Thursday, March 24, 2011

How to Choose a Wakeboard Guide 101

How to Choose a Wakeboard

How do you know that your new wakeboard will be the right size, shape and of course everyone wants to look great at the same . It wouldn’t hurt to check in with your local Pro or water sports shop in making sure your making the right choice for you.

Determine your ability level and riding style to help you pick out a wakeboard. Learn about wakeboard features. Then figure out the weight of the riders who will use the wakeboard to select the correct wakeboard length.

Choosing a Wakeboard Length is the most important decision in choosing a board, you can ride well on any board if it is sized correctly. Shop for a Wakboard TK Waterplay Amazon

The size wakeboard you ride will depend on your weight and riding style. Every specific wakeboard has specific sizing guidelines for rider weight. If there are multiple people using your wakeboard, base your selection on the weight of the rider who rides the most or the heaviest rider. Riders can become extremely frustrated with wakeboards that are not long enough to float them sufficiently. However, there is a range in the length wakeboard you can ride. Here are some reasons why you may choose to go with a longer or shorter wakeboard.

Basic Size Chart Each manufacture will have there size chart for there boards
Wake board sizing chart based on maximum pounds in board length

Up to 85 lbs 119cm
Up to 105 lbs 121cm
Up to 130 lbs 130cm 131cm
Up to 160 lbs 132cm 133cm
Up to 180 lbs 134cm 135cm
Up to 200 lbs 136cm 139cm
200 lbs & Up 140cm & Up

Shorter Wakeboards

Some wakeboarders like to ride a board at the short end of their suggested size range. 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. However, the decreased surface area 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.

Longer Wakeboards
Longer wakeboards are typically easier to ride and learn on, they have a solid feel that will really boost you off the wake. Longer wakeboards are heavier which means you work harder against the weight in the air, but you also get more control so longer boards are great for learning tricks for the first time. The 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 will offer softer landings.

Ryder Style and Ability Levels

A range of wakeboard shapes are available tailored for different ability levels. For the most part, anyone can ride any shape wakeboard as long as it is large enough. Some shapes make it easier to learn, but a “beginner” should not shy away from an “advanced” board shape. Likewise an “advanced” rider will not necessarily be restrained by riding a “beginner” board shape. The most important factor is selecting the right size. Choosing a wakeboard is a personal preference and can be a lot of fun looking for just the right style and look for you. Now there are a lot of great graphics on most brands of boards

How do you determine your ability level? As per Wakeboard Magazine

If you have never ridden before, ride occasionally, or are just beginning to cross the wake, check out the Beginner-Intermediate Wakeboards. In general, these wakeboards have continuous or mellow 3-stage rockers and tend to be priced for recreational riders.

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.

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.

Wakeboard features

Knowing your ability level you can understand how features on your board can effect the fell of the ride of the wakeboard.

Wakeboard Rocker and Riding Style

Continuous Rocker (smooth, continuous arch)

A continuous rocker has one smooth fluid, curved shape. Wakeboards with continuous rocker provide fast, smooth rides and allow you to hook up 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 glassy-smooth mornings.

3-Stage Rocker (angled with a flat spot)

A Wakeboard with a 3-stage rocker features there distinct plane 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 always better. With more dramatic rocker a wakeboard has the looser or slippery feel on the water surface. The shape can cause he board to plow rather than cut through the waters, and could be slower. Fins can become less effective when relying more on edging the board. Wake boards with 3-stage rocker have a flat spot making the impact of landings more intense and can fell a little sluggish after landing a jump. If you think you’re not getting enough pop out of the board because it’s continuous, its not the board----Sorry.
Hybrid Rocker (a combination of continuous and 3-stage)

Living somewhere between a continuous and 3-stage rocker, the hybrid rocker features a blend of continuous and three-stage rockers. Some hybrid wakeboard rockers include: Blended 3-stage, Continuous Hybrid, Progressive, Subtle three-stage

Wakeboard Base Shapes

Concaves are basically special dents on the bottom of your wakeboard that create lift and act as suction-reducing accelerators so the board will sit higher in the water and cruise like a hovercraft.

Channels act like long, extruded fins on the bottom of the board and break surface tension before the rest of the wakeboard hits. Think swan dive vs. belly-flop.

V-shape or spines help soften landings and allow you to easily roll from edge to edge similar to the v hull shape of some boats. V-shapes are often added to wakeboards with 3-stage rockers to soften landings.

Featureless - Wakeboards without any molded-in fins or channels are considered featureless. A featureless bottom leaves the work and performance to the wakeboard’s shape alone; the overall shape, rocker and fin setup on your board will really affect the ride.

Wakeboard Edges
Sharpness - The sharper the edge or rail, the more aggressively the wakeboard will track, resulting in improved acceleration and overall speed. The drawback of a sharp edge is that it is easier to catch an edge, resulting in a fly swatter-like effect with your face. A sharp edge is less forgiving than its rounded counterpart. Riders who enjoy surface tricks or riding sliders are advised to look for wakeboards with rounder or variable edges to give a buttery feel. Riders who like an aggressive, hard carving ride will feel at home on a sharper rail. Grip it and rip it.

Variable edges give you a blend of feel and performance found in sharp versus round edged boards. Variable edged boards have different sharpnesses in the middle vs. the tip and tail of the board. Variable edges are thicker and rounder (softer) in the middle of the wakeboard and grow progressively thinner (sharper) towards the tip and tail. The variable edge allows the wakeboard to maintain a high level of tracking/grip while edging while at the same time giving you a soft forgiving edge for butter slides or any surface tricks. The variable edge, “soft to sharp” pattern, creates lift and pop toward center of board and the thinner edges toward the ends make the wakeboard faster and better suited for carving.

Wakeboard Fins
Fins are like claws that grip the water differently depending on the number, size and placement on the wakeboard.

Fin Placement and Size

Deeper or longer fins create a more stable ride and give you less ability to break the board free for surface tricks… actually, any tricks. Beginning riders often benefit from longer, deeper fins when they start riding. As you advance you may want to break the board loose with less effort by removing fins or selecting a board with less traction. A higher quantity of fins or fins placed near the outside edges of the wakeboard will be more effective.

Removable vs. molded-in

Removable fins can be unscrewed and removed from the wakeboard while molded-in fins are glassed into the wakeboard and do not come off. Many wakeboards have molded in fins toward the outside and removable fins closer to the center. Molded in fins are more durable on sliders. Removable fins give you more options to change the feel of your ride.

Fin Maintenance

Check fin screws regularly to make sure they are securely attached to your wakeboard. The fins and their screws do not float. When you nick your removable fins don't fret you can sand them out or purchase new fins.
Wakeboard Weight: How does weight affect performance?


Lightweight wakeboards are a joy to ride. With no extra weight holding you down, lightweight wakeboards make for super smooth riding and easy maneuvering. Wake manufacturers are constantly developing new materials and technology to make lighter wakeboards. Upgrading to a super light board is like trading your Honda Civic for a Porsche, it is light, fun, fast, but with a higher price tag.

Base Material

You will want to consider base material if you will be using your wakeboard on sliders that may impact the base.
Grind Base

Grind bases were developed in response to the increasing popularity of rail riding. This style of riding requires a tough base with exceptional durability to withstand the wear and tear from sliding over PVC, metal or docks.

Wakeboard Boots

Boots are a huge part of wakeboarding and have improved more than most wakeboard products in the last 10 years. Make sure you try close tip and open to boots before you get set on a style or type. Nobody’s feel are alike. If you have a number of riders on your board open-toe boots may be a must. If you have never tried a pair of closed-toe wakeboard boots on the water you may want to give them a shot. You may be amazed. With open-toed boots make sure the support goes all the way over the toes.

Maintain Your Wakeboard

Keep your wakeboard out of the sun for long periods of time. Sun damages gear just like skin.
Rinse your gear with fresh water after use in salt water. Protect your investment with a wakeboard bag for storing and transporting. Bags fend off bumps, scratches and long exposure to the sun as well as protect your boat. Be sure to dry your wakeboard before leaving it in its bag.

Wakeboarding Lessons
Wakeboard Boat Rentals
Shop For Wakeboards Water Sports - Amazon  or TK Waterplay

1 comment:

  1. There are some things to consider when you are picking out a wakeboard...and experience is one of the things to look at. Did you just start out? Or are you pretty advanced? If you are not sure what you need, I would say to call and ask someone from Water Skiers World ( Their staff is very knowledgable and will help you pick the right one.