An In Depth Look At the Wake 3 Front
By: Chad Beery
I get a lot of e-mails on how to throw a hand-to-hand wake 3 front (a.k.a. the wake 360). So I figured it's about time we looked at this elusive trick more in depth.
For starters, read the original instructional here to get a basic idea of how to perform this trick and then we'll get into the mechanics of it.
Which direction do I spin?
If you approach the left side wake, spin counter-clockwise. If you approach the right side wake, spin clockwise. It is possible to spin in the opposite direction; however, it's more difficult. A positive direction spin will keep you more on axis and the boat will have less of a chance to pull the handle from you.
The handle gets pulled away from me resulting in a missed grab. Why?
We need to bring in a little basic physics here in order to understand the problem. If you're attempting wake 3's, you probably already know how to do a surface 3. Those are pretty easy, huh? But, why? Because, you're going in the same direction that the boat is pulling you. It's like you have the handle tied to a tree and you're spinning 3's all day long.
When you cut in for a wake 3, you're traveling perpendicular to the boat's direction. Try tying your rope to your buddy and have him run away from you as you attempt 360's. Pretty hard, huh? There's a tug-of-war going on between you and the boat and when you fly into the air, you no longer are able to pull against the boat. So the boat is going to pull you in it's direction and thus pull the handle away from you.
So, how do you reduce this pull? Wait, wait, wait. The usual reason for a missed grab is that the trick was thrown too early. By waiting, the boat gets a chance to scrub off some of that tension and start pulling you in its direction. If you wait long enough, the pull will not be much more than the pull from a surface 360. And you said those were easy, right?
I'm waiting, but I still miss the handle. What's going on?
There may be one of two problems going on here. Keeping the handle at your waist solves the first. When you spin, keep both hands on the handle as long as you can and literally drag it around your waist. Now let go with one hand and continue dragging the handle around until you touch the small of your back. Now reach around with your "free" hand and grab for your "handle" hand, not the handle. This may solve the second problem. Many riders may grab too high or too low for the handle. But your "handle" hand knows exactly where the handle is because it's holding it!
So, keep your head up, literally, get out there, and give it a go. Remember: wait, wait, wait and practice, practice, practice. Let us know how you're coming along by visiting the forum. Or let us know if you have more, or need more tips. Good luck!