Wakeboard Critic

Cable Wakeboarding Tips

Visiting a cable wake park? Our tips will have you feeling right at home and get off to a great start

If you’ve been dying to try wakeboarding, but don’t know anyone who owns a boat, you may think you’re out of luck. Fortunately though, we can tell you that there are a few options for you to catch some wakes.


The first is to find a rental boat. That’s a great option if you want to wakeboard on a lake or river. The second option, one that is far more cost-effective, is to find a wakeboard park. Cable park wakeboarding allows you to get out on the water, whether you own a wakeboarding boat or not.  Cable park wakeboards do have some differences to boat wakeboards. You can use your own wakeboard at a cable park, but many do give you the option to hire your equipment as well. 


Cable park wakeboarding, while similar to open water wakeboarding, has some differences and there are some things you will need to know before you enter the park. To make it easy for you, we’ve compiled some tips and tricks that you’ll need to know. Read on to learn more about cable wakeboarding tips.

What is a cable wake park?

When it comes to wakeboarding, there are two ways to catch a wake. One is to get pulled around by a wakeboarding boat in a lake or river, and the other is to get pulled around a body of water by a series of cables.


Cable wake parks are similar to skate parks in that they contain ramps (called kickers), rails, and other kinds of obstacles that you ride over. The overhead cables are suspended from towers in a lake, and the riders hold onto the handles coming from the cables. They’re pulled around the lake in a counterclockwise motion.


Because there’s no boat to create wakes, cable park wakeboarding involves the obstacles that we mentioned before, which allow the rider to perform the same kinds of tricks they would perform behind a boat. It can be easier to learn tricks at a cable park because you’re pulled straight and consistently, and the speed is usually a little slower than the speed of a boat.

Cable wakeboarding tips for beginners

If you’re new to cable park wakeboarding, there are some things you’ll need to know before you get started. Most parks have posted rules which you should definitely follow, but there are also some unwritten rules that apply to any cable wake park you go to.

cable park wakeboarding near me

Have the right gear

Wakeboards for cable park wakeboarding are slightly different from wakeboards for boat wakeboarding. Cable park wakeboards have a “sintered” or “grind” base – basically a more resilient material that can withstand the rails and kickers of a park.


If your board has fins, parks require that they be removed, so make sure you do that before going to a wakeboarding park.


The best kinds of bindings for wakeboard parks are the kind where the boot and binding are two separate components, allowing you to remove your feet without having to be barefoot. This can be helpful when walking around a park.


A helmet to protect your head is a requirement for any park. Most cable parks also require a life vest. If you don’t have any of these things, you can often rent them at parks.

Be ready for your turn

Cable wake parks are fast-paced. One cable wakeboarding tip that is quite important is that when you’re on the starting dock, make sure you’re ready for your turn. Make sure your gear is on properly before you get onto the dock, and strap into your board when there are only a few people ahead of you instead of waiting till the last minute.

Start right

There are a few ways to get started at the starting dock. Hopefully these cable wakeboarding tips will help you find one that is suitable for you and your level of wakeboarding. The sitting method is similar to getting up behind a boat and is often best for beginners. Sit on the edge of the starting dock with your wakeboard in the water. Turn your board so your dominant foot is at the rear and push your rear foot down to lift the front of the wakeboard out of the water. As you are sitting waiting, have your elbows and knees slightly bent. Lean back to keep the toe side edge of your board up and hold the handle in firmly to your hips. The cable will come round and the tension in your rope will pull you up and onto your wakeboard.


The second is the “slide in” method, also fairly easy to master. Put on your gear and hop into the starting line. When a pulley comes around and the operator asks if you’re ready, shift your weight over your back foot, and really lean back on that back foot. Hold the handle super tight against your back hip. Once the pulley comes around and tightens the slack in the rope, let the pulley slide you off the ramp and out onto the water.


If you’ve nailed the sit start and slide start you might want to progress to the jump start off the dock. It takes a bit more practise, but is a lot of fun. This isn’t for beginners though, so work your way up to it. Begin in a standing position on the ramp or edge of the dock, facing the rope square on, rather than turned as in the slide start. Once the pulley comes around and the tension on the rope is taken out, take a little jump, just like jumping off a bottom stair, and into the water. The cable will do the rest as you head out on the course.

Follow the cable

Here’s a few cable wakeboarding tips to follow once you’re off the starting dock. Carve around on all the straightaways and make your way to the buoy markers at each turn. The buoys help mark the turn so you know where you should be when approaching a corner. When you get to a sharp corner, look up and note the direction the cable is going to take you, and point your board in that direction as you enter

Move out of the way

If you happen to fall off an obstacle, move out of the way as quickly as you can. This avoids annoying other riders, and keeps everyone safe. Paddle out of the way as soon as you can, and once you’re out of the way you can worry about your board and other gear. Each park has “danger” zones that you should definitely get out quickly; make sure you are aware of those zones.

Find a great beginners wakeboard for kids, women or men.

wakeboard speed for beginners

Respect other riders’ space

Don’t be the rude guy at the park. Be respectful of other people’s gear out of the water, and don’t touch what isn’t yours without permission. On the water, leave lots of space between yourself and other riders, especially those who have fallen. Always watch ahead for other riders.

Watch out for “blind” spots

Blind spots are an inevitable part of every cable wake park and can’t be avoided. An example of a blind spot is a rider who has fallen behind a kicker. If you’re coming towards them you won’t be able to see them. If you fall into one of those blind spots, get out of it right away.

Start small

When you’re first starting out, stick to the smaller features at first and practice getting those perfect before moving on to more advanced features. This may seem like one of the more obvious cable wakeboarding tips, but it is important to remember. If you don’t know how to go about doing something new, take some time to watch a more advanced rider. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. The majority of wakeboarders will be more than happy to share their love of the sport and experience with new riders.
cable wake park

Be patient

Wakeboarding is fun, but it can also be challenging, especially for beginners. When you’re first starting out, be patient with yourself and think about these simple cable wakeboarding tips. Remember to take breaks frequently, especially if you’re getting frustrated. Don’t be discouraged by other riders who are doing much better than you; they were once beginners too! It’s a great learning opportunity to take a break and watch those more advanced riders for a bit.


Be patient with other riders as well. If someone isn’t as good as you, help them out if they need it instead of getting impatient with them. Being rude to a beginner can really put them off of wakeboarding. If you see a teaching opportunity, be polite. Always ask permission before giving them advice.

Have fun!

One of the most important cable wakeboarding tips is to have fun. No matter if you’re a beginner or a more advanced rider, cable park wakeboarding is supposed to be fun. Even if you only know a few tricks, or are just getting up on your board for the first time, having fun is the most important part.


Don’t take yourself too seriously, but be supportive of yourself and others. When you fall, laugh it off and try again. If you’re getting frustrated with a new trick, take a break and just do a lap around the lake, enjoying the ride and the scenery.


With the right attitude you’ll make far more progress than if you get easily frustrated and annoyed. Remember to enjoy the moment and have fun!