Wakeboards - Boat
Choosing your first wakeboard or upgrading an old board shouldn’t be a daunting task! All wakeboards are designed to suit a specific riding style or ability. In this article we’ll walk you through the important features, shapes, constructions and what makes wakeboards different from one another. We begin by categorising a wakeboard into one of three ability levels: Beginner, intermediate or advanced.
- BEGGINER: A beginner’s wakeboard, as the name implies, is suited to riders new to the sport. Beginner wakeboards will be forgiving, stable and generally easy to ride ultimately assisting rider progression. Beginner wakeboards feature strong channel features and deep, centre-mounted fins [1.75”] which assist straight-line stability. Wakeboarding is one of the only board sports in the world where your shoulders and hips are not always parallel. Your body is crossed up riding toe-side and more inline riding heel-side. Beginner boards take this into consideration with popular models featuring an asymmetrical shape aiding control when on the toe-side.
- INTERMEDIATE: Intermediate wakeboards build on this but dial down certain features to appeal to a wide range of riding styles. Most intermediate wakeboards forego centre fins and adopt dual, outside-mounted fins [0.75” - 1.0”] which assists confident riders allowing them to produce greater edge-hold. Intermediate wakeboards come in a range of shapes and rocker profiles but are mostly universal in their riding style.
- ADVANCED: Advanced wakeboards are designed for riders expanding their trick-bag with flips and spins. Unlike intermediate wakeboards, advanced boards feature specific constructions, shapes, and rocker profiles each tailored to unique riding styles. Riders can choose between a board that has an aggressive riding style with strong edge hold and explosive take-offs, a board that is more relaxed, smooth, and ‘surfy’ or anything between.
- CONTINIOUS ROCKER: Down to the nitty gritty! The profile of a wakeboard drastically changes its personality and riding style. The profile of a wakeboard is defined as the boards shape when viewed on its side from tip to tail. A ‘continuous’ rocker wakeboard features a smooth, consistent arc with no flat spot interruptions. Continuous rocker wakeboards carry more top-water speed, feature smooth, consistent take-offs and softer landings. While a continuous rocker board may not have as much ‘pop’ as its 3-stage rival, it is more likely to carry you further out into the flats. Continuous rocker boards are easier on the body but also a popular option behind large boat wakes where a lack of pop is not a concern.
- 3-STAGE ROCKER: Continuous rockers arch nemesis, ‘3-Stage’ rockers feature a flat spot between the bindings. This flat spot interrupts the flow of water but instead creates a solid platform for the wakeboard to ‘pop’ off when releasing from the top of a wake. 3-stage wakeboards often feel ‘loser’ on the water and may not carry as much top-water speed as continuous boards, however they are more likely to give more punch and go higher off a wake.
- Wakeboard constructions have changed significantly over the years with the introduction of high-end performance foam and carbon fibre laminates. All beginner wakeboards feature a traditional PU (polyurethane) foam core and standard fibreglass laminates holding it all together! This construction is tough, durable, forgiving and relatively inexpensive.
- In the early 2000’s high performance foams such as polyvinyl chloride [PVC] were introduced into advanced wakeboards. PVC foam cores are more responsive and lightweight resulting in a wakeboard that feels more ‘explosive’. More recently, various other technologies such as carbon fibre laminates or stringers have been added further improving strength and performance.
Choosing the correct size of wakeboard depends on your weight and the style of board however wakeboarder preferences can be considered with most wakeboards are available 3 or 4 size increments. Large boards provide more surface area and buoyancy however become slightly heavier and bulkier underfoot. If you are purchasing a wakeboard to be shared amongst a group, it is important that the largest rider’s weight be accounted for. Personal preference may be considered when choose a wakeboard size; It is likely that a rider may choose to size-up as a larger board with more surface area will aid deep water starts, increase stability, and reduce drag.
- 120 cm (Up to 40 kg)
- 125 cm (40 - 50 kg)
- 130 cm (50 - 60 kg)
- 135 cm (60 - 70 kg)
- 140 cm (70 - 85 kg)
- 145 cm (85 - 100 kg)
- 150+ cm (90+ kg)