The surface 360 is the holy grail of wakesurfing tricks. If you’ve reached the intermediate level as a wakesurfer you’ve most likely tried a surface 360 and most likely not hit it. Commonly, folks can get the rotation, but float out the back. Another common problem is over-rotating, like the board slides down the face and the wakesurf board spins past 360 and you lose the wake. The most common cause of this is a failure to site the boat after completing the rotation.
So much of the 360 is driven by the entry to the trick. You want to enter the 360, with some speed, but not blazingly fast. Just enough that you are gaining on the boat, but will be able to maintain control of the spin. You can gauge this, by fading back from the spine about one board length. Then, lean forward and bend your knees such that you are building speed, but also that your weight is pretty well centered over the wakesurf board. This is probably the most important part of the 360, and if you are finding that you are falling off backwards, you’re not leaning forward. If you plow through the wake, you are too far forward. Work on keeping the board flat for your rotation and maintain some speed forward.
The next phase is the turn up and into the wake which is combined with dragging your trailing hand in the wake. This phase requires that you focus on trying to place the nose of your board at the very top of the spine. You may have to work on this, but most often, where you place your hand in the wake face will be where the nose of the wakesurf board will rotate. Your hand becomes a pivot point and you should leave it in the water, using it to pivot around. As the board starts up and around, you’ll pull your hand out and the wakesurf board will rotate using the momentum you’ve created. If you find thewakesurf board not rotating around, try leaving your hand in the wake a touch longer. If the wakesurf board is over-rotating, try and pull your hand out sooner. If you are having some difficulty rotating and you’re using a quad fin set up, remove the inboard fins. Typically it shouldn’t require that you size down with fins. This is a common misconception, if the 360 is done correctly, the rotation will actually pop the fins out.
If you find yourself over-rotating and you’ve put shallower fins in, try swapping back to deeper fins.
The last phase is tough, because it’s not instinctual. When you are up and around, you need to start looking for the boat. Typically, you’ll be square to the board and that will cause your rotation to be slow and wide. When you come around, look for the transom! Make an effort to turn your head towards the boat and that will help you finish up the rotation.
So to recap, there are three components:
1) Set up, board flat, some speed
2) Turn up the wake and drag your trailing hand
3) As the board reaches about 180, turn your head over your shoulder and look for the boat.
These pictures of my dad, riding the flyboy wakesurf board prototype, should show the three steps and then my dad, catching back up to the boat. These pictures also depict the ease with which the FlyBoy Wakesurf board rotates the surface 360. My dad is in his 50′s and has no troubling spinning the 3!
In this picture you can see by the wake left by the board, my dad started about a board’s length behind the spine and he has shifted his weight and is ready to move on to step 2.
In the next photo you can see my dad placing his hand in the water and preparing to place the nose of the board right at the apex of the spine. He’s started his turn up and into the wake.
In this photo, dad has completed the first half of the rotation and is starting to bring his head around to focus on the boat. This part is critical for most folks – like with driving a car, you go where you look!
In this last photo, the 360 has been completed and dad is now working on staying with the pocket. The longer fins on the FlyBoy Wakesurf Board prevent the wakesurf board from over rotating and also aid in creating the drive necessary to catch back up to the boat, without the penalties associated with quad finned boards that require an expert level rider’s ability to rotate.