So, you want to take your riding to the next level. You have a few tricks under your belt and are running out of ideas or tricks that seem attainable. You’ve probably tried some spins, maybe an air or even a shove it. Here’s an idea for you. Spin that board around and ride it with the fin in the front. We call this the Revert position or Revert for short. With enough practice you can do every trick you know revert and truth be told it makes some tricks easier to learn.
Start the same way you normally would in the water with the board orientated 180 degrees, so the fin is in the front. You are going to want to adjust your feet from where you would normally put them on the traction as the nose is now the tail of the board. We find standing a little further back on the board helps with control and lets that new tail(nose) of the board really dig in and do what it was designed to do. Keep you going straight. The pointier the nose (now tail) the more it should hold. That being said blunt or diamond nosed boards hold well revert. [Think the Kanukboardco Blunt or the Phase 5 Hammerhead] The reasoning and physics behind this is the more points you have at the rear the more they act like a fin and give you a predictable edge to rely on. Round-nose-boards slide when ridden revert and are notoriously difficult to be ridden this way.
When riding revert all your bad habits are about to be exposed. You might cheat with your shoulders or they aren’t positioned in-line with your board or the direction of travel? You will notice and it’s not pretty. The board will either slide into the wake or out into no man’s land and you will spin around uncontrollably. Less is more when attempting to ride revert. Take it super slow. Really a back to basics approach. Hang onto the rope with your leading hand (front hand) and make super, and we can’t stress enough…. Super small adjustments.
Common mistakes to watch out for:
You are trying to do too much. Just relax, bend those knees and see how long you can keep that board straight
You start swinging your shoulders around wildly. When you drop the rope have someone pull it away from you. (think mic drop) hold that leading hand out there and pretend you are still holding that rope. If you start rotating there’s a good chance it has something to do with the alignment of your shoulders and where that hand is pointing.
You edge too hard up the wave, overweighting the toeside edge. This results in you climbing the wave and sliding out because you are on the face.
You climb too high and lose all your momentum thus losing the wave.
(Insert Video showing all these common mistakes)
You really want your board to run the same direction of the boat at first standing as close to the bottom of the wave as you can. A really common feeling is that you are getting pushed out into the flats and going to lose the wave. Don’t panic. Wait until you are safely out into the flats. Its further out than you think. Pause, and then slowly drive the front knee forward which will apply a little weight to the ball of your front foot. It will help set that toe edge. You will slowly come back into the wave and your back in business.
For every action there is a reaction.
Once you get comfortable just standing behind the boat while making small adjustments try edging back and forth (small carves). Turn out or away from the wave before you go up. The higher up the wave you travel the more difficult it is and the wider you will go when coming down the wave. Start small. When you are riding a skim or a board revert you either want to be traveling up or down the wave. If you stop your direction of travel on the face of the wave more often than not you will slip out and faceplant because the only thing holding you on that wave is your edge. The fin or lack thereof doesn’t really provide any holding power on the face of the wave.
Safe options for pointing your board at the boat:
1: At the bottom of the wave
2: At the top of the wave
Let’s do a quick recap and go over how carving should look.
- You start at the bottom of the wave.
- Edge or drift slightly into the flats.
- Initiate your edge up the wave. When traveling from the bottom to the top you should be on your toe edge.
- You get to the top of the wave.
- Straighten out.
- Get back on an edge.
- Travel down the wave to the bottom.
- Repeat process.
When coming back down the wave you can be on either your toe or heel edge. It all depends on how aggressive you would like to be. We suggest starting with coming down the wave on your toe edge. It is easier and keeps you in a position where you can stay on the balls of your feet with bent knees. At this point it will be more of a drifting motion rather than a carve to the bottom of the wave. The more aggressive of the two ways is to come down that wave on your heel edge setting you up for a nice bottom turn>
Try coming down the wave both ways and see how it goes. The great thing about wakesurfing is its super repeatable and the boat comes and gets you, saving you all those hours of senseless paddling in the ocean.