View Full Version : The Dreaded Face Plant!!!

07-16-2008, 09:56 PM
OK, I am a middle age dude (Time magazine says 50 is now middleaged!!!) and I grew up water skiing. So you know we got some young uns, and the dealer gives a LF Shane wakeboard. So MrsZ (the good skier of the house) goes out and wow jumps high in the air with this thing! This after having neck surgery! So Wow I want to try that too! I get up a couple of times no problem and just get the feel for it. On my third try I get up go about 50ft and WHAM on my face I go! I had to peel my eyelids back down! So here is the question, first why did this happen and second why in the heck would anyone want to do this wakeboarding???
I need several good answers soon or I ain't getting back on that thing again!!!:confused:

07-16-2008, 10:06 PM
The challenge that we all want to master it. They get easier to see coming, but they still hurt like hell.(faceplants that is)

07-16-2008, 11:24 PM
I am guessing you had not rotated enough to the side and had too open of a stance..front edge= facepalnt.
Once you get up Let go with your back hand (right if you ride left foot forward) This will help you get the rotation better and stay more lined up..
I took my older bro and his kids 4th weekend and he had the same prob.. he grew up on slalom...there may be a connection there..


07-17-2008, 12:34 AM
Every day you start riding better and better, and the face plants hurt less and less. Ill probably bite my lip for saying this but, I haven't had a nasty fall the last 4 or 5 times I boarded. Once you jumping w2w and get more air each time, you just keep wanting to do it and try new things. You'll get your nasty falls and injuries but you still want to come back for more. Time and patients and thats all you'll need.

Yah you caught your front edge and whack face plant. All it does is clean your eye balls for yah, and give you some good neck pain 24hrs later. Same as the guy before said in correcting it. If you turn you head and put arm up in front of your face as you fall, your arm takes the brunt end of the force and your head should stay good, though its hard to think about that in that split second. You'll learn it subconsciously after the 50th time you face planted haha.

07-17-2008, 08:18 AM
I see alot of people riding one handed behind the boat or in the flats, this might help get aligned. I am having the same issues being a skier. also having issues keeping my back right heel down. I have a repaired crushed ankle with srews in it and I tend to ride on the ball of my foot both boarding and skiing. trying to figure ot the stance better to get more comfortable.

I saw a you tube video where a guy setup a wake board like a slalom ski, not vey stable and looked hard I will post if i find it again. Body square but not alot of fun.


ian ashton
07-17-2008, 12:24 PM
I see alot of people riding one handed behind the boat or in the flats, this might help get aligned.

I always ride one handed unless I'm aproaching the wake for a jump or pulling really hard where I need both hands; it just feels more natural.

My dad also seems to have the same problem with lining up correctly, he is also a slalom-er and can't seem to ride behind the boat sideways :)

07-17-2008, 12:25 PM
The unforseen faceplants become less and less as you progress. I can tell when one is coming and prepare for it which makes the impact more bearable. However when you progress, the speed increases and this is when you need a helmet. We never ride without them no matter what the skill level is. I am recovering from a full blackout concussion from three weeks ago and a compressed back from one week ago. As soon as I feel better, I am landing that whirlybird that started the entire mess!!!! The forseen faceplant is where the helmet comes in. I can not remember the last time I had an eyelid faceplant...those suck by the way. Now when I forsee one coming I turn my head and hug my chest, by turning your head you protect the eyes, but with out the helmet, goodbye ear drums. Ever since switching to a snug neoprene vest and the helmet the crashes have become much more bearable.

07-17-2008, 02:01 PM
Talk about bye bye ear drums is right. Last weekend landed wrong and I am paying the price with an extremely sore ear.
Look I am 45 years old and I am by no means a good wake boarder. I can get some air but thats about it. Some of my body slams I can only equate to my football days. Some of the real slobber knockers I took in football have definetly eaqualed the slams I have taken on a wake board.
I think I will be trying the helmet deal.

07-17-2008, 02:56 PM
Ya know.. I might actually really like that time magazine... only because I am 34 and that means that I am not middle aged yet ... lol

07-17-2008, 05:12 PM
Yall forgot to add the sinus cleansing you get with the face plant or "rat trap" as we call it. I took one this past weekend and I found out the difference between being 42 and 32. At 32 I would've gotton up and gone again. At 42 I got back in the boat.

07-17-2008, 07:56 PM
You know I guess I am not special as I thought (I was trying to put a positive spin on this and not use the word "awful")??? Seems like this is a normal step in the learning process of wakeboarding. OK I will try it again and drop the hand and start heading out of the wake. I will say that we just learned the term butterslide and I was actually trying this and well I thought it was fun at the time, until well ......splat!

Jessie, we bought all 4 of us wakeboard helmets last year. However, nobody would wear it until a couple of weeks ago when the kids had a near miss on the kneeboards (the only time we pull a pair is when the kids kneeboard). Well after that I made them wear their helmets. But guess who wasn't wearing their helmet the other day???? I can promise you it will be on my head next time, I even went out and bought some Rec Specs to cover my eyes!

Thanks everyone for posting to this topic, MrsZ and I are still laughing after reading all of the replies!!! :lol:

07-17-2008, 09:24 PM
Be careful with the glasses, the faceplant falls are inevitable, the water in your eyes hurts a little while, but I would be scared of the damage glasses could do. keep the boat slow until you get more comfortable that way the falls hurt less. I instictively drop my head or put it on my shoulder when I feel the edge grab now I try to take the impact with the top of my head and my body. When I was first learning I caught the front edge on the top of the wake coming down on a wake 2 wake jump, I hit so hard it knocked the wind out of me, pealed back my eyelids and I saw stars. I hit in the flats outside the wake on a great buttery water day. That has still been the hardest fall I've taken. I hate going out the back alot more than going out the front though it is almost impossible to react when that happens and whiplash sucks.

07-17-2008, 10:21 PM

What I haven't mentioned is that I am blind in my left eye due to an aneurysm and the surgery I had to fix it an Emery Hospital about 13 years ago. So when I crashed and hit my good eye it scared the %^&* out of me. I bought the Rec Specs which are 2mm thick polycarbonate sport glasses last week. But I also worry that I will drive these into my skull. So I have to make a decision about even doing this sport (wakeboarding) at all. I searched the internet high and low for water sports saftey glasses or googles and could find NOTHING!
Sooooo I might just be the driver and enjoy watching MrsZ and our son see who can fly the highest, it is pretty close right now!!! :)

07-18-2008, 12:16 AM
Hey oldtimer. Saw this post and while I'm not a boarder I had to stop in. Man you need to be on the Wakesurf side. Way easier on the body. You can ride along, drink a beer and even talk to every one in the boat as you go. And don't be fooled there are plenty of tricks you can learn on a wakesurf board.

I'll leave now before I get assasinated:)

Z remember see ya on the surf side!

07-18-2008, 12:28 AM
Shit well I bit my lip, I had two falls that were bad but could have been nasty. I landed funny once on a w2w jump, and twisted my ankle, felt like it was gonna be worse though. Then another time I landed while i was throw'n a shifty, and my back took some pain. All is good though and kept riding. Wasnt my day though, I need to get some more fat friends, cuz the wake was week only having two ppl on board while I was riding.

07-18-2008, 12:29 AM
I am a skier that took up wakeboarding a couple of years ago. I'm not very good at it and had a hard time adjusting from my slalom habits (now I'm not good at either thing and ready to be a bad surfer too). I did a bunch of faceplants till I scaled back to more of a beginner board. I got better and more confident and then moved up to an intermediate board. The one I had been using first off was WAY too unforgiving. So I agree to slow the boat down till you master some stuff and maybe go to an older more rounded board for a while. Get your fundamentals down a little before you worry about big air. Mike, you can try my current board out in Tampa and see if it feels easier if you like. Also, get a DVD like THE BOOK and learn their basic tecniques. You'll be safer and happier.

07-18-2008, 12:35 PM
You know we should get that DVD and any book! We really are "alone" in learning this sport on our lake. It is weird but we live on a lake where most of the inboards we see are SKI boats and there is always someone using the course. It could be that slalom skiers are out early, as we are, and maybe the wakeboarders come later, long after we counted our Max number of PWC (3) and haved decided to get out of there as fast as we can! You know this makes sense because slalom skiers are tending to be older and older folk get up early, and wakeboarders tend to be younger and they sleep until noon after a long night of partying! That also explains the PWC's showing up around noon too! Wow I learn something everyday!!! :rolleyes:

07-18-2008, 01:09 PM
Shaun Murray's new Detention 2012 is a good instructional as well. Much of it is filmed with students at the boarding school he runs.. It is a 3 disc set for $30 and walks you from very beginning to WAY past my future hopes.. I don't need ANY of disc 3 and half of disc 2!!! Starting in my Mid 30's, I don't see much inverts in my future (on purpose anyway! :-) ) i did do an invert in February on a Roam, but completely unplanned and not at all controlled or landed !!!

07-18-2008, 01:12 PM

I will tell MrsZ as she and our son are really starting to have fun on the wakeboards. Maybe she will get them before we head to Tampa and watch them on the 5 hour ride south! Me I just hope Dallas is going to come teach me how not to do a Faceplant when I get there. I am pretty sure Ed told her to show up at the Jamboree!!! :lol:

07-18-2008, 01:24 PM
I'll come for that lesson!!!
Get Ben Greenwood there and wife will be happy and won't notice me following Dallas around.

We were gonna come to Orlando reunion if Ben G was coming.. no reunion though.

Right now in Miss.. Seems Atlanta is nearest get together to us.. I just can't get too excited about towing 7hrs ea way... I gotta get a get together with the Miss/Al/TN/LA /AR owners..

I have both the Book and Detention.. like things about both.. on some of the more advanced moves with Detention, he really walks you through working your way up to the trick.
The DVD is set up on a menu where you can select what trick/move you want to do or you can play straight through.. I have not looked at it yet, but am told there are some good boat/gear sections too.

Glad the LS is purrin now..

07-18-2008, 01:34 PM
If you can't find it, PM me your address and I'll send you what I have. You can give it back in Tampa. I only have DVD #2 of the Book, so it skips how to wear a life jacket and how to drive a boat, but it starts off with some pretty basic stuff and gets into some jumping. I haven't needed #3 yet.

07-20-2008, 09:39 PM
I got to meet Dallas yesterday at the Malibu Open tournament in Waterford, MI. Wow, what a wakeboarder! She was also great with the kids. She chatted with my 7 year old for 15 mins giving him boarding tips. Same goes for Phillip Soven. He was great with the boys too. Great to see such nice kids at the top ranks of the sport!

07-20-2008, 11:07 PM
Zegm Get A hydrofoil there are alot of guys riding these aged 6-60. The most addictive water sport I have ever gotten into. Here's some pics from this weekend.

07-28-2008, 12:03 AM
Don't crashes on a foil hurt more then a wakeboard?

I am early 30's and have been boarding for a couple years and can do a couple basic inverts. Face plants become easier to prepare for with more experience, turn head and cover up. I spent a lot of time in my youth snowboarding and skateboarding and the falls seemed to hurt more. But what I find is I am more sore the next couple days after crashing a lot wake boarding then I was when I was young.

As for the helmet, I have heard the debate that they can cause neck injuries because they slow the impact of your head down relative to the body. I am not sure if this is true, heck it probably isn't, but I sure don't like the feeling of wearing a helmet during a nice wakeboarding set. Sliders is a different story, i wouldn't even try them without a helmet, but here in Alberta there is no chance of ever getting to ride a slider in the near future.

Ian Brantford
08-05-2008, 10:32 AM
Don't crashes on a foil hurt more then a wakeboard?

Nope. Having split my time evenly between the two over the last three years, I can confidently say that having the big fixed ski there nicely breaks the water for you about half the time. Other than than, the only increase in crash intensity from the foil stems from the fact that it is easier to get some significant height while jumping.

As for the helmet, I have heard the debate that they can cause neck injuries because they slow the impact of your head down relative to the body. I am not sure if this is true, heck it probably isn't, but I sure don't like the feeling of wearing a helmet during a nice wakeboarding set.

Again, I have done it both ways for several years. It's much, much better with a properly-fitting helmet (with ear flaps) than with nothing. Many eardrum ruptures and concussions have been avoided due to helmets.

To greatly reduce the risk of neck injury, get a neck roll:
It works best in conjunction with a helmet, since the back and sides of it contact nicely with the neck roll as you crash. The maker of course makes a disclaimer of any medical value for liability purposes, but I found that it works exactly as one might hope.

I also like siped floatation vests to cut the impact on the torso. I use one made by Jet Pilot, but they only appear to be available with composite materials that aren't approved by the various authorities. It only has about half the floatation of a regular vest.