In extreme sports such as wakeboarding, picking the right gear is fundamental in order to achieve an experience filled with adrenaline, fun, and spectacularity. Thus, in wakeboarding, the board is a vital piece of equipment, whether you are a pro eager to attempt new tricks or a beginner who is ready to learn.
What are wakeboards used for?
In 1985 a California surfer named Tony Finn revolutionized the water sports world by creating the very first wakeboard. Finn wanted to create a mix between surfing and waterskiing. With this vision in mind, he created a board that was wide and stable enough to ride the waves like a surfboard but that could also be light enough to fly in the air when attempting tricks.
Wakeboards are attached to most small boats by a rope, which means that these boards need to be fabricated with a material that can provide resistance and flexibility. Most boards are produced using foam or even graphite which are light but hard to break. Riders can use their board to either surf on the flat water or take advantage of the speed of the boat to jump over the wake and perform tricks mid-air. Thus, the versatility and adaptability of wakeboarding make this a popular water sport for all ages.
Things To Consider
When looking for a wakeboard, you'll want to consider the following:
- What type of wakeboard are you looking for?
- How much are you looking to spend on a wakeboard?
- How experienced of a wakeboarder are you?
What are you looking for in a wakeboard?
- Youth size
- Adult size
Based on their rocker, which refers to the board's shape, wakeboards are classified into different types: continuous rocker, three-stage rocker, and hybrid rocker.
The continuous rocker is the most common option for first-timers. The width of this wakeboard makes landing easier for beginners, while the structure of the rocker allows more speed than any other board, guaranteeing a great experience. Beginners can purchase continuous rockers online or in-store for as little as $235.
- Makes landing smoother
- Best type for beginners
- High speed
- Only usable on flat water
- Does not allow high jumps
- Limited for tricks
If you are an experienced rider, the three-stage rocker is the best model to attempt new tricks. The high rise on the tip and tail helps the board jump higher. However, this could make landing harder, increasing the risk of bad falls. Despite the skill level that they require, three-stage rocker boards are relatively affordable as they are priced at around $300.
- Light structure
- Built for tricks
- Provides great hang time
- Only for experienced riders
- Slowest type
- Landings could lead to injuries
The structure of the tip and tail of the hybrid rocker combines the high rise of the three-stage and the arched ends of the continuous rocker type. This creates a board that can be fast on flat water and jump high enough to perform tricks at a wakeboarding park. These durable and versatile wakeboards are available starting at $330.
- Can be attached to both boats and cables
- Allows for easy turns
- Could feel stiff at times
- Not suitable for all types of riders
The key factor behind the best wakeboards is the technology and the materials used to produce them. Brands such as Connelly, Hyperlite, and Ronix have become leaders in the sector by developing newer technologies to give riders the best experience.
Used by World Champion Andrew Adkison, Connelly three-stage rockers are a must for intermediate and advanced riders. The carbon structure makes these wakeboards extremely light, which helps during tricks and allows for higher jumps. Connelly boards are available on most online wakeboarding stores and at retailers, where riders can find three-stage rockers starting at $300.
Hyperlite offers a wide variety of continuous rocker wakeboards, which represent great options for beginners thanks to their stability and affordability, as many models are available for under $300. The brand's products are available on online platforms and at retail stores, which gives customers an opportunity to receive an expert's advice on their boards.
Since creating their first wakeboard in 1990, Ronix has constantly improved the technology behind their boards. Ronix wakeboards are extremely popular among professionals thanks to the use of materials such as graphite and fiberglass, which make these boards perfect for tricks. Prices for Ronix products range from $330 to $800.
How much do wakeboards cost?
Wakeboards prices can range from $240 to $800. Due to their versatility, hybrid boards are the most expensive ones, with boards starting at $330. While some Ronix and Hyperlite models used by professional athletes reach $800, three-stage and continuous rocker wakeboards are generally affordable options because they only suit either experienced riders or beginners. Three-stage rockers are on average $320, while continuous rockers are priced even lower at around $300.
What type of wakeboard is easiest for a beginner to use?
Continuous rockers are the most suitable type of wakeboard for beginners. These boards are safe and easy to use while allowing the rider to enjoy a high speed. Their stability during landings is crucial and prevents inexperienced riders from damaging their knees. The flatness of the rocker makes this type of wakeboard the fastest, which is great for beginners so they can enjoy the adrenaline of practicing this sport. While these wakeboards are not optimal for tricks, they are the best type for learning and developing basic skills.
What sizes do wakeboards come in?
Checking a size chart is crucial before purchasing a wakeboard, especially online. Wakeboards are produced in men's, women's, and kids sizes. These three size classes are then further divided into three size subclasses based on the weight of the rider, which matches a specific length of the board. If the rider's weight is between 90 and 150lbs, the advised length of the board is 138 cm. Meanwhile 141cm and 144cm are for 130-180 lbs and 170-250 lbs weight classes, respectively.