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Wakeboarding Maneuvers and Terminology

posted by The Captain @ 1:01 PM
Monday, June 11, 2012

The following info was borrowed from Wikipedia under the GNU Free Documentation License.

Wakeboarding stunts

As with many freestyle sports such as snowboarding and surfing, there is almost a separate language of terms to describe various tricks in wakeboarding. The more height, the more “pop”. So therefore the rider’s edge is very important to the height of the jump. Heading towards the wake chest facing the boat is known as a heelside edge; approaching from the other direction with chest facing away from the boat is known as toeside edge. A typical beginner to intermediate rider will tend to have an easier time hitting the wake heelside because it tends to come more naturally to them, while more advanced riders can hit the wake both heelside as well as toeside.

Surface Tricks

Surface tricks are tricks that are performed when the rider is not airborne. Examples are:


  • Backside Butterslide- Rider turns the wakeboard backside 90 degrees and grinds the wake.
  • Backside Butterslide 180- Rider turns the board backside 90 degrees and grinds the wake. Rider then grabs the handle with opposite hand and does another 90 degree turn in the same direction.
  • Backside Start- Rider gets up in a backside position where the backside is facing the boat.
  • Body Slide- Rider lies back onto the water.
  • Butterslide- Rider turns the board frontside 90 degrees and grinds the wake.
  • Butterslide 180- Same as regular butterslide but with an additional 90 degree rotation in the same direction.
  • Perez- Rider carves outside of the wake and slides into a surface 360.
  • Potato Peeler- Body Slide with fin release.
  • Powerslide- Wakeboardis turned backside 90 degrees in the flats. Fins are broken loose. If done correctly, it creates a huge spray.
  • Surf Carve- Rider cuts back and forth in the wake in a surf-carving fashion.
  • Surface 180- A 180 degree turn on the surface of the water.
  • Surface 360- A 360 degree turn on the surface of the water.
  • Ollie- A bunny-hop out of the water.

Shop ski, wake, snowboard at


A spin is done by the rider rotating around, like snowboarding. The name of the spin refers to the number of degrees rotated:

  • 180
  • 360
  • 540
  • 720
  • 900
  • 1080
  • 1260

Spin Terminology

  • Backside- A spin where the rider rotates with the back of their body towards the boat first. Originally referred to as blindside or blind spins, although this terminology has fallen out of favor.
  • Baller- This is a term used for when a rider does the handle pass of their spin by passing the handle between their legs. Invented by Parks and Shane Bonifay.
  • Flatline Spin/Orbital- A spin where the rider goes over the rope instead of passing the handle.
  • Frontside- A spin where the rider rotates with the front of their body towards the boat first.
  • Off-Axis- When a rider does a spin but goes off the vertical axis so the board usually gets up to shoulder level or above. Invented by Marshall Harrington. Also called “Monkey” and “Corked” spins. Will Ellis was the first rider to land an Off-Axis 900.
  • Ole- When a rider rotates with the handle above his head, not passing the handle.
  • Osmosis- When the rider performs a spin by tossing the handle from one hand to the same hand again, bypassing the other hand. Invented by Shaun Murray.
  • Rewind- A spin where the rider does a shifty one way, then back the other, then spins back in the direction of their initial shifty.
  • Shifty- Board is shifted 90 degrees in one direction and then shifted back in the opposite direction. Gregg Necrason was the first rider to land a shifty 540.
  • To Blind- The rider does a backside 180 and lands with the rope in their backs or they can do a handle pass
  • Wrapped- When the rider has the rope wrapped around their back they are going to perform a wrapped trick. It allows a rider to spin without doing a handle pass. It also allows the rider to perform unique grabs that usually cannot be done when passing the handle.

For more tricks, click here.

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