Wakeboarding is a great experience, but you need to have the best wakeboard supporting your efforts to make sure you have the best time possible. Choosing the right equipment can make all the difference in the world. When everyone is claiming that their ride is the best and firing millions off in marketing to prove it, how can you decide which one is going to be the best one for you?
Here Is the Best Chart for Wakeboards
Information is how you can separate the great wakeboards from the not-so-great ones. Use the chart below to compare models and contrast features so that you can get the best ones to meet your needs.
Salty Dog’s Favorite Wakeboards
Hyperlite Machete Wakeboard Package
It’s the core of this wakeboard that makes it one of the best boards around. It’s made from Bio2, which is a product of the Dow Chemical Company. It provides the perfect weight for swing and balance so that even professional riders can get a good afternoon of work in and feel good about it. There are 4 removable fins that help to provide an extra level of control while users can zip in and out of a turn. It’s got a three-stage rocker that explodes out of the wake and the lightness of the board will help you get more air for the same efforts.
Hyperlite State 2.0 Wakeboard
This is a kid’s board, make no mistake about that, but it does support all levels of ability and style. There are a variety of sizes available with this board as well and it provides an effective edge when the boarder puts down some toe-side pressure. The longer heel-side edge takes on a traditional look and feel, with the end result being a more natural body position that is proven through user testing. Stability, balance, and speed all come together beautifully with this board.
- ASYMMETRICAL ALL ABILITY LEVEL SHAPE
- LAYERED GLASS - Our fiberglass is available in 3 weights depending on the board. Over time, traditional woven glass fibers will separate. With layered glass every Hyperlite deck will have the same pop off the double up year after year.
- MOLDED-IN FINS - creating less drag and a better release off the top of the wake …
AirHead Booyah Wakeboard
If you love the graphics of the Airhead brand, but just weigh too much for the kid’s models, then the Booyah is for you. It supports up to 170 pounds on the water and the rounded end profile with a beveled perimeter gives boarders a consistent, but still forgiving release. The bindings fit most average shoe sizes and the overall fit allows for an impressive amount of growth that can be achieved after just a few rides. The bindings are great, the board is sturdy, and you’ll have a great time.
Body Glove Wakeboard
This wakeboard only supports about 125 pounds, but the rounded tip and the tail makes for some easy jumps and a smooth ride. The lace up bindings are tight and secure, providing an all-around superior wakeboarding performance. It’s not going to give kids a huge amount of air, but it will introduce them to the concepts of wakeboarding and give them a forgiving platform to begin learning. If you are looking for the best wakeboard that provides a forgiving learning experience, then this could be the perfect board for you.
What Are the Basics of the Best Wakeboards?
The average wakeboard is going to fall into one of three categories: beginner, intermediate, and expert. Each category has some unique characteristics that all give it a personalized feel when you’re out on the water. Boards that are made for beginners tend to be a bit forgiving and allow for a better recovery so that figuring out how to stand up and catch some air is easier. Expert boards are designed to maximize the experience. Intermediate boards fall somewhere between these two extremes.
Here’s a Salty Dog pro tip: You don’t need to have anything but a beginning board if you haven’t been wakeboarding before. Most expert boards are going to feel too loose and too fast for the average beginner.
The size of the board also matters. If your wakeboard is too small, then you’ll sink the board and this will pull you out of the water at a faster speed. This ultimately reduces the size of the wake that can be achieved and that’s never a fun experience. A board that is too big, on the other hand, can be difficult to control.
How To Select the Best Wakeboard For Me?
It starts by reading some comprehensive wakeboard reviews that come from users who were once in your position. Reading how great an expert board carves out air might be entertaining, but if that’s not something you can do, then that information is worthless.
You’ll also want to figure out what your nature style of wakeboarding happens to be before purchasing a board if at all possible. If you prefer to ride with the same foot forward, then a single tip wakeboard could be the right choice. If you’re already into skateboarding or snowboarding and you switch up your feet, then a twin tip board is probably a better choice.
Most beginners are also going to want a continuous rocker because it creates a predictable performance. Three-stage rockers are good for lift when you’re used to the feeling of grabbing some air behind the boat.
Here’s another Salty Dog pro tip: Don’t combine funds to share a wakeboard. This typically causes all riders in the purchasing partnership to compromise on the features that are on the board and then no one winds up being happy with how the board performs.
How to Buy the Best Wakeboards?
Anyone can ride any wakeboard as long as it is compatible with their height and weight. Moreover, choosing a wakeboard also takes into account personal preference and things like aesthetic appeal, shape, and price. Some things you need to look for if you want to buy the ideal wakeboard include:
Before you decide on the length of your wakeboard, make sure to evaluate your weight and riding style. These two things greatly influence the kind of wakeboard that’s best for you. Additionally, if you have more than one person riding on the same wakeboard, then make sure to get a length that suits the person riding it the most.
Moreover, every person can adapt to a range; so an inch or two greater won’t be a problem for you. You can find wakeboard in two common lengths:
If there is one type that is equally hated and loved by users, it’s the short wakeboard. Many people love short wakeboards because of their ability to allow better maneuverability. They also appreciate that they are very easy to spin and can be flipped or flown across a wave. However, many people dislike the fact that these boards have a shorter surface area and hence require more energy.
As a fast and energetic rider, you will have to spend more energy and effort if you want to push through water with a short wakeboard. You will also find it difficult to land the board smoothly. On top of all of that, your nose and face are more likely to dig into the water during landing.
Having said that, there are still many people who prefer shorter wakeboards because of their affordable price.
On the other side of the spectrum lies long wakeboards. These are revered by a large number of people. Most people prefer using them because of their ease of usage. They are fairly easy to ride on, even by people who lack experience. They also have a solid boost-off-the-wake feel that further adds to their appeal.
However, like any other unit, they also come with their fair share of problems. Longer wakeboards are relatively harder to fly into the air. Since they have a large surface area and are heavier, you will have to put in significant effort when you want to elevate their height.
Despite that, a long wakeboard’s advantages still greatly outweigh the drawbacks. So if you are looking for a unit that allows for softer landings and allows you to learn the basics of the sport, then a long wakeboard is the ideal choice.
In an ideal world, everyone would have been an expert in the sport. But that’s really not the case here. We have people who are pros at every trick. On the other hand, we have amateurs who have just started wakeboarding. So when you are looking for a model to use for a long time, make sure you get one that best suits your skill level.
If you have a passion for wakeboarding but have just entered the field, then we recommend you look for relatively shorter boards that are in harmony with your weight and length.
You can either look out for entry-level boards in the market, or you can choose one that comes with a mellow 3-stage rocker. Such units are made especially for people who ride occasionally and for recreational purposes only.
This is a crucial skill level for every wakeboarding enthusiast. This is the time when the enthusiast tries to learn additional tricks and adapt to tips that will make him stand out. However, you can’t just pick out any model if you are at this level.
You should ideally look for a relatively longer board that offers more control. Such a model will also help you learn smarter tricks on the field. You can also go for a slightly bold look at this stage.
It is the dream of every wakeboarding enthusiast to reach this stage, but reaching it is not an easy job. It requires not only a lot of finesse but also a lot of consistency in efforts. If you are at this level or want to get to this level, then we suggest you look for expert wakeboards.
Such experts have aggressive continuous or even 3-stage rockers that allow you to attempt new tricks easily. However, you may also need to keep the budget in mind since these models are quite expensive.
The base of your wakeboard connects you to the water. This is why it is absolutely crucial that it is both strong and durable. However, even when you invest in the strongest of materials, you can never be too sure of the base. This is why we suggest that you look at some of the features of different bases and then decide one that suits you the most. The different types include:
Concave bases have special dents on their bottom that allow for a better lifting ability, but more importantly, they will also act as suction-reducing accelerators that help in maneuverability. Additionally, concave bases ensure that your board sits higher in the water.
These are more like extruded fins that exist on the bottom of your wakeboard and ensure ease of usage. They work by breaking surface tension between the base and the water. This allows for a smooth landing.
These are special bases made especially for serious riders. They not only help soften landings but also allow you to experiment with different techniques. You will also get to enjoy an edge-to-edge technique with v-shaped spines.
Contrary to what people think, featureless bases are in no way less desirable than other base types. Featureless bases are those that come without any molded-in channels or fins. The best thing about this type is that it leaves everything to the rider’s technique and skill. This makes featureless bases perfect for practicing.
This is another thing that you should consider. The most popular bases are grind ones that allow for better durability. These bases can also withstand any changes in temperature or weather. The material also protects your unit from any damages caused by wear or tear.
When you invest in a wakeboard, you will notice some shapes having a sharp edge or rail. The benefit of investing in such a model is that you get more speed and a smoother movement. You also get to experience faster speeds and improved acceleration. This makes it perfect for anyone who enjoys surface riding.
The major disadvantage is that sharp-edged boards are less forgiving. This is why you should only invest in them if you are sure of your skill and expertise.
If you are looking for better functionality and a safer option, you should go for variable-edged boards. They allow for more sharpness at the edges as compared to at the center. This allows the board to maintain an excellent grip throughout the motion.
The major downside to these types of wakeboards is that they don’t offer very high speeds.
The shape of the wakeboard is majorly influenced by its base. However, there are some further extensions that you need to know of.
Depending on the placements of the board, a fin is what will influence the grip of the board. If you have a deep or long fin, you get to enjoy much more stability in your ride. This is why beginner and intermediate-level riders are suggested to invest in these. Moreover, getting a higher number of fins at the outside will add to the functionality of your board.
The rail is either placed on the rider’s toeside or his backside. The amount of slip you feel will be determined by the position and material of the rail. The use of plastics allows for faster speeds. Plastic rails also require you to keep your weight on top of the board rather than leaning back or pushing forward on it.
There are three main types of rockers on the market. Continuous rocker boards are fun to ride on and are extremely easy. They come with only one curve that starts from the tail and ends at the nose. As a result, you get to enjoy a great landing with these.
A 3-stage rocker comes with a flat base in the middle and is very stiff. It allows you to ride significantly higher than other designs. However, it doesn’t allow for a very smooth landing.
Hybrid boards, as the name suggests, offer the pros and cons of both rocker types. They are also suited for beginner, intermediate, and expert-level riders. However, they tend to be more costly than the other types.
Buying a wakeboard is not easy, and you might still have some questions. We’ve answered some common questions below:
How to Maintain A Wakeboard?
Wakeboards are not cheap and hence should be taken care of; you certainly don’t want to be buying a new product every other month. Here are a few tips and guidelines to help you maintain a wakeboard properly:
- Wakeboards are normally used in the sea, so they are constantly subjected to saltwater. This can be disastrous for the body in the long run. It is hence advised that you always rinse your board with fresh water after each use.
- Continuous exposure to the sun can also lead to increased wear and tear of both the bindings and the board as a whole, so try keeping it out of the sun as much as possible.
- Bindings are integral to the proper functioning of wakeboards. Many people make the mistake of using oils or lotions on the bindings. This can lead to an active deterioration of these parts. When needed, always try using either a binding lube or plain water.
- This goes without saying, but your wakeboard is not your surfboard, so try to avoid waxing it at all times.
- Small wear or tear in the body of your wakeboard can lead to serious accidents. You are hence advised to check for proper binding placement every time you ride. If there is any worn out part, make sure to instantly replace it
- Almost all oils, petroleum products, or even gasoline can harm the exterior of your unit; try keeping them away from your wakeboard.
- The fins need to be tight before you enter the water. This is because they can easily sink like a lightweight object. So before you get on with your weekend, make sure to always tighten the fins. Similarly, ensure that the binding retention bolts are extremely tight before every use.
- There are some things that can cause permanent structural failures in your wakeboards. You should avoid using any kind of thread sealants like Loc-tie on either fin screws or the binding bolts.
What Boots are the Best to Buy for Your Wakeboard?
When you are out there on your wakeboard, everything from your clothes to your boots will matter. In fact, your footwear takes precedence over everything else. This is because your boots are the connecting part between you and the board. So if you want to make the most out of your trip and enjoy a better grip, we recommend you tread carefully.
To ensure you buy the best shoes for your wakeboard, make sure you consider the following:
Before entering the water, you will need to ensure that you get your hands on a stiff pair of boots. This is because the stiffer the boots, the better will be your speed in the water. However, there is a catch; softer boots allow for more maneuverability and ensure better landing. The trick is to invest in a pair that allows you to achieve a correct balance between the two things.
You should also remember that stiffer boots will provide you with much better support for your ankle. On the other hand, softer boots will allow you to experiment with different techniques. So in many instances, the choice of which boots to invest in all boils down to personal preference.
There are three main categories of boots suitable for people interested in getting on a wakeboard. Here is what makes each of these types differ from one another:
- Closed-toe: These are a very precise fit and make it difficult for friends or family to share a single pair of boots. Their ability to fit right on your feet allows them to ensure greater comfort. But more importantly, you get to enjoy more control and leverage on the water. Additionally, they are a great fit for colder climates. Their ability to keep you warm will surely come in handy.
- Open toe: These are considered amazing because they give your feet some room to breathe easily. This ensures that you can let your fingers stretch a bit during breaks. Moreover, unlike closed-toe units, they are more suited to kids whose toes are likely to grow with age.
- System bindings: These are relatively less popular than the other two designs. This takes a custom boot and allows users to customize it according to their preference further. Such boots ensure more convenience for older riders.
Other things to look out for:
- Hinges: Boots with hinges are popular because they are easy to wear and take off.
- Laces: You can simply tie them and ensure a fitness that feels right. However, laces can get loose when they are wet.
- Velcro straps: These are extremely durable and efficient.
Do you Need to Know how to Swim before Buying a Wakeboard?
Riding a wakeboard does not require swimming. However, anyone entering the water on a wakeboard should know how to swim. This is because even if you are an expert rider, there can be instances where you can fail. This could either be due to a long wave or bad weather. This is why it’s highly likely that good swimming skills will come in handy someday.
The best wakeboard will help you learn how to wakeboard, increase your skills, and help you to enjoy a beautiful day out on the water. Whether you’re a professional or thinking about wakeboarding for the first time, take these tips to heart, use these wakeboard reviews, and select the board that will be fit your needs today.