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How to Tantrum on a Wakeboard

Tantrum on a Wakeboard

The Trick

In-Depth Tutorial

Tantrum Prerequisites

The tantrum or the backroll will be your first wakeboard invert. If not, you’re unique and I’m curious to know what you learned first. Comment below! Anyway, let’s get to business. If you’ve never gone inverted that’s fine – there aren’t a ton of requirements to be able to tantrum.

  • Clean, comfortable, and consistent heelside wake to wake jumps
  • Backflip on a trampoline (not essential but highly recommended)
  • The ability to commit

If you’ve done a backroll before that’s a bonus, but I personally find the tantrum easier, more fun, and more comfortable than the backroll. If you’re not sure which one to go for, here’s a brief synopsis:

  • The tantrum is more like a backflip and is initiated by “tripping” off the wake with your heel edge. You spot your landing earlier and are holding on with one hand for the duration of the trick.
  • The backroll is more like a sideflip and is initiaties with proper pop off the wake as you dip your tailing shoulder. You spot your landing a little later and it’s best done with both hands on the handle.

So you want to do a tantrum? Well then let’s get it.

Setting Up for the Tantrum

The setup carve for a tantrum is not too aggressive. Carve into the wake as if you are going to do a normal heelside wake to wake air. When you are 2-3 feet from the wake, you begin to “square up” with the wake. Think of it like this: when you carve into the wake, your board is almost perfectly perpendicuar to the wake and the boat. When you take off for a tantrum, you want your board to be completely parallel with the wake and the boat. So in the last 2-3 feet before you hit the wake, you want to drop your back hand from the handle and turn your chest to be parallel with the wake. Allow your board to follow. It’s not like a countercarve – it’s a smooth transition from carving into the wake to parallel with the wake.

At the point of hitting the wake, your back hand should be dropped, you should be square with the boat, and your heel edge should be just about to hook. It’s a scary concept at first, but the tantrum really does “trip” you over the wake. If you setup properly, your heel edge should be tripped over the wake as you supply a very small amount of pop.

Landing the Tantrum

Honestly, this is the easy part. If you get a proper takeoff, this is an incredibly natural trick. Let yourself rise while staying square with the boat. Look backwards until you spot water and then either tuck a little harder or open up to time your landing properly. Put it down and ride away clean. That’s a tantrum! Once you dial these in you can start laying them out with your body fully extended. You can also try grabbing indy with your back hand. I always find it difficult to get the hand there since the tantrum naturally wants to be laid out.

Like I said, I learned a backroll first. Tantrums seemed terrifying to me. And then guess what? First try. This is one of the only 2 wakeboard tricks I’ve ever landed first try, and the other one (heelside frontroll) was pure luck. I mention this because the tantrum really is easy (as far as wakeboard inverts go) as long as you can commit.

Common Tantrum Issues

While from my perspective the tantrum is one of the most natural and easy to learn inverts, I know a few great wakeboarders who have struggled with this trick. By watching them, I can try to help with common mistakes and issues. The most common one is patience on tripping the wake. My brother struggled with this trick for ages and it took us a while to pin down the problem. He was so focused on getting the flip around that he was really trying to force a pop – and was doing it too early. If you are underrotating or just aren’t getting much height, be patient. Remember that the tantrum trips itself and you have to do very little pop, unlike a backroll. Be patient on that carve in and let the trick rise itself.

Best of luck with this trick, and have fun. I hope this tutorial has been helpful. Feel free to leave a comment below with questions or progress!

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The Athlete

Name: Todd Gonzalez
Profile: tgonzalez

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  1. Donaukuh (July 2, 2020 5:37 am)
    Hey Todd, I am trying to do my first tantrum maybe today as I prepared my mind a lot now (I hope). Now I have the problem that I am in a waterski club where we only have a skiboat with a small wake. I increase it with water sacks and people in the back of the boat. So first question is: Do you think it is possible with a small wake? Second: Which speed and which length of the rope would you suggest. At the moment I am driving mostly 16mph with 52feet rope because that is the setup I get the biggest wake from with our boat and ballast. Altough it isn't really big :-( And my last question: Do I have to go towards the wake full speed like I would want to jump over the wake or is it ok to only go half way out of the normal way I do. To be honest, the speed is not much but for a tantrum it scares me. Thanks for your help in advance, have a nice one. Appreciate your tutorials.