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Wakeboarding Aches and Pains: The Penalty of Water Sports

If you’re like most wakeboarders, the first time out on the water leaves you feeling sore the next day. It’s a totally normal experience, but that doesn’t make it any less uncomfortable. We can discuss reasons why you are so sore after wakeboarding along with some helpful tips for managing wakeboarding soreness so you can feel better fast.

Soreness comes from much of the sheer effort you expel while on the first ride of the year, you are working many ligaments and muscles that don’t get nearly the same level of work during the offseason.

The good thing is that you tend to get past it fast and the soreness only really lasts for a day or two, but there are some things you can do to help manage it in the meantime.

*As always please speak to your doctor before engaging in any activity and for health decisions*

Are Aches and Pains Avoidable?

If you have never gone wakeboarding before then it is going to cause some aches and pains as you will use muscles you didn’t even know you had, it’s hard to build up those muscles without the activity itself.

If you have been riding before then it is much more possible to avoid the aches and pains as you will know which muscles are going to be used the most and can properly stretch beforehand.

In addition, if you have gone before or are a frequent rider then you will have developed those muscles and ligaments over previous rides which will help avoid the pain from wakeboarding injuries and muscle soreness.

Ways to Cut Down Soreness Prior to Riding

There are some strategies you can use to help avoid the aches and pains or at least lessen them.

Proper Warmup and Stretch to Prep Your Body

Another great way to help avoid Wakeboarding soreness is to warm up your muscles before heading out.

You can do this by taking a short walk, doing some light jogging, or even riding a bike for a few minutes.

After your muscles are warm, be sure to stretch them out properly.

Focusing on the muscles that will be used the most while wakeboarding, such as your back, shoulders, legs, and arms.

Proper Hydration

One of the best things you can do is to make sure you are properly hydrated before heading out on the water.

Dehydration will make any type of physical activity more difficult and puts your body under more stress.

It is recommended that you drink plenty of water the day before and the day of riding to make sure your body is properly hydrated.

Proper Equipment Sizing

One big issue, especially for beginner wakeboarders, is not using the correctly sized wakeboard.

If the wakeboard is too big it will be difficult to control and you will end up using muscles you aren’t used to using.

On the other hand, if the wakeboard is too small it can also cause issues as you will have to compensate by using different muscles.

It is important to find a middle ground and use a wakeboard that is the right size for your weight and height.

In addition, the wakeboard bindings need to be properly sized as well so that your feet are secure and you have the right amount of support.

Experienced Driver

Having a driver who is used to wakeboarding and knows how to properly drive the boat is also important.

They will be able to keep the boat at a consistent speed and won’t make any sudden stops or turns that can cause you to fall.

In addition, they will be able to help you if you do fall and need assistance getting back on the board.

Wear Sleeves (Leg, Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, etc)

Choosing to use sleeves if your joints are weak or have had injuries before is a great way to protect yourself.

They will help support your joints and muscles so that you don’t put too much strain on them while wakeboarding.

Ways to Manage Soreness During a Ride

During a ride, you can also do things to help manage any aches and pains you may be experiencing.

Stop When Needed

If you are starting to feel pain then it is important to stop and take a break.

Resting for a few minutes will help your body recover and prepare for the next run.

Maintain Proper Form

Making sure you use proper technique and form while wakeboarding is important to avoid an injury in wakeboarding.

If you start to feel pain then it is a sign that you are not using proper form and need to make some adjustments.

Ways to Manage Soreness Post Ride

After the end of the ride, or rides in a day, is the time to really do some work to help your body recover.

Hydration With Electrolytes

It is important to drink plenty of fluids after wakeboarding, but you also need to make sure you are replenishing your electrolytes as well.

You can do this by drinking sports drinks, using something like LMNT which is developed as a recovery mix, or even just adding some salt to your water.

Shower to Remove Dirt and Irritants

Getting a shower can help remove any dirt, debris, or irritants that may be on your skin.

It is important to make sure you use a soap that is gentle and won’t further irritate your skin.

After the shower, it is also important to properly moisturize your skin to help it recover from any sun exposure.

Foam Roll Muscles

Rolling out your muscles will help get better blood flow to them and help them recover.

You can use a foam roller, lacrosse ball, or even just your hands to massage your muscles.

Be sure to focus on the areas that are the sorest.

Ice Down

Icing the sore areas can help reduce inflammation and pain. You can use a bag of ice or even just a towel soaked in cold water.

Run a Massager With Heat and Cold

If you have the ability to purchase or already own a quality heat massager like the HyperIce Venom I can’t tell you how valuable a solid massage with heat and cold can help you recover faster.

Final Thoughts on Avoiding Wakeboard Soreness

There are many things that can contribute to why you are sore after wakeboarding, but the good news is that it is usually just temporary.

You can help manage the pain by stretching and warming up beforehand, staying hydrated, and using proper form.

If you do experience pain, be sure to take a break and rest when needed.

After the ride, use some of the methods above to help your body recover and prevent further soreness.

Do you have any tips on how to avoid wakeboard soreness? Share them in the comments below!