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Wakeboard Buying Guide

Buywake strives to bring you the best and most current guides, sizing help and gear tips to help you choose the right products and have the absolute best experience using it.

Buying a wakeboard for the first time? Experienced rider looking for an upgrade? There’s a lot of information out there and it can be hard to know which wakeboard is right for you. Use our wakeboard buying guide to learn about wakeboard types, models and features and how they support your riding style and ability. There is a wakeboard for everyone and we hope this guide helps you to find the right one.

We sell cable & boat wakeboards from well known brands as Connelly, Hyperlite, Liquid Force, Slingshot and Ronix.

What is Wakeboarding?

Wakeboarding is an evolution of waterskiing - instead of two skis, you are riding a board across the water, being towed by a boat or behind a cable in a so called cable park. As a beginner, you can wakeboard on any stretch of water as long as it is suitable for a boat or cable. Wakeboarding is usually done on lakes or in the sea. You have a sideways stance on a wakeboard, it looks a little like snowboarding on the water. Wakeboarding is popular because it is great fun, sociable and a relatively easy watersport to pick up - once you are up and riding you can quickly learn new tricks.

► Boat Wakeboarding

You are being towed behind a boat with a wake, at around 35 Km/h. You are usually the only one riding behind the boat, but you can ride with a friend when you have practiced a little. The idea is that you use the boat’s wake for tricks, if you fall off the boat will usually loop around and pick you up. Wakeboard schools are all over the place and are usually based on a lake with a wakeboard boat. Sets can be around 30 mins and cost around €35,00. Alternatively, you can always wakeboard on a friend’s boat, if someone has a board and a rope.

► Cable Wakeboarding

The wakeboarding is the same but the method of being pulled along is different. On cable wakeboarding instead of being pulled by a boat there is an overhead cable that goes around the lake, this means that there is no wake for learning tricks so it feels very different. There are a few riders on the cable at once, a number of handles with space between each. When you fall off then you swim to the edge of the lake and walk back to the launching dock where you can start again. Cable parks often have obstacles like kickers and sliders to perform tricks as an alternative wake.

The different types of Wakeboards

Previously there was only boat riding. The emergence of cable parks around the world has led board manufacturers to design and produce wakeboards for either boat or cable riding. Cable and Park boards are generally more flexible and they have mellow rails so they don't catch as easily on features at the cable park. Boat boards are usually stiffer and they feature sharper rails for faster edging into the wake. There are even boards now designed for both boat and cable wakeboarding!

► Boat Wakeboards

If you only wakeboard behind the boat you will want to find a wakeboard that gives you sufficient "pop" off the wake. These boat wakeboards will also have sharper edges that allow them to approach the wake with more momentum and speed. There are also ladies specifies boards which offers a softer flex in the board and kids specific boards which helps the little rippers to enjoy the first steps into this sports to the max.

  • Available for all kinds of level riders
  • Available in all price levels
  • Boat Specific Design for the best experience possible
  • Mostly build with a foam core
  • Often offered in interesting package deals! Bang for your bucks!

► Cable Wakeboards

It seems like new cable parks are popping up every day and the popularity of cable riding is quickly growing. If you only ride at a cable park you'll need a wakeboard with a softer flex, more forgiving rails, and a durable base and core material. We recommend sizing up a little bit if you only ride cable because the pull is consistently slower than riding behind a boat. Most cable boards offer a natural flex cause of using a wood core. Wood also makes the boards strong and durable. Also available in ladies specific design and kids sizing.

  • Available for all kinds of level riders
  • Available in all price levels
  • Cable Specific Design for the best experience possible
  • Mostly build with a wood core
  • Often offered in interesting package deals! Bang for your bucks!

► Boat-Cable / Hybrid / Crossover Wakeboards

As cable riding gets bigger, wakeboarders are splitting time between the cable park and the boat. Brands have responded by designing boards that thrive at both settings. No need to get a cable board AND a boat board. There are also ladies specifies boards which offers a softer flex in the board and kids specific boards which helps the little rippers to enjoy the first steps into this sports to the max.

  • Available for all kinds of level riders
  • Available in all price levels
  • Crossover Design for the best experience possible for cable & boat
  • Mostly build with a wood core
  • Often offered in interesting package deals! Bang for your bucks!

The different types of Wakeboard Rockers

Picking a rocker is challenging if you haven’t done this before so we’ll try and simplify the choices you have.  To start out the rocker is the curve in the board between the tip and tail of the board. A 3 stage rocker is in 3 sections with a flat spot at the bottom and a continuous rocker has a smoother continuous curve.

► Continuous Rocker Wakeboards

A continuous rocker has one fluid, curved shape. Wakeboards with continuous rocker provide fast, smooth rides and allow you to link together turns more easily. You can generate a lot of speed on a continuous rocker wakeboard. Speed and a very predictable pop (height) when you hit the wake will shoot you farther out into the flats. Continuous rocker wakeboards are great for carving, especially on those flat, glassy mornings.

► 3-Stage Rocker Wakeboard

A wakeboard with a 3-stage rocker features three distinct planes on the bottom of the board. A 3-stage rocker causes your wakeboard to respond with more pop (height) when you hit the wake. However, more rocker is not necessarily better in every circumstance. With a more dramatic rocker, a wakeboard has a looser or slippery feel on the water surface. In addition, the shape causes the board to plow rather than cut through the water, making it slower. Your fins become less effective and you must rely more on edging the wakeboard. Boards with 3-stage rocker have a flatter center spot which makes the impact of landings more intense and gives a slight sluggish feel after landing

► Hybrid Rocker Wakeboards

Hybrid 3-Stage, Abrupt Continuous, Blended 3-Stage, and Hybrid Rocker are all names given to rocker profiles living somewhere between a Continuous and 3-Stage Rocker. Each brand and board offers a different combination.

The different types of Wakeboard Levels

We have set the filters at all categories to help you here. The advanced wakeboards will have higher performance level but as always there is a comment; this extra performance is only available in the right hands! It will rely on correct balance, weight distribution and attack angle. These advanced wakeboards tend to be harder to ride and will feel twitchy. An easier wakeboard to ride will you find in the intermediate category and will be smoother to ride and more forgiving and let you progress better. Beginner wakeboards are the easiest to ride and will build your confidence so you can concentrate on getting the basics sorted before you move on to a more advanced board.

► Beginner/Intermediate Wakeboards

If you have never ridden before, ride occasionally, or are just beginning to cross the wake, check out beginner/intermediate wakeboards. In general, these wakeboards have continuous or mellow 3-stage rockers and tend to be priced for recreational riders. This is true for both cable and boat wakeboards.

► Intermediate/Advanced Wakeboards

If you are crossing the wake in both directions and clearing the wake, take a look at intermediate/advanced wakeboards. There is a ton of variety in this category, so make sure you read up on the wakeboard features below to understand which features compliment your riding style before you decide on a wakeboard. This is true for both cable and boat wakeboards.

► Advanced/Expert Wakeboards

If you know how to spin, are attempting new tricks, stomping inverts or wakeboarding while juggling horseshoes you probably want to look at advanced/expert wakeboards. In general, these wakeboards have aggressive continuous or 3-stage rockers and are less forgiving. Advanced/Expert Wakeboards are often rider pro models. The bottom line is that these wakeboards are aggressive. This is true for both cable and boat wakeboards.

The different sizes of Wakeboards

Most wakeboards are available in different sizes. Unlike most other board sports where your height determines the length of board, the size of wakeboard you choose should be based mostly on your weight. It makes sense as it’s your weight that determines how deep your board sits in the water.

Remember that each wakeboard is different and has a unique manufacturer’s size chart for that specific board. Check the size chart on the product page of the wakeboard you’re looking at for more accurate sizing.

How do you want your board to ride? Size plays an important role. A longer board will be more forgiving, create less drag on your body and give you more pop off the wake. Riding shorter sits you deeper in the water and gives you a more aggressive board that is less forgiving but easier to spin and control for more technical tricks.

NOTE - If multiple riders will be using the same board it is best to go with a board in the size range of the largest rider. Smaller riders will be able to adapt to riding a larger wakeboard no problem, but the bigger riders in your group will have a much more difficult time trying to ride on a wakeboard that is too small for their size.

► Reasons to Choose a Shorter Wakeboard

The feeling you get from a shorter wakeboard depends on the board’s shape, but in general, shorter boards are slower and take more energy to push through the water. The more surface area the board has on the water, the faster it will move across the surface. However, a shorter wakeboard is easier to spin and maneuver in the air as you flip or fly across the wake. The decreased surface area also makes landings harder and the nose may tend to dig in, which causes your nose and the rest of your face to dig into the water too.

► Reasons to Choose a Longer Wakeboard

Longer wakeboards are typically easier to ride and learn on, they have a solid boost-off-the-wake feel. Longer wakeboards are heavier which means you work harder against the weight in the air, but you also get more control. That makes longer boards great for learning tricks and the basics for the first time. A longer wakeboard has more surface area so it will sit on top of the water nicely and move quickly through the water. The increased surface area of a longer wakeboard makes for softer landings.

The Wakeboard Boots Mounting Screws

All wakeboard binding screws share the same universal M6 thread (for most boards & boots since 2003) but not all wakeboard companies use the same length screws. When mounting a wakeboard boot without the factory screws, be sure that the screw is the correct length. The screws should be shorter than the thickness of the wakeboard! We do not suggest mounting your wakeboard bindings without the factory screws, but it can be done. Using a screw that is too long can result in a loose connection between your wakeboard and boots and damage your board and void a manufacturer warranty.

The Wakeboard Boot/Wakeboard Compatibility

Almost all modern wakeboards use standard M6 mounting hardware and 6" binding plates that are universally compatible across all brands. The only exception is Liquid Force 4D bindings. These bindings are only compatible with wakeboards equipped with a Flextrack, like many modern Liquid Force wakeboards. Liquid Force wakeboards with Flextrack mounting are compatible with all wakeboard bindings.

The Wakeboard Maintenance

  • Keep your wakeboard out of the sun for long periods of time. Sun damages gear just like skin
  • Always rinse your gear with fresh water after use in salt water
  • Protect your investment with a wakeboard bag for storage and transportation.
  • Store your gear in a cool, dry location

 

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