Wakeboard Buyers Guide for Beginners

Which Board is Best for Me?

As a beginner it is tough to figure out which wakeboard would be best suited to your skill level.  With every brand having such a huge variety of boards it can get confusing.  Were here to cut through all the noise and give you the best boards on the market for beginners.  

What You Need to Know

When buying your first wakeboard first you need to understand what makes each board different.  From Wakeboard Length to Rocker or Base Shape all aspects of the board impact its performance.  

Wakeboard Length

When selecting a wakeboard length it is important to choose one that will be able to handle both your wakeboarding style and weight.  Choosing the wrong length can result in a board that does not float correctly or is too much for you to control.  
Most Wakeboards measure between 130 and 144 centimeters and it is important to select a size that matches your weight range.  Use this guide to choose your board length: 
 Rider Weight (lbs) Board Length (cm)
< 100 < 130
90-150 130-134
130-180 135-139
170-250 140-144
> 250 > 144
Characteristics of a Shorter Board

In general a shorter board will be slower and harder to push through the water.  Because of the smaller surface area landings become more difficult.  A shorter board is also far easier to manipulate in the air.  Overall a smaller board is best for an experienced wakeboarder.  

Characteristics of a Longer Board

A longer board is overall easier to ride and control.  Longer boards are faster as the larger surface gets a stronger push off the water.  This added surface area makes manipulating the board in the air and doing tricks much harder.  Overall a longer board is best for a beginner wakeboarder.  

Wakeboard Rocker

Wakeboard rocker is the curve or shape of the board and this impacts its performance greatly.  There are 3 main shapes of Wakeboard Rocker: Continuous, 3-Stage and Camber.

 

Continuous Rocker

A Continuous Rocker has a smooth curve from end to end.  This rocker provides riders with a fast and stable ride.  Continuous rocker boards are best for beginner riders as it is very consistent and reliable.  The shape is smooth and curved giving the board great speed and making it best for carving on calm days.  

3-Stage Rocker

3-Stage Boards have a smooth flat section in the middle of the board with two angled sections at either end.  This provides a slower clunkier ride but allows the rider to get the most pop off of a wake.  This shape also makes landings harder than other types and is overall a more challenging rocker shape.  3-Stage boards are best for experienced riders. 

Camber

A Camber board has two surface points on the ends that are separated by an arch in the middle.  This rocker shape is a good mix between a 3-Stage and Continuous in terms of performance.  It provides good stability and control while also giving some height off the wake.  This rocker is great for intermediate wakeboarders.  

Wakeboard Base Shapes

Concaves

Concaves are indentations along the bottom of the board that give more pop off the wake and allow the board to glide smoothly across the water. 

Channels

Channels are small fins on the base of the board that lessen the impact of a landing by piercing the surface of the water before the board hits.  

V-Shape Spines

This spine shape allows the board to roll from edge to edge smoothly.  V-Shaped Spines are often added to 3-stage rockers. 

Featureless

Featureless boards have no molded fins or channels.  This type of board allows the rider to control the ride and gives more freedom but brings a larger challenge.  

Grind Base

This base is used for Cable Park boards that will have to endure impact with metal and other surfaces that could damage the board.  

Wakeboard Edges and Fins

Wakeboard Edges can be sharp or round and anywhere in between.  A sharper edge allows the board to travel faster and carve harder but it also brings a higher chance of crashes and wipeouts.  Rounder edges are much smoother and better for riders that want to do tricks.  This round edge allows a bit more room for error when landing and correcting course.  There are also variable edge boards with a round edge in the center and sharp edges at the back and front.  This gives the rider the best of both worlds.

Fins give the board grip and stability.  The longer the fin the stronger the grip on the water.  This also makes it more difficult to get off a wake and into the air.  Typically beginner riders begin with larger fins and slowly downsize as their skill level increases.  There are two types of fins: screw-in-fins and molded.  Molded fins are more durable but are permanent.  Screw-in-fins can be replaced or removed entirely.  

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