Listen up girls (and even a few of you less-manly guys): feeling silly about falling is a downfall. I see women riding all the time who apologize to you for having to pick them up after they fall or just plain stop riding because something did not work out. Ladies, you may not be appreciating your falls for the glory they can be. Let me elaborate…
Wakeskating can be down right tedious. It requires hundreds of tries per trick, a lot of falls and a lot of patience. From what I have seen, falls are what are holding women back from big tricks! They require a lot of gas, and the time it takes the driver to turn around, but let's face it: we’re falling on water not concrete. To some falling is a painful part of the sport. You can almost see the disapproval on their face as you swing around to get them back up for "possibly another fall." And once they start thinking that way, they'll keep falling, and waste half the set on something they usually land first try.
This is my take on falling: Learn to love it. I'm not saying you have to be giddy every time, but learn to use your falls as a tool. Instead of berating yourself for looking stupid on something your nowhere close to landing, figure out each time while your impatiently waiting for the vessel to come back around, how you fell. This can be enlightening the next time you try the trick.
For example: If you're learning 3 shuvs and the board is spinning but is way out in front of you, you’re probably throwing it off your heels too much and you need to put more weight on your toes. Right after your edge, roll your knees over your toes before you throw it so it stays under you.
If you're learning kickflips and the board is just getting thrown into the water after you ollie, you’re using too much foot. As uncomfortable as it may be, edge with just your front toe on the board lifting up your heel so it doesn't drag. This will help you to just use your toe and you'll start seeing the board flip. As you get better with these you won't have to hang your toe off so much and you'll be able to just eye the kick.
Falls are just the process to learning your next trick. Good tips may not be flying at you on a trick you're just starting out on, but just use common sense. If you fall out on your heels, get on your toes. If you fall out on your toes, get on your heels. If it’s not spinning, kick it harder and if it's just not flipping, use less foot. Simple really.
Just stay focused, don't sweat the driver or who's watching in the boat. Trust me everyone would rather see you fall on a big spin then your fifth shuv for the day. Oh and have fun, you'll be sticking that new trick in no time.