In case you didn’t know, wakeboarding is an anaerobic exercise, up there with heavy weight-lifting, all types of sprints (running, biking, etc.), jumping rope, hill climbing, interval training, isometrics, or any rapid burst of hard exercise. Unless you are constantly going back and forth jumping left and right for a full 2 minutes, hanging on to the handle being dragged across one end of Seletar to the other does not constitute as a rapid burst of hard exercise.
According to Wikipedia, Anaerobic exercise is exercise intense enough to trigger anaerobic metabolism. It is used by athletes in non-endurance sports to promote strength, speed and power and by body builders to build muscle mass. Muscles trained using anaerobic exercise develop differently compared to aerobic exercise, leading to greater performance in short duration, high intensity activities, which last from mere seconds up to about 2 minutes.
Hence, to build the right muscles for wakeboarding, work on those that is anaerobic in nature. Read up on interval training to maximize your energy. You will get the best results if you focus on combining both anaerobic and aerobic exercises. Here are some bits and pieces which I following to help me when I ride:
Breathe – especially when you are learning new tricks. Many of us hold our breath in to brace ourselves for the crash, forgetting that our body needs the oxygen to feed our blood cells. Simple but definitely helpful. Remember to breathe.
Of muscles, ligaments and Joints – in that order. Your muscles will be the strongest part of your body to hold your movable parts together. If they are not strong enough to withstand the bang that some of the falls deliver, the energy will be transferred to you next line of defense, your ligaments. Trust me, you don’t want to mess with your ligaments. Through extreme twist and torque delivered to your ligaments, they will get stretched. And in worse case scenarios, they will snap. So rather then reach this stage of injury, I’d rather you focus on toning your muscles to hold your joints together. That is the key to sucess.
Maintain overall fitness – yes, this is something like telling you your mother is a woman, but there is no particular area to work on in wakeboarding as every part of your body is important. Most of the time, I train not to jump higher, not to have the strength to pull harder, but rather, for my body to be able to withstand the impact of the falls. Breaking your fall when you hit the water is critical in coming out of it with aches or suffering from a serious injury. Hence to be physically fit at all times will definitely help you be aware of the surroundings and react faster when the unexpected falls (no pun intended) upon you. Trust me, you WILL fall.