The first time Kyle Schmidt stepped foot on a wakeboard he knew that this was something he wanted to do for a very long time. But with no access to a boat the challenge to ride and find water time became strategic. After landing a job at a resort, he found a place that his work would give him access to a boat and the time in between customers to improve his wakeboarding. Therein lay the start of Kyle Schmidt's coaching and riding career.
With little skill at the time at any watersports, Kyle sat in the boat nearly every day teaching customers how to ski, knee board and wakeboard. Since he had little knowledge of how to actually do these sports, Kyle believes that is what gave him the creative skills on how to create drills and the skill to find new and easy ways for riders to learn. Shortly after a few years at Orange Lake Kyle started a new position in 1997 at today's most reputable center for instruction, The Wakeboard Camp. This was the big opportunity for Kyle Schmidt to break into the wakeboard industry.
For the last 10 years Kyle has put in more hours coaching and driving then most anybody in the industry. This time has given him access to a boat, riding time, and money enough to pay the bills. Schmidt explains, "More importantly I was surrounded by other coaches who can really help your riding. Along with all that it opened the doors to new sponsors and exposure in videos and magazines."
"At the same time wakeboarding was giving to me I have been returning the favor", explains Schmidt. "Over the past few years at The Wakeboard Camp I've created a program, a coaching style and terminology that are used throughout the wakeboard world. It teaches riders to fall less, to teach themselves without a coach and actually form a visual, structural and progressive path to their next goal trick. All at the same time saving riders lots of hard falls that the old school of 'cut hard and throw it harder' style of coaching used to bring to the table."
Kyle Schmidt's teachings can come to you in a few different forms now. Not only can you attend The Wakeboard Camp for his teachings you can also read his instructional articles in Wakeboarding Magazine, buy his top selling instructional DVD series The Book or have Kyle personally travel to your home lake to conduct riding clinics in your area. Throughout the rest of this year and next, Kyle will be working alongside Moomba/Supra Dealers and shops to setup these clinics for anybody interested.
Remember if wakeboarding is something you desire but cannot necessarily afford there are other options to help you have access to a sport that can give you a lifestyle anyone would desire. "Thanks wakeboarding for giving me a great life, beautiful family and the opportunity to see the world by strapping on a board." - Kyle Schmidt
Absolutely! As our sport has grown, so has the way we teach riders out on the water.
The" Old School" of coaching revolved more around the "go bigger, edge harder" style of learning tricks. Unfortunately, as the boats progressed and the wakes grew in size, this style of coaching has become more dangerous than helpful. Today my coaching revolves around helping riders learn more safely using a combination of different rope lengths, slower speed drills and one wake attempts.
In the past, the Heelside Back Roll has been the "go to" first invert for most riders aspiring to learn their first flip. The Tantrum a close second. Today, the Toeside Back Roll is gaining steam on the previous two inverts, mostly because it can be learned in a more simplified lower impact manner. Even though it is a Toeside trick, most riders usually can do decent one wake Toeside jumps and are pretty comfortable with back flips and back layouts on a trampoline or off a pool's diving board.
With that said you can lengthen your rope longer than normal, slow the boat down a bit to lessen the impact of a fall and then approach the wake Toeside with your back hand off the handle for a one handed approach and take off. As you ride up the wake to pop a big one wake jump you can throw your hips forward and head back to start the rotation. As you flip let go of the handle to rotate and then try to land and coast away free of the boats pull. This one handed, no rope approach to landing a flip at slower speeds is a much safer approach to achieving your first flip.
If you fall, the rope won’t accelerate you down onto the water which is the cause of most bad falls. Land the flip a few times without the handle. As you gain comfort and confidence hold on to ride away from your first flip. You'll get a rush that has kept most of us riding our whole careers!
Shape / Mergefront
I have coached and now help run the largest wakeboard camp in the world for nine years. Every year 500 plus students pass through the doors of The Wakeboard Camp and see the products that we are using. The students come from all over the world to learn from us and watch us ride as pro athletes. The exposure is global.
Liquid Force Wakeboards & Bindings
UGP (Underground Products)
The Wakeboard Camp
Performance Ski & Surf
9th Year as a Professional rider
1997 World championship open men's 3rd place
1997 Wakestock pro division 5th place
2000 Board bonanza pro division 1st place
2001 Bump films the Faction featured rider
2002 Bump films Free4All feature rider
2002-Bump films Higher education instructional narrator/rider
2002-December Issue Cover
2002 Featured writer Wakeboarding magazine 6 issues
2002 Instructional writer waterski magazine
2003-Gear guide feature article wakeboard magazine
2003-25 riders and their setups featured rider
2003-Waterski magazine gear guide feature article
2003-Waterski magazine calendar featured rider
2003-Alliance wakeboard magazine two-page spread Dec/Jan issue