It’s the end of the summer but not the end of riding season. School is back in, and the summer is officially over. This is the time of year I love.
The weekday water is amazing, and we are operating with a full pool on Lake Martin, given all the rain we’ve had consistently the past few months. Labor Day weekend will kick off this month with a ton of people coming to the lake, and we usually see some good blowout sales at the marinas. You can pick up that vest, wakeboard or surfer for a good price and still have a little time to break it in a bit before we get some temperature drop and the water begins to get chilly.
By the end of the month, we sometimes get those cool mornings when a rider might even need a neoprene top. I’ve always said that of all the equipment that I have, the neoprene long-sleeved top is used more than anything and can really extend a season when it begins to cool off.
This year, it looks like we will have the bonus of higher water levels along with the cooler temperatures, as the conditional fall extension appears to be a given.
Most of us have been working on progression and learning new tricks, and the higher water level might mean a little more time for some of us to spend on the water.
Here’s a little combo to practice behind the boat or PWC. The Inside Out Ollie, 180 and 360. Use this tip when doing them frontside. Each trick is a progression to the next.
You will need to time your pull from the middle of the wake or just on the side opposite the one you plan to ollie off. Begin edging out toward the wake you’re going to ollie; with knees bent, extend your rear leg down at the top of the wake to get the pop and raise your front leg slightly; catch it at the top and flatten (the board should be perpendicular to the water).
The i/o frontside 180
You might need a little more speed, so begin to edge a little harder; pop and release the front/lead hand in the air and take the handle to your rear hip. Your body will rotate 180 degrees, and you will ride away switch. It may help to look toward the shore and not at the boat. The body will rotate where you look or where your head is turned.
The i/o frontside 360
Same edge, maybe a little more aggressive and harder pop, so bend your knees a little more and jam down the rear leg for pop; release the front and begin to reach to the small of your back/lead hand. Once your body has begun rotating to the 180, turn the handle over, like you were putting the back of your hand to the small of your back. With your free hand, finish reaching back to the handle and grab it. Finish the last 90 degrees of rotation and ride away clean.
Next step, you can start grabbing these tricks and take them wake-to-wake.
Trick tip for the surfers
A skim style 360.
The most common problem I see is that people are trying to do the spin entirely too close to the boat. Usually, the wave a rider has been surfing on is not set up properly, and the rider may have been riding too close to the boat in the first place.
Get the board on edge and pump for a little speed. From the tail of the wave, accelerate and within a board length initiate the spin. Staying upright, body as close to on-axis as you can, spin. Here’s the tricky part – transitioning from forward/toe weight to flat footed in the last 180. You have to stay off your toes; lift them a little if you have to when learning. Stay low; don’t stand up as you spin. The hardest part is in keeping the board moving on the wave when you spin. You have to have momentum to begin with; don’t stall the board out in the spin. When your spin is done flat, you will keep the momentum pumping. The board will catch the drive, and you ride away.
See you on the water.
Sawyer Davis is a wakesurfer and Inboard Specialist with Russell Marine and grew up on Lake Martin.