Are you ready? Is your mind clear of all the nonsense and are you conditioned to KNOW you can do this trick? Is your wake mellow and long? Great! You’re ready to own this trick, but let’s get into some basics here and work into the first physical step of this wakesurf trick. We’ll also suggest that you take video or sequence pictures to help you review your progress. Everything has a camera these days, use that tool!
We are going to focus on doing this with a surf style wakesurf board, because that’s what a FlyBoy is! Skimmers don’t typically have that much trouble with this trick, their biggest issue is stopping the rotation…stand up! Principally for skimmers the stop is connected with edge control. Back to our issue with the surf style surface 360. The trick is broken down into 3 discrete units, no wonder it’s so hard! These are:
1) The entry
2) The rotation
3) Staying with the pocket.
Like many tricks in various sports the entry into this trick really impacts the success of landing it, and this is true with a surf style wakesurfing surface 360. During a successful 360, the board will be planing on the surface. Have you ever gone out into the flats and sunk? You know there is a point where your wakesurf board loses plane and you sink. You can go pretty far without a great deal of speed, but eventually gravity will take over and you’ll sink. So now we are going to make you do some fun stuff. Your wake is really different, most likely and it takes some getting used to. BUT even if you are a coward and didn’t change your wake you can still do this procedure. What you are going to do is go “about” one board length back from the peak of your wake. And then lean forward, you want to have some forward lean because during the rotation pahse, as you go up the wake, if you are standing straight, you’ll fall over backwards.
This leaning forward will also generate just enough speed to keep the board planning during the entire rotation, once you are heading back down the wake, during the re-entry phase, your wakesurf board will pick up speed and maintain your plane. So what we want you to do is get in position, about 1 board length back and lean forward at that very instant look at your location on the wake and find some visual cue that you can use to remind yourself where to locate the next time. Look for the wake rolling over or perhaos some bubble pattern anything that will give you a visual alignment clue. So many people keep trying but with NO consistency, so if the do land one…they can’t do a second one. BUT, you’re smarter than that! You’re going to make mental notes and then because YOU are the expert, you’ll self-diagnose what changes you need to make!
Ok, so you are about one board length back from the peak, you have your visual cue memorized and you are leaning forward enough to gain speed on the boat. Now, here comes the fun part…as you are going forward look for the peak in the wake and when your eyes are directly across from that peak…WAIT physically say to yourself NOT YET and continue going forward, it will feel so weird and it will only take a split second, THEN turn into the wake don’t worry about dragging your hand just yet, just try and get the board into the wake, shoot for a full 90 degrees so that your back is to the transom of the boat. How far around did you get? Not at all? Oh…guess what? You aren’t turning enough into the wake. Many people have a tendency to start the rotation pointing the nose of the board away from the wake, guess what? Super hard to make the rotation. Go back and this time, try and keep that nose going straight until it’s time to do the turn.
Did you make 90 or more? Sandbagger! or maybe wakesurfing guru! What are you doing here?! No, that’s good, you’ve got good form going in. Most likely you have the nose of the board straight and you probably already have the habit of pushing the tail around to force that turn. What did all of you experts pick up? You have to get that turn going into the wake! The momentum of the turn going into the wake will carry you through the rotation. There is a point where many folks just make a 90 degree turn, because they don’t turn the board, they rely almost entirely on the hand drag. Now it can be done that way, but wow is that hard! We’re lazy and we like to use all of the resources available, so we want you to get that board turn perfected, first, as well as the speed going into the trick.
Ok so let’s recap this step
1) Say cheese, video or sequence pictures will help you review
2) Fade back about one board length and lean forward, and make a mental note of the location
3) At the peak of the wake, WAIT!
4) Ok, now throw that turn, no hand dragging just yet, just turn
5) Self diagnose the result. Make it 90 degrees? YES!
At this stage all you really want to achieve is getting the board 90 degrees into the rotation, without flailing or sinking before you make the turn.
Are you sinking before you finish that turn, like the board is bogging? You might need more float, but you can substitute more speed for that. Fade back a little more to gain more speed, don’t forget to make that new mental note.
Are you jamming the nose and feel wildly out of control going into the turn? Don’t lean forward so much…just enough to keep the board planning, you don’t need LOTS of speed.
Can’t make the turn at all? Running a quad or thruster…well you have a few options. The first, is to surf it as a twin, take the trailing fins out. The second is to REALLY push that tail around to get the turn going. Using your rear leg, push the tail in the direction of the turn.
Spinning wildly out of control? Slow down there big fella, are you sure your using a surf style board? Are you sure your not using a hand? If no to both, wow! You are a powerful surfer. Try easing up on the effort so that you just get that 90 degrees into the turn.
Ok so we are cheating in this picture with a hand drag, but can you see the focus on the peak, the eyes and head are right across from the peak. Most folks want to try this trick to early, that’s why we suggest that “WAIT!” for a split second which will get you set up for the rotation. There are so many components to this trick, and most likely you don’t have issue with ALL of them, but we are going through as many as we can remember so that folks can do their own self diagnosis.