How to Improve Your Wakeboard Handle Pass

Passing the handle is an important skill to learn if you want to complete many tricks on your wakeboard. A good way to learn to pass the handle is by performing surface tricks such as surface 180s and surface 360s. However, if you want to really improve your handle passing abilities, there is an easy drill you can learn off the water that will put you in good stead for when it’s time to hit the water again. In this article, we’ll show you how to perform this drill, which simply involves spinning a weighted handle around your waist.

Building the weighted handle

To build the weighted handle, you’ll need the following:

  • A spare, old handle (if you don’t have one of these, you can use a piece of pipe or even cut down a broom handle so its roughly the same size as a tow handle).
  • An empty detergent bottle — 2L is an ideal size.
  • Some bungee cord, about five feet in length, which you can get from your local hardware store.

Take the bungee cord and attach one end to the handle and the other to the handle of the detergent bottle. Fill the detergent bottle up with water (the reason we use a detergent bottle is because they’re very durable and won’t break if you accidentally drop the handle during the exercise.

How the exercise works

The basic premise of the exercise is to swing the rope around your body, with the weight from the detergent bottle and the stretch of the bungee cord mimicking the feel of an actual towrope. As you swing, you’ll have to pass the handle from hand to hand around your back, helping build your handle pass skills for when you’re actually out on the water.

As you swing the rope faster, the centrifugal force will increase, causing the pull to feel a lot harder. When this happens, you’ll have to work much harder to keep the handle close to your body.

Tips for the handle pass exercise

  • To begin the movement, start swinging the handle around your head, holding it with one hand. This will stop the problem of the detergent bottle dragging along the ground at the start as you try to build momentum. As the speed of the swing picks up, you can then lower the bottle to around your waistline and begin passing the handle.
  • Make sure you have a wide stance in order to steady yourself.
  • When passing the handle around your front, make sure both palms are facing down. When passing them around your back, however, your palms should be facing up.
  • As you increase speed, the force of the detergent bottle will try to pull the handle away from you. Concentrate on keeping the handle in close to your body. Obviously, the faster you’re swinging the rope, the tougher this is going to be, so build slowly towards super-fast speeds.

When you finally get back out onto the water after practicing this exercise extensively, you’ll notice a much-improved ability to hold you arms in position when performing the handle pass, as well as more strength when you try your wakeboarding tricks.

Happy Wakeboarding from Rapid Surf & Ski

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