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May 19

Wakesurfing – how to do an aerial, the 5 steps

This will be an overview article on how to perform an aerial on your wakesurf board.  You might want to take a look at this article on how to choose the best aerial wakesurf board as a refresher.  What I’ll be covering in this article are the five steps you’ll want to concentrate on to successfully land an aerial, or to go bigger.  At the end, I’ll post pictures of the various steps so that you can visualize each step.  Also, you’ll want to take a moment and view this YouTube video so that you can see each of the steps involved.

An aerial is broken down into five discreet areas, as below:

   1) Gaining speed
   2) Turning up into the wake
   3) Ollie’ing off the lip
   4) Bringing the tail up
   5) Landing

Depending upon the board you are using and the speed you are traveling at, you’ll either need to pump a lot, or just a single pump like I do on the FlyBoy Wakesurf Board.  You’ll need enough speed to release from the wake but not so much that you can’t control the board.  Also, boards that require a great deal of boat speed will require special ballasting of your boat.  Faster boat speeds tend to diminish wake height, thereby requiring MORE ballast.  We designed the FlyBoy Wakesurf board to boost on a single pump, in this way virtually anyone with a wakesurf wake could catch air.  The way that I do it, is to pump up on to the top of the wake at the back of the pocket, my board has tremendous drive and will shoot me forward when I pump down the face of the wake.  Whatever method you use, build speed as the first step.

You’ll want to get your wakesurf board headed vertical and you start this with your bottom turn up and into the wake.  This turn scrubs a ton of speed off your going vertical and you need to make this turn fast and hard.  We have optimized the FlyBoy Wakesurf Board to turn aggressively and hard.  Many folks proclaim it to be the most aggressive board they’ve ever ridden.  What you want to do in this step is to get the nose pointed vertical.  You’re going to be doing an ollie in the next phase, but what you want to focus on here is going vertical.

The height of your aerial is almost solely dependent upon how high you can pull your front leg up.  As you approach the lip, you will be pushing down with your rear foot, while pulling your front leg up toward your chest.  The board will follow along if you have done your bottom turn correctly and you are pushing down HARD with your rear leg.  This part of the aerial is very similar to a skateboard ollie and in fact that’s one of the best ways to practice your wakesurf ollie.

Once you’ve gone vertical and you can sense that you aren’t getting the nose any higher, use your front foot and rotate the tail of the board up, while simultaneously pulling your rear leg up.  Easy huh?  No, it’s exceptionally hard and maintain control of the board is really hard during this phase.  You’ll find after lots of practice that you’ll be able to “feel” the board into the air and cause it to follow your feet.

The landing is mostly going to be extending your legs to push the board down and to give you the ability to absorb the shock as your body and wakesurf board come back in contact with the water.  You’ll want to control the direction of the board as you land as it will tend to head out into the flats after you land.  You’ll be focusing on turning the board back up into the wake so that you fall back out. 

That’s all the steps!  If you spend time working on each of the steps, you’ll get the hang of it fairly easily.  The key to getting bigger air will almost always be in gaining speed and then going more vertical.

The following pictures are not in sequence, rather I have selected photos that best exemplify the particular step involved.  To buy the most technically advanced wakesurf board available, and take your airs to the next level, CLICK HERE!

Gain speed with the pump

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Bottom turn up and into the wake

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Ollie off the lip, two pictures here, the first is the actual “sequence” shot, the next shows me pulling my front leg up.

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Bring the tail up

Once in the air, rotate the wakesurf board 90 degrees. This will set you up to land back on the wake.

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Land, legs extended to absorb the shock and preparing to turn the board back towards the boat.

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2 comments

  1. Sean Allen

    first of all love your website. just got the flyboy big boy. awesome board. i’m trying to learn to ollie, i feel like i am very close to getting it. i’m having trouble getting the tail of the board to actually release and get air. when i compare pics to yours i feel like the entry into the wave is about the same. i will get the nose pretty vertical but i just don’t seem to keep going up the wake and have the tail release. i just kinda carve off the top of the wake without any air. any tips that you could give me so i can actually complete the ollie?

  2. Author

    Hey Sean, thanks for buying the Big Boy Flyboy and also for your question. It’s a little hard to diagnois your issue without seeing a video or some pictures, but we’ll try and offer up some general guidance. One very common issue is where on the wake you’re launching from. You want to aim for a firm part of the lip, not any of the rounded part of the spine. Sometimes that means launching further back on the wake. Another is that your wake may be too soft. If your tail is buried in the face, and you can’t pull it up, with your front foot, you may need to try adding some weight or setting your speed control a little faster. Lastly, if you are getting the nose of the board vertical, then you should be able to pull the tail of the board up using your front foot. It’s like a skateboard ollie. You want to slide your front foot FORWARD that motion will keep your aerial height maximized, and pull the tail up out of the water. Try parcticing it with the rope for a few times ever run and you’ll start to feel the motion. Keep us posted on your progress!

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