A couple of months ago I won a free one hour wakeboarding lesson at Deer Creek Reservoir. I finally made good on it this morning. Last night I was skeptical about going as I would have to miss a few hours of work, plus I didn't know if they expected a generous tip since it was a free lesson, but I decided to go anyway. I got there early and ended up sitting in my car for a half hour before I felt comfortable walking over to meet them. They quickly got me set up with a life jacket and asked what size of board I used. I told them I had never done it before, so I was clueless. They got me set up and we were on the boat and heading out onto the lake.
They didn't give me a lot of information before getting in the water other than keep my arms straight and bend my knees, but as I have been water skiing a ton of times and tried wakeboarding unsuccessfully once (8 years ago) I figured I'd be ok. I quickly popped up and felt quite comfortable once I was on top of the water. I made several turns outside the wake on the left side and even did some nice turns on the wake. Then I crossed over to the right and came back in for my first attempt at jumping. I took it easy and made it about half way across the wake. I went back and forth like that, jumping a little further each time on my heel side until I was landing on top of the far wake. I finally crashed and as they swung around the guy says "seriously, how many times have you done this before?" I told him this was my first real time and he didn't believe me, but I wasn't lying.
I went a few more times, always trying to clear the second wake, but unsuccessfully. He gave me a few pointers which I tried, but still couldn't do it. Needing a break I came aboard and he went out to wake surf for a couple of times while I rested. It looked fun so I gave that a try. It was a bit harder, but there were two times where I was able to let go of the rope and even surf for a couple of minutes before fading off and falling. It was a lot of fun.
With just enough times to try wake boarding again I got strapped back in and was back in the water. I was too ambitious at first, so he told me to just do single wake jumps until I got bored and then push the distance. He also told me to push the rope down to my waste instead of pulling it into my chest when I was in the air. That made all the difference. Just as we were coming close to the dock I finally cut in with more speed, hit the wake hard, and pushed down on the rope. Before I knew it I was across the other side and pumping my fist in the air. They took a quick turn to the right to give me a few more tries and I did it two times more before finally falling due to fatigue. It was awesome.
They were wonderful to work with, very relaxed, and incredibly supportive. If you get the chance I would recommend taking a lesson. It is run through Deer Creek Island Resort. I don't know how the rates compare, but even if I had to pay it would have been worth the money.