A misconception is that riders need to be able to hit a certain number of inverts or spins before they can get sponsored. It definitely helps to have a high level talent, but it’s not required. Now if you want to be a top level sponsor for a brand then you will need to be competing and winning some of the biggest tournaments.
The game has been changing over the past 5 years with the rise of Instagram and YouTube. Riders social presence is becoming more and more important. If you want to get sponsored you should first look at what you are putting out for content. The more content you are posting and the more engaged followers you have the more attractive you are to brands. Be aware of what everyone else is posting. Are you posting the same things that every other rider is posting? You need to be posting unique content and tricks. Brands want someone that is innovative and trying new tricks.
One of the most important attributes you can have is your attitude and passion for wakeboarding. Brands want to sponsor someone that loves the sport and has a great attitude. Companies put a lot of money into their brand and if they are willing to sponsor you they need to be confident that all your actions are aligned with their brand. If you have high character and love the sport brands will notice. Are you active in your local community? Are you riding with a bunch of people? Do you compete at competitions? Do you teach others to ride? All of these things are ways to improve your image and show brands that you are a good fit.
Now that you have all of this information, where is the best place to start to get sponsored? The best place for riders to start is by going to their local board shop and asking them what it takes to get sponsored. These sponsorships usually consist of some free or discounted gear. Once you are sponsored by a local shop you might be ready for the next level. Get in contact with a local rep from one of the brands. You can be a regional team rider, where you will represent that brand at competitions. Here you will get more gear, discounts, a free board, or a free years worth of products.