How to get started on the sliders
Undoubtedly you will reach a point in your wakeboarding career where you are keen to get out and start hitting the plastic features at the Lagoon Watersports cable wake park. This can be quite a daunting prospect at first but with the right instructor and practice anybody can get to this level.
There are a number of key elements to consider before progressing onto the ramps:
1 – Is my level of wakeboarding strong enough? At Lagoon Watersports there are a number of manoeuvres that we ask all riders to show they can do before using the rails. They are there to ensure your riding is solid enough to be able to handle the approach, ride and dismount of the sliders. The pre requisite is not a difficult level to reach and by chatting to the wakeboard instructors when on a ride session they can help you progress to this level.
2 – Have I got the right wakeboard kit? When looking at getting on to the sliders you will need to get to grips with riding a wakeboard with no fins. The first time you do this it will feel quite strange but you will soon get used to the feeling, it is great for turning in and out of switch but the steering is a bit more technical. Without the fins the steering relies a lot on edging the board, using the rails of the board to give it direction. It is strongly recommended that you acclimatise yourself to a fin-less wakeboard before considering rail riding.
3 – How do I get on the rails? There is a dedicated Rails and Obstacles course run at Lagoon Watersports that utilises the ‘Disco Pad’. This is a very small slider that has been installed with the express purpose of getting our wakeboarders onto the sliders. The course will focus on things like edging (steering the board out to the slider), hitting the slider (when to flatten off the board and your stance), riding the rail (how to hold the correct stance to ensure a smooth ride), dismount (adjusting the stance off the rail and steering away from the slider to make the corner)
4 – I have done the rails course so where next? You’ve mastered the disco pad and now want to start on the big rails, remember, take it slow. Don’t head straight for the most technical rail in the park. Get comfortable on something similar in shape to the pad, but bigger. At the lagoon we have the flat box which is the perfect rail to progress onto. Remember the thinner, longer and higher a rail is the harder it is to hit and ride the length of.
Thats it! With the right instruction and practice you will learn to hit all the features at Lagoon Watersports Cable Park.