wakeboarding for beginners

2016 season recap

Well we made it…Water Monkey Camp just wrapped up its fifth season of wakeboarding / waterskiing / wakesurfing / wake skating fun on the lake. While it has taken a lot of work behind the scenes to make it all happen, the credit goes to all of our loyal camper families for continuing to trust us to give your campers an amazing experience each summer. (At the bottom of this post are links to all of the 2016 pictures)


Year five was also the second year at our permanent property and we are really starting to get comfortable now. Seeing campers and staff take advantage of our epic location by playing Spikeball on the beach, having flipping contests off the dock, lounging in the hammock chill zone, or engaging in intense ultimate Frisbee matches on the field is just an added bonus beyond the time spent on our ridiculous boats.

A rider prepares for his set...

Speaking of boats, the 2016 Mastercraft NXT22 was the perfect addition to our program. It is versatile and ideal for teaching and shredding! We told everyone this summer that we would be replacing the 2015 Axis A22 for next year but, by overwhelming popular demand, we will be running it for one more summer. It is just loved by so many of our staff and campers that there is no rush to get rid of it yet.

Now some fun 2016 stats!

  • 103 campers over 7 weeks
  • Each camper stayed an average of 1.5 weeks at camp (longest stay by any camper was 4 weeks)
  • Average number of campers per week was 14.71
  • Campers were 61% boys, 39% girls
  • Average camper age was 13.9
  • 33% of campers were returners, 67% were new (huge growth summer!)
  • Campers came from 13 states (AS, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, MA, MD, NH, NJ, NY, OH, VA) as well as Canada, China, Dominican Republic, France, Hungary, and Turkey!
  • 17,068 unique visitors to watermonkeycamp.com in the past 12 months
  • 9,308 pictures uploaded for parents and campers to enjoy
  • Average water temperature during camp was 76 degrees
  • 4 broken screen doors (campers like to just walk right through)
  • 1 black eye
  • 608 homemade meatballs
  • 1,200 water balloons for 1 brand new camp game – Monkey Ball
  • 25 flotilla swim parties
  • 250 hours on the Mastercraft and 230 hours on the Axis A22 (for a total of 430 in 2 seasons)
  • 2,300 gallons of gas consumed on the lake producing roughly 20 metric tons of CO2 offset with a contribution to Cool Effect (cooleffect.org) Alto Mayo Conservation Initiative to protect land in Peru from deforestation. (We offset an additional 10 metric tons to cover camper transportation to/from camp.)


Next summer is a ways off still but it is not too early to start planning! Enrollment is officially open and some families have already reserved spaces for their campers.  As you start thinking about next year I hope that you will keep us in mind for a week or two of camp for your camper(s). Word of mouth is far and away our biggest recruiting tool so please help us fill our bunks and take advantage of our $300 referral bonus for each camper you send our way who enrolls for at least one week.

I hope you all have a terrific year until we see you again and feel free to e-mail, call, text, write, Skype, or visit any time!





Week 2     Week 3     Week 4     Week 5     Week 6     Week 7     Week 8

Tips for first time wakeboarders

Wakeboarding is an awesome sport.  Over the past 20 years it has absolutely exploded around the world with kids, teens, and adults enjoying it in lakes, ponds, oceans, and cable parks.  A quick search online for wakeboarding will bring you videos of massive airs, spins, inverted tricks, rail slides, and even some crazy pros grinding glaciers in the arctic.  The truth of the matter is that everyone out there started at some point with the basics, which we've outlined below. The basics for absolute beginners:

  1. Relax.  Wakeboarding is about having fun so don't go into it all stressed out about getting up and riding.  Not everyone gets it the first time and be prepared to eat some water during the learning process.  Your life jacket will keep you floating so all you have to focus on is riding.  Clear your mind, listen to your instructor, and get ready to shred.
  2. The board is your friend.  Hopefully you find yourself behind the boat with a suitably sized board and boots.  Wakeboards have a massive surface area to help pop you out of the water and, amazingly, they float!  Position the board  between you and the boat with the rope draped over the center of your board and the board floating about half way out of the water.  If positioned correctly, the rope and board should make a big "T".
  3. Straighten your front leg a bit, point your toes, keep the board up.  We say it all the time while teaching wakeboarding: once you get up once you will get up every time.  Until then, staying in position behind the boat will help you when it starts pulling you forward.  Before hopping in the water you should know whether your left or right foot should be in front ("regular" or "goofy").  By slightly extending your front leg it will automatically put a bit more pressure on your back leg, which will help you when the boat starts going.  Pointing your toes will help the board slide over the water instead of pushing against it.  Lastly, if that board slips under the water you will be propelled headfirst - which is not the optimal wakeboarding position - so make sure you're showing off the bottom of your board to the spotters in the boat.
  4. Don't fight the water!  When the boat starts pulling, some beginners try pushing back by locking their legs and eat facefulls of water in the process.  You want to slide the board over the water, letting the boat do all of the hard work.  Keeping your knees a bit bent, your back straight, arms straight, and not leaning forward too much will help get the board up and on top of the water.
  5. Maintain your balance.  Having taught hundreds of first time wakeboarders over the past ten years, I have seen so many students get so close to riding just to fall forwards or backwards.  As the board slides up over the water you want your front leg to be in the front and the back...you guessed it...in the back.  You optimally want about 60% of your weight on your back foot and 40% of your weight on the front foot. That will get you cruising.
  6. Back straight, arms straight, knees bent.  I mentioned it before but I'll emphasize again: when you find yourself wakeboarding make an effort to straighten your back, bend your knees, and keep your arms straight.  If you pull the rope in by bringing your arms to your chest you will fall backwards.
  7. Wow, you're riding!  If you've made it up, congrats!  Toss some big fist pumps in the air, you're a wakeboarder.

Every instructor will have their own style of teaching so pay attention to what they say.  Watching other beginners is also a great way to learn how to get up on a wakeboard.  Ready to learn how to ride?  Sign up for one of our sessions to learn, improve, and master this sport: http://www.watermonkeycamp.com/#dates