Crossing the wake is one of the first tricks for slalom water ski novices to master. Crossing the wake might seem like the fast track to a wipe out, but it can be mastered with a little bit of practice. Okay, maybe a lot of practice. The wake might seem intimidating when you are cruising behind the boat on your slalom ski, but with these tips you'll be on your way to fancier moves and easy wake crossing in no time.

Practice On Shore

Get a good feel for the proper body position before getting out on the water to help you feel more comfortable. Practicing good form on shore can help you avoid too many wipeouts on the water since you will already know how your body and balance should feel.

Position Yourself

Body position is essential to maintaining balance and control when water skiing. The proper body position on a slalom ski involves keeping your weight on the inside balls of your feet, with your knees bent and turned in slightly together. Keep your shoulders back and your chest out, so your torso stays centered over your feet. Make sure to keep your arms straight and your hips facing the direction you are going.

Take it Straight

Look ahead, not down, and point your slalom ski toward the wake. Stay balanced and straight to smoothly cross the wake back and forth on your ski.

Maintain a Good Speed

Keep your speed moderate until you have some experience. Also, remember to avoid leaning back as you ski through the wake. Eventually, you will be able to cut through the wake faster by leaning on the edge of your slalom ski. However, beginners should keep the ski flat on the water and focus on keeping their balance.

Stay Balanced

Remember that weight on the left side will take you to the left, and weight on the right side will take you to the right. Maintaining good balance on the ski can be difficult for a beginner, but don’t lean too far in either direction to avoid falling. When crossing the wake, remember to keep your knees bent, but avoid bouncing over the wake.

With a lot of patience and practice, you will be crossing wakes on your slalom ski in no time. Remember these tips the next time you get out on the water for a ride. For more expert advice on slalom skiing and other watersports, visit your local Sun & Ski Sports.