How to: Choose the Correct Wakeboard Size

One of the most common questions when purchasing a wakeboard is, "What's the right size for me?"

Here is a small little guide that will help you clear up some of those questions!

Q: What size wakeboard should I ride?

A: Your weight will be one of the biggest factors in choosing the right size. A lot of people relate it to snowboarding, with height. That is not the case in wakeboarding. Unlike snowboarding, you need to be able to float sufficiently on top of the water! Different wakeboards have specific sizing guidelines, because of the shapes of the boards. A general rule of thumb is, if multiple people are going to be using the board, base your selection on the weight of the rider who will ride the most, or the heaviest rider. Riding styles will also play as a factor. We will cover this down below. 

General Wakeboard Size Chart

Check each wakeboard manufacture and model for exact size recommendations! 

   Rider Weight (lbs)             Wakeboard Length (cm)

 Under 100                            130 or Under

90 - 150                                 130 - 134

130 - 180                               135 - 139

170 - 250                               140 - 144

       200 - 275+                           144 or Greater

You will receive a different feeling ride from different sizes and shapes. The best way to determine exactly what board is right for you, is to talk to our knowledgable staff, then, pick out 3 boards and take advantage of our demo program!


Q: Why would I want a shorter wakeboard?

A: This is where your riding style starts to come in. You may want a shorter board if you want a slower ride on the water, but usually have the ability to flip and spin in the air easier.  Landings though, tend to be harder, because of the boards smaller surface area. 

Q: Why would I want a longer wakeboard?

A: If your looking for an easier, or something to learn on, longer boards have a solid ride that will really pop off the wake. If your looking for a faster ride, longer boards are a great choice. Being longer, they tend to be heavier in the air. You will gain a little more control out of a longer board, so they tend to be great for learning new tricks on. Landings will be softer since there is a larger surface area. 

 

Helping you determine your ability level!


 

Beginner-Intermediate

These terms are usually used if you have never ridden before, ride occasionally, or are just starting to attack the wake. Usually, riders in this category tend to prefer continuous or mellow 3-stage rockers.

 

 

Intermediate/Advanced

 

 

You will probably fit into this class if you are attacking and clearing the wake in both directions. There are a ton of different options that you can choose from, as this is one of the largest areas that manufacturers cover. Look at the features of the board, to see what best fits your riding style. 

 

 

 

Advanced/Expert

If your spinning, flipping, and attacking new tricks, you've earned this title. Wakeboarders tend to choose a board that has an aggressive continuous or 3-stage rocker that are less forgiving.


Wakeboard Features

Hopefully after learning your ability level, you can learn how the features of your wakeboard will work with your style of riding, along with the feel of the ride.


 

 

Wakeboard Rocker and Riding Style

 

 Continuous Rockers (smooth, continuous arch) 

A continuous rocker has one smooth fluid, curved shape. Think of the shape of a banana. Wakeboards with continuous rocker provide fast, smooth rides and allow you to hook up turns more easily. Continuous rockers are known for the ability to generate a lot of speed. Speed and a very predictable pop (height) when you hit the wake will shoot you farther out into the flats. If carving is your thing, then a continuous rocker should be a good choice.

Choose this if: You like fast, smooth rides. Rider friendly and predictable. Going big out into the flats. 


3-Stage Rockers (angled with a flat spot)

 

A 3-stage rocker has three distinct planes on the bottom of the board. Think of the shape of the bottom half of a stop sign.  A 3-stage rocker causes your wakeboard to respond with more pop (height) when you hit the wake.  More rocker is not always better though. With a more dramatic rocker, a wakeboard usually has a looser or more slippery feel on the water surface. The shape causes the board to plow rather than cut through the water, making it slower. Your fins become less effective and you must rely more on edging the wakeboard.  Boards with 3-stage rocker have a flat spot which makes the impact of landings intense and gives a slight sluggish feeling after landing.

 

Choose this if: Your looking for increased pop, a slower, looser/slippery ride. More of a wake to wake type of board.

 

Hybrid Rocker (a combination of continuous and 3-stage)

A Hybrid Rocker is a combination of both the continuous and the 3-stage rocker.  You can find various Hybrid Rockers such as: Blended 3-stage, Continuous Hybrid, Progressive, Subtle 3-stage.

Choose this if: Look at the details of each Hybrid Rocker, to determine if the advantages of its rocker line help your riding style and level. 


Wakeboard Base Shapes & Materials

Concaves 

Concaves are like 1/4 circle indents on the bottom of your wakeboard that create lift and act as suction-reducing accelerators so the board will sit higher in the water. The more concaves, the higher the board will sit in the water. Depending on where the concaves are located, will determine where the board rides higher as well.

 

Channels 

Channels act like long fins. Channels help direct water under your board, usually to help with stability and direction control. These channels can also help you edge harder.


V-shape 

Also known as spines, these v-shaped features help soften landings and allow you to easily roll from edge to edge similar to the v hull shape of some boats. V-shapes are often added to wakeboards with 3-stage rockers to soften landings. 

 

Featureless

Featureless wakeboards are boards known to not have any molded-in fins or channels. Having a featureless bottom leaves the work and performance to the wakeboard’s shape alone; the overall shape, rocker and fin setup on your board will really affect the ride.

 

Base Material

Using your wakeboard on sliders? Definitely consider the base material you will be using. 

Grind Base

Grind bases were developed in response to the increasing popularity of rail riding. This style of riding requires a tough base with exceptional durability to withstand the wear and tear from sliding over PVC, metal or docks.

 

 

Wakeboard Edges

Sharpness - The sharper the edge or rail, the more aggressively the wakeboard will track, resulting in improved acceleration and overall speed. The drawback of a sharp edge is that it is easier to catch an edge, resulting in a fly swatter-like effect with your face.  A sharp edge is less forgiving than its rounded counterpart.  Riders who enjoy surface tricks or riding sliders are advised to look for wakeboards with rounder or variable edges to give a buttery feel.  Riders who like an agressive, hard carving ride will feel at home on a sharper rail.  Grip it and rip it.

 

Variable edges give you a blend of feel and performance found in sharp versus round edged boards. Variable edged boards have different sharpnesses in the middle vs. the tip and tail of the board.  Variable edges are thicker and rounder (softer) in the middle of the wakeboard and grow progressively thinner (sharper) towards the tip and tail. The variable edge allows the wakeboard to maintain a high level of tracking/grip while edging while at the same time giving you a soft forgiving edge for butter slides or any surface tricks.  The variable edge, “soft to sharp” pattern, creates lift and pop toward center of board and the thinner edges toward the ends make the wakeboard faster and better suited for carving.

 

Wakeboard Fins

Fins are like claws that grip the water differently depending on the number, size and placement on the wakeboard. 

 

Fin Placement and Size

Deeper or longer fins create a more stable ride and give you less ability to break the board free for surface tricks… actually, any tricks.  Beginning riders often benefit from longer, deeper fins when they start riding.  As you advance you may want to break the board loose with less effort by removing fins or selecting a board with less traction.  A higher quantity of fins or fins placed near the outside edges of the wakeboard will be more effective.

 

Removable vs. Molded-in

Removable fins can be unscrewed and removed from the wakeboard while molded-in fins are glassed into the wakeboard and do not come off. Many wakeboards have molded in fins toward the outside and removable fins closer to the center.  Molded in fins are more durable on sliders.  Removable fins give you more options to change the feel of your ride. 

 

Fin Maintenance

Check fin screws regularly to make sure they are securely attached to your wakeboard. The fins and their screws do not float.  When you nick your removable fins don't fret you can sand them out or purchase new fins.

 

 

Wakeboard Weight

How does weight affect performance?

 

Lightweight

Lightweight wakeboards are a joy to ride. With no extra weight holding you down, lightweight wakeboards make for super smooth riding and easy maneuvering.  Wake manufacturers are constantly developing new materials and technology to make lighter wakeboards. Upgrading to a super light board is like trading your Honda Civic for a Porsche, it is light, fun, fast, but with a higher price tag.

 

 

 

Blem Wakeboards
Blems are wakeboards that have minor manufacturer blemishes, which occur during production. Blems include any type of small cosmetic difference from a new board; for example, the graphics may not line up perfectly or a color might differ slightly so that it does not match rest of the standard issue wakeboards.  These blemishes do not affect the integrity or performance of the product. Blem wakeboards are still under the full manufacturer warranty. Blem wakeboards typically save you a few bucks and give you a “one-of-a-kind” prize. 

 

Wakeboard Maintenance

Keep your wakeboard out of the sun for long periods of time.  Sun damages gear just like skin.

 

Rinse your gear with fresh water after use in salt water. 

 

Protect your investment with a wakeboard bag for storing and transporting. Bags fend off bumps, scratches and long exposure to the sun as well as protect your boat.  Be sure to dry your wakeboard before leaving it in its bag for a long period of time.

 

Store your gear in a cool, dry location.