Wakeboarding For Beginners: How Do I Choose My First Wakeboard?
Looking for your first wakeboard? We’ve got all the information you need…
Wakeboarding is pretty addictive, right? Once you’ve caught the bug, you’ll find yourself hankering after it every weekend, waiting for your next session on the cable or behind a boat. It’s no surprise snowboarders and skateboarders take their love of riding the water after a few years.
Once you’ve started wakeboarding, you’re going to eventually want to buy wakeboarding equipment - in particular your first wakeboard. There are a few things you need to know before buying a board.
There are three types of wakeboards: beginner, intermediate and advanced. Beginner boards tend to be slower and more forgiving than advanced boards, made for competitions. Just like surfing and snowboarding, it’s not worth buying an advanced board too soon or you will end up hindering your progression.
WHAT DOES A BEGINNER WAKEBOARD LOOK LIKE?
Beginner wakeboards tend to have squared edges, which gives more control and stability, especially if you aren’t landing wakeboarding tricks just yet.
SINGLE OR TWIN TIPPED?
You can get wakeboards that are either single tipped or twin tipped. Single tip boards ride predominantly in one direction because they are pointed at one end and squared off at the other. Twin tip boards are able to go in both directions - most wakeboards nowadays are twin tipped.
WAKEBOARD LENGTH AND WIDTH
You need a wakeboard that is right for your height and weight. Evo have created this table to work out what is the right size wakeboard for your weight. As a beginner, you’ll want to think about choosing a slightly bigger board as it will be slower and easier to learn on.
You also need to think about width. Wider boards have more pop for throwing down tricks, but don’t carve as well in the water. Same vice versa.
Rocker is how much the wakeboard curves at the ends. A board with lots of rocker is more rounded in the bottom (like a banana) while a lower rocker board has a flatter base. Continuous rocker is when there is a gradual rocker curve in the board - you will find this on most beginner to intermediate wakeboards. It creates a smoother, more predictable ride. Meanwhile a three-stage rocker has a more aggressive feel and will perform better when lifting off the wake. Less rocker means more control going straight whereas more rocker make it easier to land jumps and tricks.
Fins help steer the board. Deeper or longer fins create a more stable board which is great for beginners. However, as you progress you may want to look at shallower fins, which provide quicker response and sharper turns, or even no fins at all. Try a board with removable fins to start with and you see what you prefer.
Edges are another thing to consider when choosing your first wakeboard. Sharp edges (or rails as they are sometimes called) mean greater acceleration and speed. Rounded edges are more forgiving - you won’t catch an edge as easily - and they are good for surface tricks. Variable edges are a mix of the two. They have thick rounded edges in the middle of the board and sharper edges at the ends, which gives you the best of both worlds.
Binding are super important. You need to make sure you pick a good pair of bindings. They want to be snug on your foot but not uncomfortable. You can read more about wakeboard bindings in our guide here.
HOW MUCH IS A BEGINNERS WAKEBOARD?
Wakeboards aren’t cheap. You can get some great deals online, but it’s better to get first-hand advice from your local wakeboarding shop. Those guys will be able to advise you on the best shape to suit your riding style. They often offer packages for beginners which will include a wakeboard and bindings .
We would highly recommend trying a wakeboard before you buy it. Plenty of wakeboarding centres have their own demo range that you can ride before buying. Check out some of the UK’s best wakeboarding parks here and the best places to go wakeboarding in London here.