Are you a beginner in the world of wakeboarding and wondering which wakeboard is right for you?
It may be difficult to find the best beginner wakeboard since there are many wakeboards in the market designed for different riding styles and levels.
This article will give you information to help you decide on the type of wakeboard you should use as a beginner. The information includes wakeboard sizing, rocker types, base shapes, fins, and edges.
As a beginner, purchasing the right wakeboard for your ability and riding style will get you started on the right foot and ensure you have the most fun in your wakeboarding adventure.
The first and the most crucial step in buying a wakeboard as a beginner is finding out what board size works best for you.
The sizing chart below shows the recommended board sizes depending on your weight:
Rider’s Weight (Pounds)
Wakeboard Length (Centimeters)
If the wakeboard you are looking to buy will be used by multiple riders, consider getting one with the size range of the largest rider.
This is because it is easy for smaller riders to adapt to larger wakeboards, but difficult for larger riders to ride in smaller boards.
Sizing Up or Down
It is best to follow the size chart above when finding the right size of the board. However, some riders prefer to size up while others prefer to size down. This may impact the overall feel and ride of the board on the water.
For beginners, sizing up is the preferred option. A bigger board will be a smoother and more stable ride but slower through the water.
The bigger surface area under the rider will help prevent catching the edge and soften landings. Sizing up can be more sluggish in terms of maneuverability but will give the ride more forgiveness.
Wakeboard Rocker Types
There are four different types of wakeboard rockers and they include a continuous rocker, 3-stage rocker, hybrid rocker, and camber wakeboards.
For beginners, a wakeboard with a 3-stage rocker type is recommended because it provides a more forgiving ride to help you progress with your wakeboarding. The 3-stage rocker has three different planes on the bottom side. This allows for more pop off the wake and higher riding on the water.
A continuous rocker has a curved and fluid shape. They provide smooth, fast rides and allows you to easily turn.
Hybrid rockers have combined features of continuous and 3-stage rockers. Camber wakeboards are inspired by the classic snow and skiboard shapes. Camber wakeboards change your weight distribution on the water, allowing you to be more centered during the ride.
Wakeboard Base Shapes
Wakeboards come with different base shapes as explained below:
- Concaves are dents on the board's bottom that act as accelerators to reduce suction and create lift so that the board will ride higher on the water.
- Channels – these act as the extruded and long fins on the board’s bottom that break the surface tension before the rest of the board hits the water.
- V-shape spines – they are often added to the 3-stage rocker wakeboards to soften landings and allow the rider to roll easily from edge to edge.
- Featureless – these are the wakeboards without any channels or molded fins. They leave the performance and work of the board to its rocker, shape, and fin set-up.
Wakeboard fins are like claws that grip differently to the water based on the size, number, and placement on the board.
Removable vs Molded-in Wakeboard Fins
Molded-in fins are attached to the board and cannot be removed while removable fins are detachable.
Most wakeboards have removable fins nearer to the center and molded fins towards the outside. Removable fins allow you to change the feel of your board and can also be used in cable parks. Molded-in fins last longer on sliders.
Wakeboard Fin Size and Placement
Longer or deeper fins give you a more stable ride and allow you to break the board free for any surface tricks.
As a beginner, you will benefit from deeper, longer fins, and as you progress you can choose to remove the fins. Fins placed near the edges of the board and a higher number of fins are more effective for beginners.
There are three different edge types of wakeboards and they include sharp, rounded, and variable-edged boards.
Wakeboards with sharper edges are more aggressive leading to improved overall speed and acceleration. A sharp-edged wakeboard is less forgiving than a rounded wakeboard. If you like hard-carving and aggressive rides, this board is for you.
If you enjoy riding sliders and surface tricks, a wakeboard with a variable or rounded edge will give you the butterfly feeling.
Wakeboards with variable edges are rounder and thicker in the middles and sharper and thinner towards the tail and the tip. The variable edge pattern makes this board faster and best for carving as it offers you a soft, forgiving edge.
As a beginner, you need to know the style of riding you will be involved in. Is it a boat, cable, or both?
If you will only ride behind the boat, you need to choose a wakeboard that allows for more pop off the wake. These boards should also have sharper edges for more speed and momentum.
If you only ride on cable parks, a board with more forgiving rails, softer flex, and a durable base is for you.
If you are splitting your time between the boat and the cable parks, getting a wakeboard designed for both settings will save you a lot of money.
Understanding the different aspects of wakeboards will help you decide on the best one suited for your needs as a beginner.
Hopefully, this article has given you information that you need to decide on the type of wakeboard you can use when starting wakeboarding.