Earning respect from the folks in the boat means not only landing an array of tricks but also, doing it with style. Fortunately, it’s very doable, said wake sports coach Ryan Wakenigg with Singleton Marine, and it’s a lot easier than it was when the sport was new.

“When I started 15 years ago, I had to buy a DVD or go somewhere to watch someone in order to learn tricks. You had to be creative and learn the fundamentals that way. Now, it’s easier to learn from a lot of different people, and with social media, we see more tricks being learned and landed,” Wakenigg said. “There are more kids wakeboarding than when I first started, and they are learning harder tricks than we did back in the day.”

Today, it’s easy to go online to see wakeboard pros land the Method, Scarecrow and Crow Mobe, but nothing beats a tutorial that you can lay out and study in slow motion. Wakenigg took to the water to talk through three tricks that could secure creds from the back of the boat.

It’s important to stretch out before getting in the water, which will help you stay flexible and land tricks, Wakenigg said. Pre-ride preparation should include a mix of dynamic and static stretching.

“Nothing too deep. You don’t want to tear your muscles because there isn’t enough time for them to repair before you ride,” Wakenigg said. “Get the hip flexors and hamstrings stretched out. Light swimming around the dock. Loosen up the shoulders.”

If a trampoline is available, use it for warm-ups and practice, starting with slow bounces, he suggested.

“It’s always good to do some bouncing on a trampoline before you go out and ride. Take a rope on a handle and hook it to a tree up high, so you have rope to practice with,” he said. 

In addition, get regular workouts in on days when you aren’t riding. Do some cardio, Wakenigg said.

“Don’t rely on the wakeboard to keep your stamina up,” he advised.

The workouts and stretching will help with flexibility, which is one of the most important things about grabbing tricks. Stretch after the ride as well, Wakenigg said. Expect to be sore, but it’s always nice to sit back on the dock and relax after riding, knowing you nailed it.