By: Amy Gatlin
It’s spring! The weather is changing, the trees are full of leaves, the sun is shining, and when you wake up in the morning and look out the window, the water is as smooth as glass. Inboards are starting to buzz around on the lake, as people are taking them out for the first time this year. If you scroll through Instagram, it’s already loaded with videos or pictures of wakeboarders and surfers back on the water… it makes me have that itch… that motivation and desire to be out there too. On top of that, the weather is finally warm enough to really spark the wakeboarding or wakesurfing fire in your soul.
As summer at Lake of the Ozarks is nearing, you might be wondering, “What’s the next step?” The group chats have probably started, as you begin to line up ride times with friends. First, you want to check your gear and make sure it is all good to go; you might hit up your local wakeboard store to check out their new boards, ropes, and other gear. Next, you need to determine what your goals are for the coming riding season. What tricks do you want to accomplish this year? Are there tricks you have always wanted to learn, and now you are ready to work toward those? Or would you like to build on the skills you already know? When you take a mental snapshot of yourself for the season, what do you envision?
The beginning of the season is the perfect time to schedule a lesson with Kirby’s School of Wake. Kirby’s role, as a coach, is to help pick out your weaknesses on the water, and turn them into strengths. He can see some of your natural tendencies and point you in the direction of a new wakeboarding trick you never would have thought about doing. Kirby recommends recording your rides, whether during a lesson or at home, that way you can go back and see what you did well and what you need to work on. While at a lesson, Kirby will often have you record him explaining tips and techniques of the trick he is teaching you, so that you can have the reminder of the tips you need to apply for future rides too. Kirby said he will often tie a rope to a door knob or tree, and practice moving through the tricks on a trampoline or ground, over and over again, picturing himself behind the boat. The goal is to have a vision in mind – a picture of what you see yourself doing – and continue to work toward that goal.
Whether you are young or old, Kirby has wakeboarding and wakesurfing lessons or programs for you. If you want to see a group of kids and teenagers having the absolute time of their life, stop by PB1 during lunch time during the Awakin camp that is offered in June. You will see a passion like no other – kids amped up about wakeboarding, surfing, teamwork, and learning about God. In addition to Awakin, Kirby’s School of Wake offers several day camps and all girls wake sessions throughout the season, for students to be surrounded with others who have the same passion and desire to learn and improve wakeboarding and wakesurfing skills. For those who don’t fall into those categories, or who want something more individualized, private lessons are offered on the Kirby’s School of Wake boat, or on your own.
If you don’t live in the Kirby’s School of Wake area, you can still get a jump start on your season by signing up for a video review analysis of your wakeboarding or wakesurfing skills. Kirby puts your video into coaching software and does a voiceover to provide a virtual lesson, providing tips and tricks to improve your skill. Sometimes Kirby will do a side comparison of him doing the trick too, so you can see the difference between what you are or are not doing correctly, frame by frame.
Get that wakeboarding and wakesurfing gear in check, get your group chats going, pump each other up, schedule a lesson, camp, or video trick analysis, and get those cameras or phones ready to record and snap some pictures. Watch some wakeboarding videos and establish clear goals and mental pictures for the season. It is time!