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By: Colin Sproule
The freedom of not being connected to your board is one of the things riders love
best about wakeskating. Riders of all levels can enjoy this freedom if you just
like to surf around on the wake or you are trying technical flip tricks. This
freedom also allows riders to be more creative. This holds true especially when
it comes to dock starting. Dock starting is basically what the title implies,
you start off from a dock, diving board, slider, etc. rather than starting off
in the water. Because your board is not attached, you have the ability to run
on the structure you are starting from before you have to jump onto your board
and into the water. Before, during or after the jump is where many riders have
done some very creative moves to make their dock starts more challenging and stylish.
In this article, we will teach you the basic dock start and then leave it up to
you to figure out some more creative ways to have fun with it after you get it
Before dock starting on your wakeskate, you should be able to do the following things:
1. Be able to do a deep water start.
2. Be comfortable landing on your board in the water.
Performing the trick
Grab your board of choice and find something fun to jump off of. We would suggest to start on something lower to the water and then work your way up. A dock, diving board, slider, the swim platform of another boat(with the motor turned off) will all work well. Depending on how fast your boat can take off, take a few steps back from the end of the object. The furthur back you step, the harder it is to keep a good rhythym. If your boat can plane off quickly, then you only need about two or three steps. Otherwise, take a few more steps back to give the boat time to take off.
So now you are holding the handle of your rope, you have your board in your hand and you are on top of you object. Now is the time to get your driver to pull out straight in front of you and get the rope tight so there is no slack. Once the driver is all lined up it is go time. Now its your turn to do some work. Get the driver to take off quickly, not too much speed, but enough to keep you floating on top of the water. I suggest a little more than you need to get up, but depending how high you are you may need to go faster.
Timing is everything at this point. Start running and try to time it so the boat is not jerking you forward or so that there is not much slack in front of you. It takes a little practice just like everything. Think of it as you are running with the handle, not behind it not in front of it.
As you are running and ready to jump, basically all you have to do is jump and place the board under you. Notice that I didn't say throw, drop or fling the board under you. It is best if you can get your feet to touch the board in the air as you will have more control when you land, and will most likely have better foot placement.
When you hit the water, suck it up by bending your knees just like a jump except lean back a little more and try and ride it out. Once you have landed put both hands on the handle if you wish and ride away.
Try to place your board under your feet to where your feet are in a strong riding position.
Hold the board in the most comfortable spot that makes it easiest for you to place it in a good positing. On the nose or on either side is usually a good place.
Communicate with the driver.
Hold on with both hands when you hit the water and start riding away.
If you have specific questions about this trick or would like to discuss it further, talk about it in the Wakeskate Discussion Forum.
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