Wave wrapping is a fundamental wave skimboarding trick, one that you can learn as a beginner and master as a pro. It’s not as eye-catching as some other skimboarding tricks, but to someone in the know, there are few things more satisfying than a perfectly wrapped wave.
So, what is a wave wrap, what does it entail, and how do you perform this trick?
What is a Wrap on a Skimboard?
A wrap is when a rider rides straight to a wave, turns at the top, and then returns. They are approaching in one direction, heading back the opposite way, and arriving at the same place that they departed.
It is a move that’s reserved for wave skimming as opposed to flatland skimboarding, which means it’s performed on oncoming waves as opposed to wet sand at the shoreline.
How Do I Wrap on a Skimboard?
Whether you’re a complete beginner or an eager intermediate, the following steps will help you to master the wrap.
Step One: Approach the Wave
Approach the wave from a side angle and bend your knees. Look forward, pick your spot, and focus.
Step Two: Prepare to Turn
Dip your back hand into the water as you prepare to turn. It will help you to steer and give you more control.
Step Three: Look Down the Line
Keep your head fixed straight and look down the line, concentrating on the direction in which you’re heading.
Step Four: Extend Your Body
As you turn into the wave, extend your body and arms. Spread your arms and use them to maintain your balance as you hit the wave face.
Step Five: Turn at the Top
Keep facing where you want to go and lean into the turn. Your body should remain in a full extension so that you’re almost vertical at the top of the wave.
Step Six: Head Down the Wave
As you head down the wave, begin to bend your knees and regroup your body. Apply pressure with your back foot to keep the nose of the board out of the water.
Step Seven: Head Back Down the Line
Bend your knees more and look down the line as you pull away from the wave.
Step Eight: Regroup and Complete
With the board back underneath you and your body assuming the usual position, it’s time to start crouching.
Step Nine: Crouch Into the Pocket
Crouch into the pocket of the wave and stay low without moving your eyes from the line.
Step Ten: Hold the Rail
Grab the tail with your back hand and stay low. Your backside should be roughly parallel with your knees, with your back knee lower.
Step Ten: Find Speed to Finish
Find as much speed as you can by staying in the barrel.
The only thing left to do is ride clear and hit the shoreline. If you have made it this far then you’ve just completed your first skimboarding wrap!
What is a Backside Wrap on a Skimboard?
You can perform both a frontside wrap and a backside wrap. It all depends on the position of the board and the wave. The backside wrap is much more common and it’s also easier to perform.
Click here to see a frontside wrap in action, as performed by the legendary Austin Keen.
What Are The Easiest Skimboarding Tricks?
Simple spins and grabs are some of the easiest skimboarding tricks to perform. They still require very good balance and control, though, so they’re not something that you can do after hopping on a skimboard for the first time.
These basic tricks will teach you how to control the board with your back foot and how to gain speed and air. Once you have those basics down, you can think about some intermediate tricks, including the backside 180, ollie, and backside shuv-it.
At the other end of the scale, the toughest tricks to perform on a skimboard include the 540 shuv-it and 360 shuv-it.
Of course, this only applies to wave skimming. Sand skimming is a different thing entirely, and some of the tricks you can perform in the sand include the fire hydrant and hippy jump.
Is Wrapping Easy On A Skimboard?
It all depends on your experience. Wave riding, in general, isn’t easy if you have no experience with board sports or watersports, and performing a wrap requires some experience of the waves.
If you learn the basics, you should be able to perform this trick successfully, but whether you will nail it every time and land it like the pros is a different thing entirely.
Whether you’re sand skimming or wave skimming, it’s important to start slowly, focus on the basics first, and don’t run before you can walk.
Can You Ride Waves on a Skimboard?
Yes, you can use a skimboard for wave riding, but only if it was built for that purpose and only if you stick close to the shoreline. In other words, you can’t use it as a replacement for a surfboard or a bodyboard.
Surfing on a skimboard is technically possible, but then again, so is skateboarding on a plank of wood attached to roller skates, that doesn’t mean it’s right or ideal. If you want the best experience and the most natural ride, stick with the right equipment.
If you’re surfing, buy a surfboard. If you’re skimboarding, pick up a skimboard. If you’re bodyboarding, kneeboarding, or wakeboarding, well…you get the idea.