Are you after the perfect wakeboard to take your beginner junior rider through to an intermediate level?
Or something you can have fun on at the cable park?
Maybe it’s time for an upgrade for yourself?
There are many factors to consider when choosing the right board,
so let’s break down the basics in construction and board style to help you better understand what to look for.
A rocker line describes the side profile shape of the wakeboard and will dictate how the board will perform, from speed, how the board “pops” of the wake and how the wakeboard will land.
The general rule of thumb: The more rocker, the slower the board will feel as it pushed more water.
Deciding on a rocker line is a personal preference and can come down to your riding style. As a beginner, you most probably will not know what style of rider you are yet, though it is great to have a basic understanding.
Continuous Rocker- Has a smooth consistent curve in the boards' side profile running from tip to tail.
These boards generally offer a more predictable ride, land smoothly and tend to be easier to take your air out into the flats (past the trough next to each wake).
A continuous rocker wakeboard will not tend to get as much vertical pop as a 3 stage rocker board.
3 Stage Rocker- As it sounds, the profile of the board has three distinct stages with a flat section within the middle/ belly of the wakeboard.
Three-stage wakeboards tend to generate more explosive vertical pop off the wake and can often feel a bit looser/ slippery underfoot. With its distinct flat belly, landings can tend to be fairly heavy as the board lands on a greater surface area.
Hybrid / Crossover- Feature a blended rail providing the smooth consistency of a continuous rocker and the explosive pop of a three-stage rocker wakeboard. The belly of a hybrid rocker wakeboard is more subtle with more of a kick at the tip and tail.
What wakeboards are best for riding behind the boat?
Wakeboards designed for boat riding are usually constructed differently to those designed for the wake park. The core of the wakeboard designed for riding behind the boat will be stiffer from the nose to tail, allowing the board to pop off the wake with more energy/ response.
On the base of the board, a boat specific shape will tend to have more channels and features which will impact how the board will respond on the water.
Core materials on boat wakeboards tend to have more Polyurethane and Carbon materials which help maintain the stiffness and integrity of the board shape. However, we are starting to see more wood materials making their way into wakeboards designed for boat riding.
What wakeboards are best for cable wakeboarding?
These boards are designed to flex and are built to be more durable as they used on ramps and rails at the wakeboard cable park. Core materials tend to feature more foot to allow for more flex on wakeboard obstacles. Each brand will have it’s own grind base material to assist with longevity of the base and urethane sidewalls to help prevent damage to the wakeboards rails.
The base of the wakeboard will often have minimal features to reduce and friction on the cable park rails and kickers and less wear on the base.
If you are looking for a board to perform on all areas of the cable park, from obstacles to flatwater air tricks, you might want to consider a board with some subtle channels on the base and a slightly stiffer core. This will help maintain line tension from the cable and a stronger release off of the water. A crossover wakeboard might be the better option for you!
Designed to take you from the boat to the cable lake with an intermediate flex and simplified features on the base.
These boards tend to allow the rider to have a strong edge, with a softer landing and are playful on top of the water with noticeable flat spots to maintain control on obstacles at the wake park.
Which wakeboards are best for beginners?
While wakeboarding might be new to you, often many “beginners” have experience with other board sports and can take up the sport relatively easily.
Board manufacturers are aware of this and put effort into designing boards that riders will not grow out of straight away, with features to help you progress and help you develop your skills.
Ideally, a board for a beginner-intermediate rider will have a subtle rocker line as they are more forgiving and consistent to ride. A wider overall profile will also provide more stability for the rider, so too would a board on the large end of the sizing scale.