The key to a successful wake jump or any jump for that matter is called line loading. In order to understand what this is, we need to think of some basic physics.
You’re attached to the boat much like a swing is attached to a swing set. If you start swinging high, at the top of your swing you’ll get slack in the chains. When you start to come back down, the chains will tighten and you’ll launch back down to earth. You’re fastest speed is at the bottom of your swing.
In kneeboarding, gravity works against us but the concept is similar. Start by cutting out away from the wake and then flatten out and ride parallel with the direction of the boat. You are at the top of your swing and your line will have some slack in it. This slack is because you were going faster than the boat and you need to let the boat catch up before cutting in.
When the line tightens, begin a gradual cut in. You’re starting to head back to earth now. The more edge of the board that you can get to slice through the water, the greater your control and speed will be. Therefore, center your body with the board. Don’t lean back. Distributing your weight along the entire edge is similar to a slalom skier cutting over to the next buoy. His/her ski is evenly weighted with both feet in order to get the maximum edge and leverage.
Increase your leverage as you cut while keeping your arms bent and hands near your waist. At the very last moment, flatten out the board so that it will ‘pop’ off of the wake rather than cut through it. This concept is different for wakeboarders. They cut all the way through the wake because they can use their legs to give them the ‘pop’ they need.
When you hit the wake, you’ll need to resist it. In other words, be rigid and don’t bend at the waist. Now you’re in the air and ready to come down. It’s very important to keep your hands at your waist and your head up. The tip of your board will go where you look. If you look down, you’ll eat water. If you let your arms out, you’ll eat water.
As soon as you land, you’ll tend to bounce again. Keep your arms in and low, your back upright and pull like mad against the boat. If you let your arms out…well…you know what happens. If you think you’re doing everything right, but still seem to get yanked out the front upon landing, I recommend purchasing a non-stretch rope to reduce the sling-shot effect that is created when landing.