Of all the tricks we teach we aren’t sure if people even realize that they know how and that they are already doing a boardslide. For some riders a board slide is the easiest and most natural thing to try. If you’re not one of these people. Don’t freak out. It’s not uncommon. While some find it an extension of carving others struggle, and anywhere you fall on the spectrum is fine. We are here to help.
Let us introduce the toeside boardslide. This boardslide is done at the top of the wave. Typically, for a boardslide a rider will be carving around, and to add some variety go up all the way to the top of the wave, open their hips up to the boat and turn their board sideways or 90 degrees to the direction of the boats travel, hold it there for a second or two, straighten out slightly towards the boat and come back down the wave. Another example of this but on land is if you have ever seen a snow or skateboarder ride up to a hand rail and ride down it with the rail between their feet. Luckily, we don’t have hand rails to contend with in the middle of the lake so we get to use the top of the wave instead.
Board slides are a great trick to learn. They will add another dimensions to your carving and also help with accomplishing its more aggressive sibling the slash.
How to boardslide
1 – Start anywhere from the rear to ¾ of the way back on the wave. You will want some forward momentum for this trick.
2 – Start your approach to the boat. You will want your approach to be somewhere in the middle of what you’re capable of. Too slow makes for a difficult release of your fins while too fast leads to being out of control and more susceptible to mistakes.
3 – As you start to move forward towards the boat look and spot the wave quarter to a third of the way back from the very front. This is where you will want to do your board slide.
4 – As you make your final approach make a slight bottom turn. Most of us do this naturally without even thinking or knowing that we are doing it. The quick little bottom turn will act as a quick speed check and also gives you a bit better angle into the wave. While it might seem counterproductive to turn away from the boat only to turn in at an increased angle from the boat as you go up the wave this will actually help you in having your fins release and getting your board into that final 90 degree position.
5 – Rise up to the top of the wave. You want to get almost all the way to the top. Right before you get to the top put the majority of weight on your front foot. Yes, that is correct your front foot. This is one of those tricks that looks different than it feels. The trick looks like you would come to the top of the wave and push on your back footas hard as you can. Looks can be deceiving folks. While that is somewhat the motion you are going for if you put all of your weight on your backfoot the fin or fins will dig in. There will be no release. They will grab, and you will go splat. Think back to the snowboarder on a rail analogy. If they are straddling the rail and board sliding down, they will have a 50/50 weight distribution. Now think of the top of the wave as a rail. The only problem is we can’t ride off the end of the rail. If we weight our front foot more than our back foot it will hold us inside that lip or rail line if you will and allow you to re-enter back into the wave. So rather than a push on your back foot weight your front and extend your back leg. This will allow you to maintain control of the tail and not lift your rear foot.
Another analogy that can be used is kicking a soccer ball. Your weight goes on the opposite foot that you are kicking with. Just like when you do a board slide.
6 – Now that you are at the top of the wave, your front foot is weighted, you have released your fins, and your back leg is extended (straighter knee) you can pause. The best way to feel and extend this pause is to press into your front foot. The more you press and bend that front knee the longer you can hold it sideways. You want to hold your board 90 degrees to the boat’s direction of travel.
7 – When it’s time to finish and come out of the board slide you only need to correct a little bit. A common mistake is for a rider to come up to the top of the wave, get their board 90 degrees, hold it….. And then over correct on the way back down. Remember we want to ride down the wave. We do not want to point our board at the back of the boat part of the way back down the wave. On a skim this usually results in a lost edge to face plant while on a surf you will either tip over backwards or your fins will grab and give you a bit of a bucking sensation. None of these are desirable outcomes. So that being said you want to be somewhere in the range having your board point halfway back to the boat or 45 of the 90 degrees you had your board at for the board slide.
8 – Celebrate. Fist pump, chicken wing, hoot and holler. We don’t care how you celebrate. The important part is you learned a new trick and hopefully we helped you learn it safely.
*The immediate sibling to this trick is the slash. There are a few nuances but fundamentally on a wakesurf and due to the size constraints of our waves they are extremely similar. If you get the boardslide down, you will be well on your way to getting a slash as well. A 2 for 1 if you will. Honestly, It’s probably the best deal going in wakesurfing.