1. Narrow down your selection by wakeboard shape.
The slightly concave shape of a wakeboard is what allows it to skim across the surface of the water. The profile view of a wakeboard looks similar to the bottom of a rocking chair, hence the name "rocker." There are three primary types of wakeboard rocker:
- Continuous rocker creates one, smooth arc from front to back. This is a good all-around option because it provides smooth transitions and minimal drag, making it ideal for riders who like to carve hard and fast.
- Three-stage rocker has three distinct sections: tip section, middle section and tail section. This design provides more "pop" when catching air off the lip of wakes, but it also creates more drag. This type of rocker is best for freestyle riding.
- Hybrid rocker shape combines elements of both continuous and three-stage rocker for a good compromise between the two. If you enjoy a combination of carving and tricks, hybrid rocker may be a good choice.
2. Check out the fins.
The fins on the bottom of a wakeboard help with stability in the water, but different fin shapes and sizes are best for different types of riding. For example, larger fins are ideal for riders who like to carve at high speeds. Smaller, shorter fins are ideal for freestyle riders who like to perform aerial tricks. For riders who like hitting jumps and rails in the wake park, look for a board with no fins or removable fins. For the most versatility, choose a board with several different sets of removable fins.
3. Consider board construction and price.
The construction of a wakeboard will not only determine how it performs on the water but also the cost. Better construction and materials often translates to an enhanced riding experience, to an extent. However, most beginners won't notice a significant difference between a $200 wakeboard and a $500 wakeboard, so keep this in mind if you're still new to the sport.
4. Choose a size.
Once you've chosen a model of wakeboard that has the shape, features and price point you want, it's time to pick a size. Consult a manufacturer's sizing chart first to help you choose an ideal board length based on your weight. If a chart isn't available, you can use the generic chart below as a starting point.
Thanks for reading our article on how to choose a wakeboard. For more information, be sure to check out our Wakeboarding Guide. Remember to always wear a USCG-approved life jacket when participating in water sports. Stay safe and have fun this season.