One of the best things about extreme sports is that everything is so new it doesn’t even have a name until someone gives it one. That means that new kit, tricks and moves all get given inventive and funny names. Some stick and some don’t, so when you consider something like a wakeboarding glossary of terms, it’s like seeing the evolution of language happen in front of your eyes.
However, because the language and terminology used is so niche, it can sometimes feel a little off-putting to newcomers who aren’t up to speed on all the phrases. So, we thought we would compile a wakeboarding glossary of terms so that you can hit the water fully clued up on the difference between a butt check and a duck.
Wakeboarding glossary of terms
A slider that has an up rail, a horizontal rail and a down rail in the shape of the letter A
Air is a common word in extreme sports which means the amount of space between you and the surface. An air trick is one that involves tension on the line to lift.
Also called a lipslide, this is when you attack a jump or object with your backside to it, making it a trickier trick to pull off.
When you perform a spin with your back towards the boat first, which for a left-foot forward rider would be clockwise.
A term common to many extreme sports that involves taking a bit of a tumble.
A blind landing is one where you land with the handle behind your back, which is also facing the boat.
A slide on an obstacle when the board slides over nose first.
Don’t ask us why it’s called this but this is a trick that involves fully straightening your legs and grabbing the board. Listen out for the term ‘boned out a grab’.
An onomatopoeic term that refers to hitting or tapping your board on an obstacle so that it makes a sound.
A term borrowed from BMX riding and skateboarding, a bunny hop is a small jump where all parts of you and the board leave the surface.
A sloppy landing when the rider hits the water backside first, making a loud slapping noise.
When the water is smooth and creamy (kind of).
Also called an off-axis spin, the rider leaves the usual vertical axis, with feet and board rising up to shoulder level during the spin.
Deep start/dock start
When you start your ride from sitting in the water or jumping off a dock straight into a ride.
The name for a particularly nasty wipeout.
When a boat circles and crosses its own wake, things can get a little choppy. If you hit the waves right you can get some serious double up air time.
A wide stance on the board where your front and back bindings are at even angles and your toes closer to the front and tail of the board than your heels.
A wreck that’s so bad you don’t even have time to shut your eyes before you execute the classic faceplant.
Another skateboarding term, also often referred to as a switchstance, which involves riding with your opposite foot forward.
Also known as ballast, this water-filled sack adds weight to the boat to make the wakes bigger.
The parts of water not affected by the wake of the boat. If you hit a big trick then you might end up heading ‘out to the flats’.
Approaching an object with your body facing it, and then maybe adding a spin towards the boat for good measure.
Riding a wakeboard with your right foot forward.
When you’re getting air, reach down and clasp the egde of the board. This, and all its many variations, is a grab.
The terrifying feat of going upside down when in the air.
Riding or sliding on something that isn’t water, usually a rail or dock.
A ramp on the water that you hit to get some air.
Approach an obstacle and ollie onto it with the tail side first. Doing this front on would be a frontside lipslide.
Loading the line
This is when you build up the tension in the rope so that when it releases you can get maximum pop when leaving the wake.
Mobe or mobius
An invert that has a spin of at least 360 degrees in it.
When the rider spins but rather then passing the handle they simply lift it over their head.
Similar to getting air, this is the amount of power, height and distance you can generate when leaving the wake.
Building the edge as the rider approaches the wake so that they hit it when at the hardest part of their edge curve.
A trick with your body extended back and the board above your head, falling just short of a full flip.
The kind of wake that is sloped and is best for when performing tricks.
A rider who leads with the left foot on the board.
Most wakeboards are curved slightly, with the nose and tail of the board being higher than the middle section. Boards are usually three stage or continuous rockers.
An invert when the board travels edge over edge, although there are many variations.
A nice long rail that’s used for sliding.
A trick when rider and board rotate around the vertical axis.
A nasty wreck.
Extension of the hips and knees just before the pop so that you don’t absorb the wake’s energy.
Landing a trick nice and cleanly.
A trick performed with the board on the water at all times.
Hardware that is used to screw the bindings to the board itself.
The part of the board nearest the boat.
The side of the board closest to the toes.
A kind of flip that you fall into by letting the wake trip you into the invert.
Like a double up but with the boat crossing its own wake twice for even bigger wake.
When performing a grab, the rider moves the board or legs to add some flair to the trick.
Wake to wake
A trick that starts off in one wake and lands in another.
Bumpy and turbulent wake that’s far from ideal for riding.
A clever gadget that’s fitted to the back of the boat to increase the size of the wake.
When the rider has the rope wrapped around them it allows them to do tricks without a handle pass.
A bail, wipeout or stack. Also nasty.
A complete wakeboarding glossary of terms will have many more terms but this should give you a fairly solid grounding and will hopefully mean you at won’t feel left out when someone says the rampy wake helped them bone out a grab.