Wakeboard Critic

How-To-Guide: Tantrum Wakeboarding

Nobody likes a tantrum; they’re unpleasant to see and hear. Tantrums aren’t only for toddlers, though. They’re also a great trick for wakeboarders to perform.


The tantrum wakeboarding trick is classified as an invert, which means that the rider is upside down while in the air. Think of it like a flying backflip that you’d perform on a trampoline. The Tantrum was invented in the early days of wakeboarding by Eric Perez, a world championship winner from Hawaii.


There are dozens of inverts that you can learn, including the ones with awesome names like “Big Wurm”, “Discombobulator”, and “Wrecking Ball”, but before you attempt those tricks it’s important to master the tantrum. Mastering the tantrum will help you master the other more difficult inverts.


Wondering how to get started on throwing a tantrum (the watery kind, not the toddler kind)? In this article we’ll break down how to get started on mastering tantrum wakeboarding. You’ll find detailed instructions, as well as some tips and tricks and a section on troubleshooting.

tantrum wakeboarding

Prerequisites for Tantrum wakeboarding

You’re probably eager to start learning to tantrum on a wakeboard – understandable, since it’s a pretty cool trick. Who doesn’t want to fly? Before you attempt it, though, make sure you have a few things down to ensure your success with the trick.

Edge control

Before you learn the tantrum, make sure you have mastered your edge control. Edging is essential to getting up in the air in a tantrum. Without a good edge you won’t be able to pop enough to get you into the air.

Wake jumps

Be able to easily perform wake jumps and land comfortably. Once you’re comfortable with jumps it will be easier to get the hang of tantrum wakeboarding.


If you want to land bigger tricks, including the tantrum, you have to be able to commit to the trick. Make sure you’re comfortable with following through, and don’t stop in the middle of your trick.

Backflip on a trampoline

This isn’t a strictly necessary prerequisite, but if you can practice backflipping on a trampoline you’ll have an easier time doing tantrum wakeboarding. Getting used to the feeling of flipping in the air without a board strapped to your feet can help make you more confident once you’re out on the water.

How to perform a Tantrum on a wakeboard

  1. Carve out wide as if you are performing a normal heelside wake.
  2. Once the boat starts pulling you back in, begin edging in aggressively. Your board will be perpendicular with the wake.
  3. About 2-3 feet from the wake, start squaring up with the wake. Let go of the rope with your back hand, and turn your chest parallel with the wake and the boat. Make sure your back hand is dropped by the time you hit the wake.
  4. Stand tall at the top of the wake and put your weight quickly on your toes. The wake will trip you up in the air.
  5. Keep your shoulders square with the boat and look backwards until you can see water. Drive the rotation with your shoulders and hips.
  6. Once you finish the rotation and can see water again, bring the handle close to your body for good control. Bend your knees to land smoothly.

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Tantrum Troubleshooting

If you’re having a really hard time landing the tantrum on a wakeboard, you might need a little troubleshooting. Consider the following issues and solutions and see if any of them will help with mastering the trick.

tantrum wakeboarding

Not getting enough height

This is a common problem in tantrum wakeboarding. It can happen if you’re focusing too much on getting the flip and if you’re forcing the pop instead of waiting for it. Don’t try to force it; the tantrum will trip itself, so you just have to be patient and let the wake pop you.

Throwing too early

Don’t throw your head and arms back too early otherwise you won’t get proper rotation. Wait to ride all the way to the top of the wake so you can get enough lift and time to rotate.

Not standing tall enough

If you don’t stand tall enough on the wake, you’ll absorb its energy and you won’t get up very high. Make sure you’re not crouching too low when you’re edging back so that you are able to stand up easily when you get to the wake.

Incorrect edging

In order for the board to come up over your head, instead of going through and around the wake, you need to hit the wake toeside. Make sure you put the weight on your toes instead of your heelside.

Throwing a tantrum is great!

When you’re on a wakeboard, it’s actually okay to throw a tantrum! Tantrum wakeboarding is the first of the inverts that you’ll learn, and one of the easiest. Follow the steps above and practice to make it perfect. If you master tantrum wakeboarding, you’ll be well on your way to learning other cool tricks.

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