Spins — Get a Handle on Them
By Matt Hickman
Spins can be easy if you work on a few simple techniques. One of the most important things to focus on is your handle position. Whether you’re working on a heelside frontside 360 or you’re ready to start throwing down 1080s like Rusty Malinoski, you need to learn this spinning basic to keep progressing. If you’re ready to step up your rotations, here are some key tips to mastering this essential skill.
Keep it close
It’s common for riders to focus too much on the actual spin, forgetting about their arm position. Don’t let your arms reach out over the wake. The moment you extend the handle away from your body, it becomes harder to pass the handle behind your back, making it difficult to land a spin even if you throw it. You want to keep the handle tighter and close to your body so you don’t have to fight the boat’s pull.
How to do it
Don’t wait until you reach the wake to think about handle position — it begins with your edge into the wake. If you start your edge with your arms straight, you’ll have a hard time pulling the handle back into your sides once you’re ready to jump. Start your edge with your arms bent and your elbows at your sides so you don’t have to work as hard at the peak.
Keep it low
You will also want to make sure that you keep your handle low, right at belly button level. If you hold the handle too high, it will be easier for the pull of the boat to put you off balance and out of position for a solid spin.
Get a Handle on It
A lot of people use the same handle for all of their water sports. But you may want to consider buying the right kind of handle for each sport. Most water-ski handles have a grip area of 13 inches or less. The smaller the grip area, the farther you have to reach to grab the handle on wakeboard spins for a clean pass. Wakeboard handles range from 15 inches to 17 inches long, and the longer target makes your handle passes (and therefore your spins) much easier. Remember, when it comes to spinning, every inch counts.
Shared with permission of WaterSki Magazine.