Snap: Break or cause to break suddenly and completely, typically with a sharp cracking sound.

If you ever wanted to soak the entire boat in one well timed maneuver, throw buckets, or really lay into one trick, the snap is the trick for you.    With a combination of timing, positioning on the wave, and maximum effort you too can have all the glory that is a snap.  

As much as raw power can play into a well executed snap, wave and body position will go a long, long ways to ensuring positive results.  One of the most common mistakes we see is that people try and learn the trick too high on the wave and fail to realize how abrupt you need to change your weight.  At the end of our how to steps check out a few drills that should be practiced before trying an actual snap.  It will get you primed safely for how fast you need to change your weight and set you on the right path.  It takes a bit so don’t be discouraged.  If you have a marginally functioning lower body and hips you too can “throw buckets”. 

1 – Drop to the back of the wave.  You will want as much speed as you can muster.  If you have not read “how to do a bottom turn”> you should.  A snap is most commonly used in conjunction with a bottom turn as it helps set your board and body up for a well timed snap.    Approach and wave position are key.  The wider the approach the easier this trick will be to complete. 

2 – As you approach the front of the wave with speed pick a spot right at the front of the wave at the bottom where you are going to do your snap.  The key part here is the bottom of the wave.   The most common mistake people make is they try learning a snap higher on the wave adding to the difficulty.  You will want to use the base of the wave.  

3 – While still spotting the base at the front of the wave initiate a bottom turn.  As your board starts coming back towards the wave get ready for an aggressive transfer of weight onto your back foot.  * To maintain your speed throughout your bottom turn and to maximize your snap keep a large portion of your weight on your front foot until you transfer it aggressively to your back foot during the snap.  

4 –  When you get to the place at the front/ base of the wave you have been spotting, abruptly change edges and transfer all your weight onto your back foot fast, abruptly and aggressively.  If you’re wondering why it’s called a snap this is where the snap part comes into play. 

5 – You will want to use your back foot to jam, snap or stop the tail of your board into the base of the wave.  The nose of your board is going to rise up and it’s going to feel like you are doing a wheelie.  Because you’re at the base of the wave its ok.  The higher up the wave you are the more chances you will have of your nose grabbing somewhere less than desirable.  

5a – As you get more comfortable with the snap you can really direct where you want the water to go.  When you first start out with this trick it’s important to get the abrupt weight change and snap portion down.  Where the water goes isn’t super important.  As you progress you can angle the tail of the board either towards the boat or up and over or across the wave, the latter being the more popular choice if you find yourself in a competition and tempted to soak your judges or camera person…  

6 – As you complete your snap into the base of the wave and have exerted all force possible on that back foot, recoil and bend your knees. With that quick edge change you did into the base of the wave your board should be pointed back under you when you recoil.   

7 – Stop and enjoy your handy work.  Whether you threw buckets onto the other side of the wave, or 20 feet into the air over the boat there’s nothing quite like the feeling of executing a well timed snap.

As previously mentioned here is a good drill to get you primed for a snap.  You will get the feeling of transferring your weight abruptly without having the added frustrations of timing it into the bottom of the wave.  For a trick that breaks down a simple as stopping into the base of the wave it’s unbelievable how frustrating it can be for some people to break the habit of not climbing the wave before changing edges or struggling with the timing of it all.  

1 – Drop to the back of the wave.

2 – Add weight abbrublty to your front foot and accelerate towards the boat while angling slightly out in to the flats.  The angle you should take is similar to an ollie in the flats. You want to run parallel to the boats direction of travel.  Whether you reach the apex of your speed, pass it or are still accelerating you can do this next step. *Whether you reach the apex of your speed, pass it or are still accelerating you can do this next step.

3 – When you feel its time, rock back onto your rear foot.  You really want to engage your hips for this part.  Your hips are critical in all wakesurfing weight transfers and this one is a weight transfer of extreme proportions.   Some people think of it as bouncing onto their back foot while others feel they are rocking back onto it.  Either way you need to get all your weight on that back foot and the most efficient way is to move your hips to apply all that pressure to your rear foot. You don’t need to sustain the pressure.  You just need enough pressure to have the board wheelie and then return to the water.  

4 – Once you are comfortable wheeling the board it’s time to take it to the base of the wave.  The less board or rail you have in the water when changing edges will make it easier, faster and more responsive. It’s what allows this trick to be explosive.  If youre having trouble changing edges quickly try to do more of a wheelie to reduce the amount of rail in the water while changing your edges.

With a bit of timing and some practice you will be throwing buckets before you know it with the best in the biz.  As much as power plays a part in this trick don’t forget how much more importance that body position plays and how it will carry you further.