’ll become your local expert and can help folks diagnois their problems. Hopefully you’ll be well versed and won’t find the EXTRA info problematic.
One of the first things you’ll need to do is clear your mind of all the clutter. There is just so much misinformation out there in the wakesurfing community. We are reminded of the story about the blind hot dog vendor that served the best hot dogs around and expanded, over time, to several carts and several employees. One day while discussing expanding to a different town, he was told that the economy was so bad he would be foolish to even think of such a thing and promptly contracted his operations, despite his existing success. You are an expert, certainly you know as much as anyone about where you are having trouble and you can nail that wakesurf 3! Also, if we haven’t touched on your particular issue, shoot us an email and we’ll make every effort to address it.
So step one is clear your mind and assume success, you will land it! Doesn’t matter what board or boat you have, you can land that 3. Now with that said, if you still haven’t thrown the rope, you probably need a few more hours on your surf legs before you can concentrate on this trick. This is one of the defining tricks that moves you from beginner to intermediate. If you self-assess yourself as still a beginner, look forward to the wakesurf surface 360 as your step up into intermediate!
The next step is creating the environment for learning this trick. Try and learn this when you are fresh. Nothing hampers learning more than being tired or physically exhausted. Many boats require a ton of weight and speed to get a decent surf wake and that will hinder your learning this trick. If your boat HAS to go at 12 in order to get this trick, you can still learn it, it’s just going to take you longer. Tall, steep, short or fast wakes = longer learning curve. The best speed for learning this trick, in most cases, is below 11 mph. However, you have to have a nice mellow wake, if going 11 or less gives you a sloppy face or a 2 foot long pocket, you’ll need to rework your ballast. I know, you’re thinking it took me 2 years to get my ballast right! Was that ballast based upon actually landing a wakesurf trick or what you read from a so-called expert or did you jump into the ego race to have the biggest/baddest wake? CLEAR YOUR MIND! You can always go back to your badass 3 foot high 14 mph wake, but for this one day, concentrate on as LONG as you can get it, with a speed at or below 11 mph.
When I first learned 360’s, back when I was maybe 11, I ran at 10.5 mph and almost no ballast. Here is the reason for the reduced speed, at higher speeds it takes more effort to turn your board or break the fins loose. Even 1/2 MPH difference is noticeable. Also, the entry onto your 3 requires a little bit of speed and generating that extra speed is easy the slower you go. These changes won’t be permanent, you can go back to your “normal” wake later in the day or your next outing, but for the learning phase set your ballast for as long as you can get it, as mellow as possible while still providing adequate drive and a clean face while at or around 11 mph, but probably not slower than 10.5 mph.
Ok, so those are the first steps:
1) Clear your mind of the junk you’ve heard
2) Positive attitude about you, your board and your wake – you CAN and will land the 360
3) Adjust your environment. Mellow, long and slower wake and be rested.
Please be careful with the tons of misinformation on the net. There are lots of reputable sites, but lots that just aren’t. Use good judgement!
If you find that you can’t generate enough speed going in to the wake, SLOW DOWN YOUR BOAT. You want to learn this trick going slower.
Are you coming around fine, but are floating out the back? Set that wake up for some more length. Weight forward, less towards the back and possibly if your speed is around 10.5 you can increase it some, but remain below 11 (caveat if your speedo isn’t GPS’ed, substitute “your” values here )
Are you coming around, but burying the nose of your board at the 270 degree mark, like your plunging in from a super steep wake – mellow that thing out! Less weight back, trim tab down, tad more speed.
Is your pocket 2 feet long? You got it, mellow that thing out. More weight forward, less weight back and massage that trim tab setting. Work with your speed so that you are slower, but still have a good clean face.
Do you need the latest FlyBoy to land a 3? No, we’d love your patronage, but you can do a 3 on virtually any board, but obviously some boards will make the process easier than others. The Flyboy spins easier and catches up with the boat better than just about any other wakesurf board, so if you’re in the market, please keep us in mind!
In the next step we’ll discuss the entry into the 360, this is where most folks have trouble, so we’ll spend some time there. However, we aren’t going to have you plan to pland it just yet. We want to focus on getting the board around and we’ll get to the landing LATER on.