Exploration

7 Wakeboarding Tricks You Won't Believe

If you've ever tried wakeboarding, you know how fun it can be- and how difficult. Being towed by a motor boat, you've got to hit a wave at just the right moment, launch yourself in the air, and put together the craziest combination of spins and flips you can think of. And if you're not [...]

If you've ever tried wakeboarding, you know how fun it can be- and how difficult. Being towed by a motor boat, you've got to hit a wave at just the right moment, launch yourself in the air, and put together the craziest combination of spins and flips you can think of.

And if you're not a believer, here are seven jaw-dropping wakeboarding tricks to convince you.

1. Jumping Over a Boat

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Let's start big. German wakeboarders Tom Richter and Steffen Vollert decided to be the first to pull off a pretty extreme stunt: jumping off a ramp, over a boat seven meters high and four meters high.

In front of a Hamburg crowd, their first few attempts get them over the boat, but nowhere near a landing. Based on Richter's face after one failed jump, it's clear that this is no walk in the park. But then things click, and the tricks they pull off are worth the wipeouts.

2.Toeside Frontside on Axis 720

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Wakeboarding isn't all about how much air you can get- the best tricks are pulled off in nanoseconds, with only a few feet of vertical. Daniel Powers shows how true that is with his perfectly controlled toeside frontside on axis 720.

The underrated part of the trick is how Powers deals with the handle, pulling off two full rotations without getting tangled in the rope.

3. Matt Simms' 900

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The 900 (two and a half rotations) is one of the hardest tricks in skateboarding, and it's pretty impressive on the water, too. At 25mph, Matt Simms nails it with style.

After the trick (at 0:40), the rest of the video is a well earned victory lap.

4. Tantrum to Blind

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Here, Chase Shuster displays a trick whose full name is "up tantrum to blind – heelside backflip with early handle pass backside 180." After a first viewing, it may look simple, but as the name implies, there's a lot going on here.

A tantrum is actually a simple version of a backflip, but Shuster combines it with a 180 degree spin and a pass of the rope and handle behind his back.

5. Whirly Bird

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So the name "whirly bird" is self-explanatory. Rider J.B. O'Neill makes the trick, explained in the video description as a "tantrum with backside 360 with handle over the head ‘ole 3′" look easy. But when you stop to think about how much he did in the two seconds in the air, you realize just how difficult a move it actually was.

6. Back Flip Over Another Rider

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For the first ten seconds of this video, you watch the rider in the foreground, waiting for him to do something crazy. But all the action is stage right, as his friend swings in and does a backflip over him.

Ok, so a wakeboarder isn't as tall or wide as a boat, but the jumper doesn't use a ramp to do it. And you don't have to convince a boat to be crazy enough to hold still for the stunt.

7. Front Flip

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Most of these videos make flipping and spinning on a wakeboard seem easy, but this one reveals how much failure goes into every success. The first half is all wipeouts, the second all victories. Bonus points for awesome camera work and unique points of view.

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Photo: over_kind_man / CC