If you plan on competing at any Wake NZ event, here’s everything you need to know about how judging is carried out. Generally in competitions, riders are allowed two passes through the wakeboard course, during which they can perform a routine of their choice. Riders are judged and scored on three categories: Execution, Intensity and Composition.


This reflects how well a trick is performed as defined by a rider being in control, how clean the landings are, and perfection of the manoeuvre.

Defined by 3 criteria:

  1.  Completion of the Trick
  2. The Landing
  3. Perfection


  1. Completion of the Trick – This is essentially how the trick was performed in the air and that the rider is in control. Control in the air and poise during the middle of a trick shows the rider is confident in that trick and thus it is well executed. Control and completion of a trick also means that the rider is performing a trick he/she set out to complete. Example: If a rider attempts to do a 360 and bobbles halfway through the trick and only performs a 180, it shows they are not in control.
  2. The Landing – This is simply how clean the landing was of the trick. If the rider butt checks, drags a hand, switches 180 to avoid falling, or looks out of control after they have landed this can take points away in the execution category.
  3. Perfection – Judges are looking for how “clean” or how perfect EACH trick was performed in the passes. Judges look for the approach to the wake, the body position, rotation of the trick, the axis of the body, head position, handle position, clean grabs not slaps, speed to which the trick was performed. A rider completing their routine without falling also demonstrates perfection.



This reflects the height & energy, technical difficulty, and risk to which each manoeuvre was performed.

Defined by 3 criteria:

  1. Height & Energy
  2. Technical Difficulty
  3. Risk


  1. Height & Energy – Is evaluated on a trick-by-trick basis. Here judges look for how big or high the rider is taking each of their tricks. This is typically noted on the judges sheet by a plus sign, “+”. If the trick was incredibly high, a judge will place 2 plus signs next to it on the judge’s sheet, “+ +”. The same goes for tricks done small may have a minus “- “sign.
  2. Technical Difficulty – This is simply defined as how difficult each trick is based on a number of variables. Spins, rolls or flips including spins, grabbing your board, handle passes and the way a rider lands all subjectively define how difficult certain tricks are in comparison to others.
  3. Risk – A rider opening their routine with a technically difficult trick would be considered high risk. Risk is also demonstrated by how a rider performs their tricks and whether or not they display a sense of “putting it all out there” in order to better their opponents.



This is the ability demonstrated by the rider to show a variety or tricks in a fluid / flowing sequence, along with showing creative management of the allotted course.

Defined by 3 criteria:

  1. Variety
  2. Flow
  3. Creativity


  1. A Variety of tricks performed in the run is what judges are looking for. Wakeboarding has classes of tricks such as; spins, inverts, raleys, high enders (mobes etc), and sliders/obstacles. A good wakeboard run should have tricks from each of these divisions. This shows the rider is skilled at all types of manoeuvres and therefore, showing variety in their riding. Repeating a trick will reflect negatively towards the rider’s composition score.
  2. Flow is when a wakeboarder can link their tricks together to make them look like they connect smoothly from one to another. Like when a rider lands a trick in the switch position and then cuts to the wake to do the next trick in the same switch position. Or when a rider lands a crow mobe with the rope behind their back, then the rider stays wrapped to a KGB as the next trick. The negatives would be things like, riders cutting back and forth before doing a trick, starting the pass late, or finishing a pass early. Dead water is not showing flow or good course management.
  3. Creativity of course management and time is crucial in achieving a smooth, fluid, flowing routine. Riders that take the time to plan out their run, plan the path they are going to take in and around the obstacles/rails will be rewarded in this area. Riders that can link creative trick/manoeuvres between obstacles will also be rewarded. Judges will be looking for riders who use up the full time, and length of the course. Wasted water will reflect negatively towards the rider’s score.