Most students find it difficult to try new jumping and somersault tricks for wakeboarding, as they require a lot of practice and involve a bit of crashing and falling. For beginners, wakeboarding will generally be easier to learn. Wakeboards have fins to keep the board straight and the rope can be used to maintain balance. A good boat driver will maintain a constant speed and avoid obstacles for the rider.
If you start learning to wakeboard at a cable park instead of behind a boat, you're likely to jump from an exit dock, which is a floating platform that is at the water level, allowing you to start sitting on dry land, which can make getting up and going much easier compared to starting in deep water. The way the person at the helm drives the accelerator and manages the boat's speed and turns can make wakeboarding much more difficult or easier. Most students find it difficult to try new tricks of wakeboarding, jumping and turning, as they require a lot of practice and involve crashing a little and having the boat pick them up. So, while a cable park can help you get up and pedal faster, it will also have its share of learning challenges compared to learning with a boat.
Pressing your legs with your knees straight and fighting the water against the pull of the rope will make it much more difficult to get up and may even make you give up. Having the right boat configuration, including a wakeboard tower to lift the rope and the appropriate rope length (30 to 50 feet for a beginner) to keep the cyclist in the narrowest section of the wake, can also help reduce the learning curve. If you're learning behind a boat, having a driver with the right experience and the right boat configuration can also make it much easier to start wakeboarding. For some students, this can make it difficult to drive, as it causes them to lean more backward, which can cause driving to wobble.
While snowboarding and wakeboarding are extremely fun in and of themselves, wakeboarding has an easier and faster learning curve for beginners. The hardest part of wakeboarding is getting up, as approximately half of new riders don't do it the first time. But the main problem is that students usually try to get out of the water instead of letting the boat drag them. Wakeboarding instructors know that only about half of the students they teach get up on the first try.
While wakeboard hits are quite hard, they continue to hit water instead of accumulated snow or, worse, ice. However, successfully climbing a wakeboard depends on the technique and does not involve strength: female students tend to succeed faster, since they usually don't give them strength. Students with a history of table sports (snowboarding, skaeboarding, surfing, kitesurfing) have an advantage in this regard, since the posture will come naturally to them. Then, push your legs with your knees straight.
If you avoid water pushing against the rope or cable, you'll have a much harder time lifting this step, so it's best to avoid doing so.