Now, I am aware there is a video on HydroSliding on here... but to me it seemed more like a... history of the sport, and not so much a guide. I have taught over 30 people how to HydroSlide in the course of my business and leisure time with the product, so I think I have a fairly good background to give you EVERY tip I have.
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Step 1: The Launch
Now... To start of with, grip your HydroSlider by the handlebars. Place the bottom/larger foil over the edge of the dock, as seen at the 13 second mark. The bottom foil should be about 2 inches above the water, but if you are a little shorter, just under the surface MAY be okay.
Now, The pushoff is very important. You can't run before you can walk, and you can't learn to RIDE the HydroSlider before you learn to Launch the HydroSlider. Placing one foot near the stepboard, and one foot OVER THE EDGE... with the front of the foot hanging over the edge, PUSH OFF HARD with the dockbound foot. Watch how strongly the girl in the video launches. The #1 problem with learning is not launching hard enough. As you launch, place your first foot on the stepboard... and then your second foot.
Step 2: The Jump
HydroSliding is a full body workout. The arms, the legs, and the core. The core is forced to keep balance. The arms and legs BOTH (many people try to use just arms or legs) contribute to the power of moving the HydroSlider. Arms and Legs both Push down together. It is not an alternating motion. You push down and jump at the same time. NOW many people will push-pull. There is no pulling when jumping because the spring will recoil your arms back to the proper position to push again. YOU WILL pull back up the first few times. Just realize that you shouldn't. If your front counter-balance (the traingular yellow piece) flops up in the air, you are pulling up.
Depending on the weight setting, you either need VERY fast but lightfooted jumps, or semi-fast STRONG jumps. The heavier the setting, the stronger the jumps need to be.
So, we have non-alternating jumps-pushes... now we need to talk about foot placement. Your feet should be as near to the front of the stepboard as you can put them, and you should be jumping on the BALLS of your feet. Many people try to jump with their whole feet, but your ankles/calves absorb most of your energy, so it doesn't work well. Watch the wahine in the video.
Step 3: Extra Help
Alright... Troubleshooting time.
If your HydroSlider nose dives, you are either slamming the front counter-balance too hard into the water, or sending it in at an angle, or leaning too far forward. Lean BACK.
If you front counterbalance bounces along the surface of the water, and you eventually sink, you are leaning too far back, or you are pulling up with the arms. DO NOT PULL UP. THE SPRING WILL REPLACE you to the correct arm position to push down again.
If you can go for a little and then sink, you are not jumping/pumping strongly enough/quick enough. This machine takes an okay amount of energy to power. If you know what you are doing you can obviously maximize efficiency, but at the start, you need to go out there and treat the HydroSlider like you want to kill it by riding it too hard.
Turning- Turning is where most experience riders fall. The tighter the turn, the more energy needed to keep moving forward. Most forward momentum is lost on turns. Now, typically you want to jump on the outside foot of the turn (turning right, jump on the left foot), but if you find that either side is sinking more than the other, increase your weight on that side.
When swimming the HydroSlider back to shore, I prefer to grab the front counter-balance and swim like that, as it lessens the risk of kicking a metal/sharp part, which can hurt! Be aware of your and others' bodies in relation to the HydroSlider, as it has some sharp parts.
Floats- I suggest keeping both floats on while learning. After you are an experience rider, I suggest keeping the upper float on... this helps enormously when swimming the HydroSlider back if you sink... The HydroSlider WILL FLOAT despite not having any floats, but it is much harder to pull it back to shore.
Any questions? Visit http://www.HydroSliders.com (my website). My phone number is also listed there for people who desperately need help learning.
Enjoy the video, and enjoy HYDROSLIDING!