How to Choose a Wakeboard That’s Right for You
Wakeboards come in all shapes and sizes, so picking one that’s right for you can be confusing. Plus, the bright and exciting graphics on all wakeboards may attract your attention, but there really should be a lot more factored into your decision than whether or not you think the graphics are cool. For an optimal wake boarding experience, you should factor your skill level, weight, and type of riding you expect to be doing and find a board that fits those aspects.
To get beyond the graphics, take a few minutes to learn about the importance of the features built into wakeboards that are designed to influence the board’s performance. If you will be wakeboarding primarily behind a boat, choose a heavy-duty wakeboard to withstand the wear and tear of landing and casing the wake while being towed at 20 mph. Boat boards also have edge features to cut into the wake, base channels to smooth out landings, and fins to give more direction. The primary difference between boards built for boat wakeboarding and riding at wake parks is that wakeboards for wake parks have no fins to you won’t get hung up while sliding on rails and boxes. Fins can be either molded directly into the base or bolted so they can be removed or adjusted to different positions.
Other basic wakeboard features to consider are the rocker, base shape, and edges. Rocker is the term used to describe the curve or arc of the board. Your choices will be primarily between three-stage and continuous. Three-stage rockers have sharper angles to provide an increased pop and explosiveness while continuous rockers have a long, continuous curve from tip to tail. Continuous rocker styles were the original wakeboard rocker and are best for beginner or intermediate skill levels, while three-stage rockers are more common in boards for intermediate to advanced wakeboarders.
Base shapes, or the bottom of the wakeboard, feature various concaves, channels and fins to determine how the board rides in the water. Channels and concaves in essence act as fins along the base to direct the flow of water, break water tension on landings, and soften the impact on your knees from high-energy landings. V-shape “spines” are deeper concaves to break up the water tension on impact and smooth the transition more quickly from edge to edge and are more common on three-stage rocker styles.
To offer personal choices on how to cut through the water, wakeboard edges are designed to be sharper or rounder. Sharp edges are preferred by riders with an aggressive, quick-charging style to grip the wake and to react quickly, while rounder edges are liked by riders who want a more relaxed, laid-back ride. Some boards are designed to offer the best of both worlds with sharper edges on the tip and tail and rounded edges in the middle of the board.
The other feature to consider is whether you expect to need a durable board constructed of quality materials that are able to withstand heavy-duty riding. Be prepared to enjoy the sport once you begin, so buy a wakeboard that will last a long time!
At a Glance: Choose the Right RAVE Sports Wakeboard for You
Youth / < 125 lbs.
Adult / > 125 lbs.
NOTE: Wakeboards designed by RAVE Sports have removable fins so they can also be used in wake parks.