Wakeboarding Tricks

9 Basic Board-Buying Tips

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In trying to improve and develop any art or skill it is essential to have your own tools and equipment, and even more important, that those tools suit your unique style and physique. It is no different with wakeboarding, and selecting the right board is crucial to your development as a rider. Have a look at our tips in board buying so that your progress isn’t hampered for the wrong reasons.

Boards are generally classed into three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. When starting out it’s important to resist going for the best-of-the-best, top-of- the-range tournament board as these kinds of boards are pointless and even harmful in the hands of a rookie. They are faster, more aggressive and much less forgiving than beginner boards and will end up impeding on your progress and you might even hurt yourself. A beginner board caters for the beginner in that it is slower, more forgiving in turns and easier over the wake. If you feel like you’re a little more advanced than a beginner, go for the intermediate board – these are typically old versions of advanced boards that have been slightly modified to cater for the intermediate rider.

When you walk into the wake shop, don’t take the  first, shiniest board you see – size is important and you have to bring this into consideration. Ask the shop assistant or take an experienced rider with you. Tell them your weight and height and have them help you select the appropriate board. Most stores will have a chart detailing what board you should choose according to your weight and height. However, when in doubt, rather opt for the longer board. Although it might seem a bit awkward at  first and harder to spin or pop off the wake, you’ll get used to it and will grow into it as your skills develop. A smaller board will give much less stability and will sink if you’re too heavy and the boat would have to pull you at faster speeds which means smaller wake and less control.

Boards vary in design to accommodate a wide range of styles. For instance, a board would either have a ‘single tip’ or it would be ‘twin-tipped’. If you have a snowboarding or skateboarding background and are used to sometimes switching your front foot – as upon landing a trick for instance, then you would opt for the twin tip as it can go both ways regardless of which end is leading. Conversely, if you are a slalom skier and are only used to having one foot forward at all times, the single tip is for you. Other aspects of specific riding styles also play a part in board selection and you should consult the shop assistant thoroughly before making the plunge.

When looking at a wakeboard’s profile one can see a certain amount of bend in it – one would see the same kind of bend on a skateboard for instance as it curves up at both ends. This is called the rocker and there are mainly two different kinds – a three-stage rocker and a continuous rocker. A three-stage rocker has two distinct bends in it, one at the nose and one at the tail – like a skateboard, perhaps just less pronounced. This type of rocker provides good lift off the wake and is also easier when landing jumps and tricks. A continuous rocker, as the name suggests – has a less dramatic, continuous curve down the length of the entire board. This type of rocker gives the rider more speed as well as more control but they will give less pop off the wake. It is something to consider when buying, and for a learner, a board with continuous rocker is advised.


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