Blind-side tricks – coming into the wake backward – are the latest rage in wakeboarding. Here’s how you can do one without passing the handle, which will decrease the difficulty.
The setup for the double-blind 180 requires some practice. Right-foot-forward riders start with a cut out to the right. Lefties, opposite. As you reach the apex of your cut, release the handle with your rear hand and twist the free hand end of the handle down. Next, reach behind your back to get both hands on the handle. Twist your shoulders away to turn your board back into the wake for a blind front-side approach (coming into the wake backward with your toes pointed toward the wake). Keep your weight on your trailing leg until the board comes around for the cut, then put your weight equally on your toes (Photo 1).
Keep the handle in near the small of your back as you continue to edge into the wake with a tight line. Roll your shoulders forward to resist the pull while keeping your head up and spotting the horizon. Pop off the wake by extending your legs (Photo 2).
Be patient before starting the turn. Wait until you are well clear of the wake to release your landing hand. Keep the handle in or you will get pulled forward (Photo 3).
Turn your head and shoulders late to maintain a good axis. Keep the board pushed toward the boat by tilting away slightly (Photo 4). Get set to land by spotting the landing and extending your legs. Continue to pull the handle to your leading hip. Feel and use the line tension to pull you around (Photo 5).
Bend your knees to absorb the shock of the landing. Land your board on the downside of the opposite crest with the same angle that you had when you took off. Get both hands on the handle for extra stability (Photo 6).
If you can’t clear both wakes, then start out with a narrow approach to perform a single-wake version of the trick. Slowly build up and out to the two-wake version.
Tony Klarich has invented more than 50 new moves on a wakeboard, kneeboard, slalom ski and Air Chair.