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Wakeboards - How do I choose which is right for me?

Insider : Amerloc

WAKEBOARDS - SO MANY CHOICES, WHAT SHOULD I GO WITH?

wakebording

whentobuyaboatA common question when the beginner decides that whole Wakeboarding thing looks like mad fun... which it is. There are some pretty comprehensive guidelines to help you narrow down your choices.

HOW BIG OF A BOARD SHOULD I START WITH?

You want to figure out what board length is good for you and what rocker you prefer before you go further.

Here's a chart to help you with the length of board you should use:

wakeboard-sketch

Rider's Weight            Approximate Board Length

80-120 lbs                    Less than 122cm, about 48 inches

120-160 lbs                  122-130cm, about 48-51 inches

160-200 lbs                  130-138cm, about 51-54inches

More than 200 lbs      146cm+, 57 inches and over

Wakeboards range between 110cm and 160cm (43 to almost 63 inches) so you should be able to find a board that you're comfortable with. That being said, don't feel like you must use the recommended size for your weight. A few cm either way shouldn't matter. Beginners tend to enjoy the stability offered with a bit larger board so feel free to experiment to find your comfort level.

WHAT'S ROCKER AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?

Rocker is the base curve of the board. A continuous curve is a smoother ride and usually best for beginners. As the name implies, it's a smooth, continuous curve running the entire length of the wakeboard.

The 3-stage surface creates a more dynamic performer with leveled-up ends resembling more of a skateboard surface: flat in the center with raised ends. The more experienced boarder will enjoy the vertical pop off the wake that may be too challenging for beginners so choose carefully.

Rocker

There are degrees between these two options so you can change up as you gain experience so find your riding style and grow into your optimal performer! Besides the type of rocker there are also variations in the degree of rocker to play with. Between 2 and 3.5 inches are typical. Beginners want to start with a lower rocker number and work their way up. Remember the more the rocker the more the drag. With less rocker you will skim over the water easier, last longer out on the water and generally have more control as you improve your skills. When you're confidence and skill level allows you can switch to the deeper rocker and work on popping air off the wake!

BENDY OR STIFF?

Depending on where you plan to do your wakeboarding you'll either want a board with a bit of flex to it or a stiff board. So what's the difference?

With the advent of cable-park riding, flexible boards have become a preference. Similar to snowboard parks, cable-parks have similar features, like rails and kickers, making the more durable, flexible boards that are more responsive to park features more popular, but certainly not required.

Wake riders who prefer to ride behind a boat prefer the stiffer construction, making the board more predictable when hitting unpredictable wakes.

You can use either type for either scenario, just be aware of the difference and try them out! You'll find what you like in short order.

FINS? DO I NEED FINS?

You'll have options once you've worked out which of the above criteria fit you and select a board. Your dealer will be able to help you narrow down what's best for you, four moulded-in fins that may or may not have a removable center fin or four completely removable fins. Two large removable center fins are an option but may not be what you're looking for as you learn.

wakeboardfins

Ideally your dealer will have a demo program so that once you've narrowed down your choices you can try some out and decide what's best for you.

Experienced boarders will say you don't really need them and some trainers remove them completely until proper edging is learned. It's really a personal preference you'll gain with experience.

DON'T FORGET BINDINGS!

wakeboard-bindingsYou want to try on several styles and find what fits you best but generally speaking you want them to be snug but not super tight. Your foot should be pretty secure once the lacings are cinched down but you should still be able to feel your foot. Open toe or closed toe, both are fine. If you're sharing equipment go with the open toe to accomodate varying foot size. Closed toe will limit your sharing options but will improve performance just because they fit better.

SHOP WAKEBOARD BOATS

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