Learning how to do a 180 on a wakeboard can be a difficult task for some people. Follow these progressive steps to make learning 180s a breeze whether you're trying to learn heelside or toeside 180s.
1. Learn To Ride Switch
Spend the time to learn to ride switch (backwards) just as well as you can ride in your regular stance. It may seem annoying at first to spend a lot of time riding around backwards, but it will help you a great deal in the long run in your quest to become a better wakeboarder, as well as helping you learn 180s.
2. Learn Your Wake-To-Wake Jumps
After you're comfortable riding switch, spend the time to learn your wake-to-wake jumps both from your heelside and toeside edges in both switch and regular stances before you try 180s. You're better off to learn how to do the switch version of the 180 you're learning at the same time youwork on the regular one.
3. Learn Surface 180s
We recommend learning the Surface 180 first, because it teaches you the rope control needed for normal 180s. It's easiest to learn right as you get pulled out of the water when the boat is not up to full speed yet. The slower speed will allow you to slide the board around easier without catching an edge. Practice going back and forth from regular to switch. The key to the surface 180 is to switch your weight from one foot to the other on your heels while bringing the handle from one hip to another to change which foot is forward.
4. Ollie 180s
After learning Surface 180s, it's time for the Ollie 180. Try cutting out on your heelside edge into the flats, then simply ollie straight up into the air, let go with your front hand, and pull the handle to your back hip just like on a Surface 180. Make sure to try and land edging out on your toes and looking at the shore. Work on ollie 180s both switch and regular. After mastering the heelside Ollie 180, do the same trick but do it on your toeside edge out in the flats to simulate a toeside 180. The only difference is taking off from a different edge, and when you land from your toeside Ollie 180 you'll be edging out on your heelside edge.
5. Inside-Out 180s
After you have the heelside and toeside ollie 180s down, it's time to do "inside-out" 180s. Start on the inside of the wakes, and edge out on your heelside edge and do a heelside 180 off the top of the wake into the flats. This will allow
you to get more air then on your Ollie 180, and it will give you a sense for landing in the flats coming from the wake. Do this switch and regular, and then do the same thing for a toeside 180.
6. One-Wake 180s
Now that you've got the Inside-Out 180s down, you can start trying the One-Wake 180. This is where you take a gentle cut in like a normal wake jump and do a 180. Except you're going to land in the middle of the wake instead of trying to go wake-to-wake. This will give you the feeling for popping off the normal wake and doing a 180. Do this regular and switch, heelside and toeside.
7. Wake-To-Wake 180s
Once you're comfortable with all the versions of the One-Wake 180, it's time for the Wake-To-Wake 180. We have some trick tips for both the toeside 180 and heelside 180 here on Wakeboarder.com if you want to read a longer description of the Wake-To-Wake 180s.