A well-shaped trick wake might be the only thing keeping you from adding a new spin or flip to your trick repertoire. Solid trick wakes not only need good size – they also need to be balanced and clean. Once your wakes are perfectly formed, you can use your body positioning and balance to further enhance the “pop” factor. To find out what the pros look for in their wakes, we asked trick phenom Rhoni Barton Bischoff to offer a few tips for wake optimization.
Aim for smooth, balanced wakes
Wake shape is the most important factor in trick skiing. Because trick skiers use both wakes, you’ll want them to be as balanced and even as possible. To even the wakes, focus on the peak of the wake, where it reaches its maximum height before breaking. If one wake has a lot of white wash while the other looks a lot cleaner, add weight to the side with white wash. Small movements can have a huge impact, so move any weight or passengers about six inches at a time until the wakes look even. The goal is to get both wakes as clean as possible with a minimum of white wash.
Bigger wakes make learning spin and flip tricks easier, and there are a few ways to increase wake volume. These include filling the boat with a full tank of gas, having two adult passengers ride with the driver, and adding roughly 100 pounds of weight to the back center of the boat. Commercially sold water-filled sacs are easy to use and safer for your boat’s carpet and upholstery, but a few concrete blocks will do the trick, too.
When performing wake tricks, you’ll get the maximum lift when you’re on a light, long edge with the ski directly underneath you. Keep your weight centered directly over the ski as you edge into the wake, and try not to push the ski out in front of your body or let your body ahead of the ski on the way to the wake.
Use your legs
As much as possible, initiate tricks with your legs and lower body instead of your upper body. Doing so will keep your center of gravity lower and more stable, while allowing the ski and wake to work together, resulting in increased height and higher-scoring maneuvers.