Picking the Right Wakeboard (2022)

Wakeboards are like people, they all differ in one way or another and no 2 models are the same, these are to suit various types of riding and create a different feel on the water. So it goes without saying that there are a few things that go into making a wakeboard for you to consider before you buy. To tailor yourself to the right models, check out our breakdowns below and get you on the right model the first time.

Getting the Right Wakeboard Length

There are two key factors that go into making sure you get the right size wakeboard. Firstly is your weight, as you need greater surface area to provide you with the float you need to sit higher on the water. Secondly is your personal riding style, this can always be taken into effect as some people naturally prefer riding longer boards to shorter board, which we will explain in a minute. Keep in mind that if you're buying for a group, buy for the person who rides the most or is on the upper end of the weight scale. Also to note is that each board has a different surface area so it is always a a good idea to check the recommended sizing on a specific board model.

See our Wakeboard Size Chart

Riding Different Wakeboard Lengths

Shorter Wakeboards
If your'e looking to ride a shorter board, here's what to take into account. You will be riding a board with a smaller surface area, causing more drag and most likely speeding up the fatigue process due to lack of buoyancy causing more energy expenditure. The shorter board length can also lead to harder landings and if you land out of form can cause an easier edge grab and eyelid peeler. The benefits of a shorter board though come in its aerial capabilities as a shorter board will be easier to manoeuvre once out of the water making spins and inverts easier to engage.

Longer Wakeboards
The longer a wakeboard is will normally make it easier to ride and start out as a beginner. They will feel stable underfoot with greater surface area, help on deep water starts and help to get 'pop' off the wake for easier height. A longer wakeboard will also create better float on top of the water for added speed and allow for more control in your edges. The opposite to a shorter board, a longer board will become harder to control and initiate moves once out of the water, as more weight and board cause it to be harder to get inverted and twist.

Wakeboard Ability Level

Like most things in the waterski industry, wakeboards can be broken down into ability classes. This isn't the be all and end all as provided a wakeboard is in the right size bracket, anyone can realistically ride any wakeboard. It comes down to how easy that board will be to ride for a person dependant on their level in comparison to the level of the board. Once again this will not stop you from riding a certain wakeboard and some people tend to thrive in that trial by fire situation. But as a general rule of thumb there will always be ability levels as stated below:

(Video) How to Select the Right Wakeboard- The Wake Channel

These are for the guys who have never ridden before or ride only occasionally. You're beginning to cross the wake and start or start to jump and want to make life easy. Traditionally these boards will have mellower rockerlines on them, normally continuous or a mellower 3-stage. they also tend to be budget friendly to get you into the sport without costing you a fortune.

Shop Beginner Wakeboards

At this point you should be comfortably moving freealy about the water and clearing the wake on both toe and heel-side edges. At this point boards tend to expand and have more personality, so you should check in on what aspects of wakeboards work for you and your riding style below.

Shop Intermediate Wakeboards

Alright, now you know where you're at. You've started to get a small trick base together, you're spinning, flipping out and trying to expand your trick bag. When it comes to these ranges of boards, you are going to be tailored styling of board. You get to choose if you want to be aggressive or have a smooth surfy ride, if you want something thats going to boost you the moon or have a smooth transition from wake to wake. To put it in simple terms, these boards are ridden and tailored to the pros, so no matter what you get it's high end

Shop Advanced Wakeboards

Wakeboard Rockers

Continuous Rocker
Continuous rockerline were the first rockerline designs around and tend to provide both the smoothest and fastest rides, allowing you to get into your edges and get those harder pressing carves on buttery water. The other advantage of a continuous rocker is its consistent and predictable 'pop' or height off the wake and allows for more carry across the wake and into the flats. Not only does this make it feel easier on the body on landing but can be a real confidence boster to the ego.

Picking the Right Wakeboard (1)Picking the Right Wakeboard (2)

Shop Continuous Rocker Wakeboards

3-Stage Rocker
This rockerline is typically signified by itsvisually noticeable 3 panels in its design with a pivot point where the 2 ends kick up. The advantage behind this is to create a more abrupt and vertical pop at the point of contact with the wake to give you more height but less carry, these guys are all about height. The downfalls of a 3-stage rocker is its desire to plow through the water due to its abrupt kick and so will have a slower feel they will also have a slightly looser feel when boat speed is increased and have a slightly harder landing due to reduction in carry across the wake.

(Video) TOP 3 TIPS When Looking for a New Wakeboard - Wakeboards 101

Picking the Right Wakeboard (3)Picking the Right Wakeboard (4)

Shop 3-Stage Rocker Wakeboards

Wakeboard Core Constructions

PU Core

The most common core that you will find in a boat wakeboard, a PU core balanced weight reduction with strength. The advantage of Polyurethane is that it will still allow for the stiffness required to give you the 'pop' or height off the wake you're chasing, but not breakdown over time or crumble over the wake like a wood core. In most cases these guys are borderline bulletproof and you will have to work to break them. Or ride A LOT.

PVC Core

(Video) How to pick the right wakeboard - Beginner to advanced

Much like a slalom waterski a PVC core is used firstly to reduce weight and secondly due to its reactive nature. PVC is stiffer and 8 times more reactive than Polyurethane so it's not a common occurrence in a wakeboard. The advantages are in boards that are looking for a more aggressive ride that will grab and dart through edges and explode off the wake. In this cause you would expect an 3-stage rocker or aggressive continuous rocker and in most cases asharp rail.

Wood Core

Wood core wakeboards generally are associated with cable boards, but do lend themselves to a handful of boat style boards, the reason for this is woods absorbent and flexible nature. A wood core board will allow to naturally flex over kickers, slider and any other obstacle you can think of and hold up to the abuse, they also absorb the impact on landings quite well, softeninglandings off obstacles or from the air.

Wakeboard BaseFeatures


Rolled moldings in your base that reduce the amount fo drag that water will produce on the board, allowing you to ride faster thanks to greater lift and upwards pressure on the board.

Base Channels

Have a double purpose acting as water disruptors to break up tension on the water, as well as providing a greater flow of water through the edge for control.

Centre Spines

Centre spines are there to help pivot you into your edges and make transitions easy. They also double down to soften landings and tend to be a key feature of 3-stage model boards due to the nature of their vertical 'pop'

Featureless Base

This is in 99% of cases the key feature of a cable model wakeboard, devoid of any shapes or fins on the base, it is reliant purely on the rocker and core construction of the board to help it react and ride. They also slide over obstacles easier hence the cable association.

(Video) How To Properly Size A Wakeboard

Grind Base

These bases are designed pretty much with cable riding in mind, normally a tougher sintered style of base to hold up to the wear and tear off obstacles at the cable park.

Wakeboard Edges

Sharp Rail

A sharper edged rail will react more aggressively and track harder into the wake. This style of rail tends to lean more towards fast acceleration that will drive through to the wake at top speed. The side effects of a sharper rail is that it the harder edge bite can also lead to easier edges being caught and giving you the eyelid peeler effect. When it comes to sharper rails, you want to be all about going big and getting the most out of your aerials, as they don't adapt well to surface tricks.

Variable Edged Boards
A variable edged board will give you that sweet spot between a board that will edge with intent but have a more forgiving or 'softer' feel through the centre. With a sharper tip and tail that blends to a fuller rounder rail in the centre allows the board to release easier on butter and get out some soul turns and carves. The softer centre edge also allows for a more progressive cut into the wake with more control,so youcan graduallybuild speed into the wake and generate vertical pop.

Wakeboard Fins

Fins will determine the amount of grip that you have on the water, some will be bigger for added grip or smaller for a loser ride. Some will also be molded or screw-in. Let's have a deeper look at the differences

Wakeboard Fin Placement and Size
Fin placement is a big one, as you go from beginner through toadvanced, you will notice less fins (from 6 or more to say 4). The more fins and the bigger fins, the more stable your ride is going to be and the harder it will be to get the board to release from the surface of the water. once you got to higher end boards, you will notice smaller fins and normally no centre fins, this allows for greater edge pressure and easier release off the wake and the surface of the water.

Removable vs Molded-In Wakeboard Fins
Alright, so this seems pretty self explanatory right? A removable fin is a screw in fins either on the outside edges of your board or in the centre, a molded-in fin is fibreglassed into the mold of the board. The difference in feel is a removable is much more customisable and can tend to be sharper and more responsive due to the way they square off against the board base. A molded fin will give a smoother feeling ride and tends to make moving into edges easier.

Wakeboard Maintenance

Like a car or a boat, wakeboards need maintenance, maybe not as much as those but still, if you want to get the longevity out of your board always do the following

  • Keep your wakeboard out of the sun for long periods of time. UV rays beating down on your board is like backing in the sun without sunscreen.
  • At the end of the day give your gear a hose down with fresh water.
  • Check over Fins bolts and Binding Bolts regularly to reduce strain on the board and losing anything
  • For maximum protection, make sure you have yourself a cover. A cover will do exactly what you think, protect from scuffs, bumps, scratches, friends who don't care because it's not theirs. You name it, a bag will help.
  • Store your gear in a cool, dry location.
(Video) Beginner Wakeboarding - How To Choose The Right Beginner Wakeboard - Wakeboards & Bindings - Canada


How do you pick the right size wakeboard? ›

Different sizing guidelines apply to different wakeboard shapes. A good rule of thumb is, if multiple riders are going to be using the same board, base your selection on the weight & height of the heaviest rider. Larger boards are also wider which also provides more lift and softer landings.

What happens if your wakeboard is too big? ›

A wakeboard that is too big will be too cumbersome to maneuver on the waves correctly, and a wakeboard that is too small might will give you little to no stability and have you sinking beneath the surface of the water before you gain any speed.

Does a bigger wakeboard help you with softer landings? ›

A bigger wakeboard displaces more water for softer landings. If you're riding a board that's too small, landings will feel abrupt and rough due to the board losing speed and sinking quicker in the water. A smaller board can't displace enough water to support your height and weight and tend to feel sluggish.

How fast do you pull a beginner wakeboarder? ›

Going somewhere between 12 and 15 miles per hour is ideal for beginners learning how to ride as it is steady speed that helps them gain confidence on the board. As they get more comfortable, you can then start going up in speed to 18 miles per hour.

How fast should I pull a wakeboarder? ›

The proper speed to tow a wakeboarder is usually between 15 and 25 mph. The bottom line when it comes to speed is that the faster you go, the cleaner and more firm the wake gets, making it easier and more consistent for riders trying to jump or learn new tricks.

Is it better to have a bigger or smaller wakeboard? ›

Choosing for a longer wakeboards

A longer wakeboard is easier to ride and will make for softer landings because of the increased surface area. Also, it will give you more control because of the larger surface area. However, because longer boards are heavier, you have to work harder with air tricks.

Do you lean back when wakeboarding? ›


Leaning back on the wakeboard will prevent the front end from going underwater and will help you stay up. It's also recommended that beginners place the back binding close to the back of the board to position it over the back fin.

What is the hardest trick on a wakeboard? ›

The 900 (two and a half rotations) is one of the hardest tricks in skateboarding, and it's pretty impressive on the water, too.

Is it better to wakeboard without fins? ›

Once you can confidently start and ride a wakeboard centre fins should be removed as they are more likely to catch when jumping the wake or on surface spins.

Why is wakeboarding so hard? ›

Once planing, however, wakeboards don't have a direction fin skis do. For most riders, turning and balancing on a wakeboard is more challenging. Also, the jumps and tricks are harder on a wakeboard, and the falls are harder than on water ski(s) even though you're going slower.

Is it easier to wakeboard with a shorter rope? ›

The shorter the rope the easier it will be to clear the wake. Usually, beginners will want to use a 65-foot rope length until they are comfortable wakeboarding. Someone who is comfortable clearing the wake both heel side and toe side would probably be using a 70-75 rope length.

How much HP do you need to pull a wakeboarder? ›

While you can wakeboard with as little as 25 HP, a quality wake generally requires a 135+HP loaded boat. What is this? Boat owners often recommend 90 HP on a 16′ boat as the minimum for serious slalom skiing and wakeboarding on a fully loaded boat. 115 HP will generally be comfortable, while 75 HP may barely be enough.

Can you get hurt on a wakeboard? ›

While there is risk for physical injury in wakeboarding, there is evidence that these injuries can be prevented. Lacerations to the head and neck, as well as concussion, are common injuries in wakeboarding. When thrown into the water, the hardest impact often occurs to the head.

What is the easiest wakeboard Trick? ›

One of the best wakeboard tricks for beginners you can master is a surface spin. This is where you'll learn to rotate your board 180°. Because you don't actually leave the water's surface, it's a great way of getting used to the wakeboard, before you branch into wakeboard jumps.

Is wakeboarding harder than skiing? ›

Both sports require leg and chest strength, but since you have to balance both your legs on the wakeboard (vs one ski on each leg), wakeboarding takes more core strength. It also feels similar to skateboarding and surfing, so anyone who is familiar with one-board sports may find comfort starting here.

What muscles should I train for wakeboarding? ›

Important areas to work for wakeboarding are the core, grip strength, thighs, and back. However, it is important to train all the major muscle groups for wakeboarding as the body works together as a unit, not as individual muscles in isolation. To train the core use exercises like prone iso-abs.

Is wake Boarding harder than wake surfing? ›

Due to the absence of boots/board bindings, the release of the rope after start, and the generally lower speed, wake surfing is much easier on the body compared to wakeboarding .
Wake surfingWakeboarding
LaunchHarder – waterstart or prone towingEasier – waterstart
SpeedLower: 10-15mphHigher: 15-30 mph
7 more rows

Is wakeboarding good for fitness? ›

It's a full-body workout

Much like surfing, wakeboarding is great way tone your entire body. As you balance on the water, you make use of the resistance of your own bodyweight, working your core, biceps and triceps, as well as your legs, glutes, and the lumbar muscles in your back.

Is wakeboarding easier with a tower? ›

Do I need a wakeboard tower for wakeboarding? No, you do not need a wakeboard tower in order to wakeboard from a boat. However, a wakeboard tower does make it much easier to wakeboard, kneeboard or wakeskate. A wake tower gives much higher tow point that helps keep the tow line elevated.

Which foot should be in front when wakeboarding? ›

Riders who stand with their left foot in the front and their right foot in the back are known as regular. The stance is called “regular” because it is the most common position for wakeboarders. If you stand with your right foot in the front and left foot in the back, your stance is referred to as goofy.

Is it easier to snowboard or to wakeboard? ›

While snowboarding and wakeboarding are extremely fun in their own regard, wakeboarding has an easier, faster learning curve for beginners. Snowboarding has a different technique for learning. Snowboarding Lessons are recommended.

What is the best wakeboard brand? ›

5 Best Wakeboard Brands
  • 1) Hyperlite. Let's start the list with one of the pioneers in the industry. ...
  • 2) Ronix. Ronix is one of the newer brands; however, they have quickly established themselves as one of the leaders in the sport. ...
  • 3) Liquid Force. ...
  • 4) Slingshot. ...
  • 5) Double Up.
11 Apr 2022

Is it hard to wakeboard without a tower? ›

No, you don't need a wakeboard tower to wakeboard—but it's much more fun with one! It's very simple. Towers allow you to achieve more hang time when you are doing tricks while you are wakeboarding. You can jump higher on your wakeboard and enjoy more time in the air for awesome tricks when you have a wakeboard tower.

How do you stay awake while wakeboarding? ›

Staying Up on the Wakeboard

You should evenly distribute your weight on your board while you put a little more pressure on your rear foot. Once you're up, you should keep your knees slightly bent instead of making them straight. By keeping your knees bent, you will absorb impact from the water.

Does wakeboarding hurt your knees? ›

Wakeboarding poses a high risk of injury to the knees. Common mistakes, such as keeping your legs straight or locking the knees, further increase injury risk. To stay safe, keep your knees bent at all times. If you've had knee injuries in the past, talk with a physiotherapist.

What is a tantrum in wakeboarding? ›

The Tantrum is one of the most classic tricks in wakeboarding, and is usually one of the first inverts a rider wants to learn. The Tantrum is best described as being a simple back flip as you'd do one on the trampoline.

What is it called when you wakeboard without a rope? ›

Wakesurfing is a water sport in which a rider trails behind a boat, riding the boat's wake without being directly pulled by the boat.

Who is the best wakeboarder of all time? ›

Shaun Murray

Murray's wakeboarding career is filled with several accomplishments including four world Wakeboarding champion titles. He is the only rider ever to hold World, Pro Tour, and National Champion titles at once. He also worked as wakeboarding coach and is popular as a finest known coach in the said sport.

How should a beginner jump on a wakeboard? ›

Face the direction you want to go and let the rope pull you in the direction of the wake. Put most of your weight on your back leg. As you hit the wake, lift with your front leg to send most of your wakeboard into the air. As you come off the wake, slowly shift your weight to your front foot.

Do pro Wakesurfers use fins? ›

Many details go into making a wakesurf board perform. Believe it or not, fins are one of the most important of those details. Below we tap into some reasons fins play such a big role in how your wakesurf board rides.

Are 3 fins better than 4? ›

Quad fins, compared to trifins, are faster out of the tube. As soon as you get up, quads will give you instant speed in the line instead of having to pump and control the board.

Can you wakeboard without knowing how do you swim? ›

You do not have to be a swimmer to wakeboard. Full floated life vests are readily available. All you need to do is a little paddling, and you'll be fine. Wakeboarding is not gender specific.

How do I improve my grip strength for wakeboarding? ›

Pole or Rope Climb

The rope climb — or in my case, the pole climb — is one of the best upper body and grip workouts. Use both arms to pull, then hold strong with one arm while reaching as high as you can with the free arm. Make each reach count.

Does wakeboarding burn a lot of calories? ›

Waterskiing/wakeboarding – up to 500 calories per hour

The effort you will put into pulling with your upper body and pushing with your lower body makes for a whole-body workout. Your legs and core will be engaged throughout the ride. A 130-lbs person will burn 324 calories in an hour or waterskiing or wakeboarding.

Do helmets help wakeboarding? ›

Wakeboarding is known as an extreme watersport, which means that some tricks may also be dangerous, especially if you come crashing into the water In addition to wearing a life vest, you also want to wear a watersport, or wakeboard, helmet to keep your head protected from injury.

How many knots do you need to wakeboard? ›

The most noticeable difference in the sports is the speed the boat must travel to achieve the required Wake, approximately 10 knots for Surfing and 20 knots for Wakeboarding.

Is 90 hp enough for water skiing? ›

And 90 HP might be enough for a 20-foot boat to pull a skier, but you're going to need more engine to ski behind a 26-foot boat.

Can a drone pull a wakeboarder? ›

While the drone does have a 20-pound maximum cargo limit, it is able to pull a person across the water (after getting a running start).

How many hours is alot for a wake boat? ›

Recreational boats are used between 75 and 150 hours per year. Using 100 hours as an average, a ten-year-old boat with 1000 hours on the engines should have plenty of life left in it.

Is wakeboarding safer than water skiing? ›

Legs are injured the most often while water skiing. Cuts are the most common wakeboarding injury. Head and face injuries are the most common for wakeboarders. Wakeboarders are more likely to have a traumatic brain injury than water skiers.

What happens if a wakeboard is too big? ›

A wakeboard that is too big will be too cumbersome to maneuver on the waves correctly, and a wakeboard that is too small might will give you little to no stability and have you sinking beneath the surface of the water before you gain any speed.

How do you make yourself not hurt after wakeboarding? ›

Post Riding Recovery
  1. Foam Roll.
  2. Ice Down: Icing helps decrease swelling, inflammation and pain. ...
  3. Hyperice Venom: This product is offered for back, leg and shoulder. ...
  4. Hydration: Be sure to drink a lot of water, staying hydrated will help prevent muscle soreness.
29 Oct 2018

How fast do you pull a Wakesurfer? ›

How Fast Should the Boat Go? Most people wakesurf around 10mph, but sometimes as slow as 9mph and as fast as 13mph depending on a few things including the hull, length of the boat, and amount of ballast. Additionally, each board has an ideal speed depending on length and rocker.

How do I improve my wakeboard wake? ›

How to get a bigger wake from your boat.
  1. 1) Fill up your fuel tank. Filling up your fuel tank before boating is always a good idea. ...
  2. 2) Bring more friends. Bringing more people on board while wakeboarding can quickly make your wake bigger. ...
  3. 3) Adjust your trim/wake plates. ...
  4. 4) Adjust your speed. ...
  5. 5) Add ballast.
25 Feb 2018

Is learning to wakeboard hard? ›

Wakeboarding will certainly give you your fix and is relatively quick to learn. Unlike most other watersports, wakeboarding has a satisfyingly steep learning curve and depending on your confidence and previous board experience, you can be popping ollies and carving up a watery storm even on your first go.

What size wakeboard is best for beginners? ›

In our 3-minute guide to the best beginner wakeboards we'll cover: What Size Wakeboard You Need.
Wakeboard Size Chart.
Length Of WakeboardWeight Of Rider
Under 130cmUnder 95lbs
1 more row
2 Feb 2021

What length do you wakeboard at? ›

Usually, beginners will want to use a 65-foot rope length until they are comfortable wakeboarding. Someone who is comfortable clearing the wake both heel side and toe side would probably be using a 70-75 rope length. More advanced wakeboarders will ride out at 75-85 Feet.

What should I look for in a beginner wakeboard? ›

If you're just starting out, a good beginner wakeboard is matched to the rider's weight and height, has the right rocker, fins and shape and has a binding setup that's both stable and comfortable.

Do you need to be strong to wakeboard? ›

Wakeboarding does require a fairly good level of fitness and particularly strong arms, but the one thing you will definitely need is good sense of humour. You are going to perform all sorts of gymnastic moves trying to stop yourself crashing into the water.

Is it easier to wakeboard or ski? ›

For most people, getting up on a wakeboard is easier to learn than on a slalom ski, due to the wakeboard's larger contact area with the surface of the water. Also, a deep water start on a wakeboard gives the rider more time to pop out of the water than on a slalom ski (faster start).

Is wakeboarding harder than water skiing? ›

Both sports require leg and chest strength, but since you have to balance both your legs on the wakeboard (vs one ski on each leg), wakeboarding takes more core strength. It also feels similar to skateboarding and surfing, so anyone who is familiar with one-board sports may find comfort starting here.

Why can't I get up on wakeboard? ›

To get up on the wakeboard, you'll need keep more than 60% of your weight forward. Once you have gotten up on the board, you can distribute your weight evenly to both feet. Hold the handle near your hip. To gain more control, keep the rope low and position it near your front hip.

Is it easier to wake surf or wakeboard? ›

What is this? Due to the absence of boots/board bindings, the release of the rope after start, and the generally lower speed, wake surfing is much easier on the body compared to wakeboarding . This is very similar to strapped vs strapless kiteboarding. Most people are able to wakesurf for much longer period of times.


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