How to Choose the Best Wakeboards – Ultimate Buyers Guide for Beginners

Wakeboarder in colorful shorts riding in sunset

An Around the Globe Growth in the Popularity of Wakeboards

Although wakeboarding is relatively a new addition to the world of water sport competition and recreation activities, the first news publicized about it was noted around 1985.

Scurf boarding as it was first called is most certainly the offspring of a marriage between skiing behind watercraft and surfing behind watercraft and can also be identified as a close relative to snowboarding or skateboarding as well.

There is no one person that can claim fame for this fun and exciting addition to water sports however, several major pros and brand names in the field can be credited for their contributions to the origins and growth of the activity and accessories.

From those times in the 80’s till present day, wakeboarding has evolved at super a accelerated rate with the gear getting better, the air tricks more thrilling and its popularity uniting all corners of the globe as the best-liked pastime.

Checking into the best wakeboards out there will definitely save both time and money that could be better spent to gas up your ride and join in on all the fun.

Things to Know before Purchasing the Necessary Accessories

If this is going to be your very first venture into boat maneuvered water sports, then you must know that, a brief review of the pastime history, a complete look at the boater’s terminology and informed decisions about what equipment to purchase will put you way ahead of the learning curve on mastering your new passion.

Passion is what water sports are all about. Imagine the domineering sensation that is achieved when you are gliding on top of the water and slicing through the wake, feeling a cool mist spray across your body and soaking up the warm sun’s radiance on your beaming face.

There is no greater sky-high excitement than mastering a sport which communes with nature and wakeboarding is the ultimate latest rage of the water sport community with ever growing popularity.

An over abundance of equipment is available and like with any purchase, the consumer will need to understand the most necessary and useful equipment before throwing away tons of money for costly and unnecessary equipment.

Getting To Know the Nitty Gritty of Wakeboarding

Some important things to remember when making your equipment selections are experience level, weight range and foot size.

In addition, it is important to keep in mind that since wakeboarding is the newest addition to the world of water sports, the technology and equipment is still improving as it reaches perfection by the trial and error stage of designing and refining the rider’s best recommendations for comfort, flexibility, speed and smooth delivery on the wake.

Equipment designs are still being perfected with many changes being made each season in order to provide the rider with a more superior cutting edge Newbie’s to the sport may be wise to  choose a board that is either from the current season or by checking for similarities if you are making a selection from previous seasons.

There are many things to be considered when getting set up for beginning and mastering a new endeavor into the arena of wakeboarding water sports. Some great starters may include joining a beginner’s newsletter, developing the water sport language, learning about the designs and functions of the boards and watching videos to get the hang of how it is best done.

A great place for us to grab a foothold to this exciting sport would be at the boots or bindings so let us begin by stepping into the right equipment.

Do your Homework

As you are making your equipment selections there are so many numerous considerations to think through in order to budget both time and achieve the best possible success on that first trip out to the water while keeping cost at a comfortable range.

New 2015 Hyperlite Wakeboard Agent with Destroyer Wakeboard Bindings

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Immediate success is not at all impossible and can be perfected with ease if most of the homework is done way before diving in without testing the water. Let’s begin by taking a peak at what the novice will need for safe, comfortable and quality equipment, and then we will go over some of the recent name brands pricing, etc. just sticking mainly with the beginner equipment that can be helpful to you as an intermediate rider as well.

Boots / Bindings, Putting your Best Foot Forward

As with any sporting exercise, I am sure we can all agree that footwear is essential for comfort, for going the distance and for achieving success. In wakeboarding, a comfortable ride begins with the bindings, how they are placed on the board, what is the best foot for the forward position and having a great snug fit in those boots before hitting the top of the water.

If you intend to ace this enjoyable hobby, then a decent pair of bindings is a must have with a focus on a cozy, ideal fit. When you select bindings it is always a good idea to try them on, wear them around a bit, test for any areas of distress or soreness.

Bindings are available in Velcro closures, lace ups both single and double or a combination of both so in order to make this personal preference selection test them all keeping in mind which will be the easiest for you to get on your foot and make the closure in the water. Bindings also come in closed and open toe.

Considerations for Binding Options

When bindings first came into play for the wake boarder, the only option available was open toe in a Velcro strap style. Most authorities agree that the decision here is purely a personal preference but there are many strong points to consider for closed toe type boots as well.

Hyperlite Frequency Boot

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Open toe is generally considered easier for gearing up and usually chosen by beginners. Open toe is also a better choice to accommodate additional users. Both open toe and closed toe are made in the different closure styles.

Closed toe styles are normally a selection choice of intermediate to pro riders for better maneuverability and an enhanced customized fit. For example, open toe sizes may have a size range from 7 to 10 leaving a wider margin where closed toe will be more tailored at between size7 to 8 as one size selection range.

One other very important consideration for the binding is to match ride plate patterns with that of your preferred board. Boards come with 6” and 8” patterns and the options for connectivity are lessened if you are attempting to attach an 8” boot set up to a 6” board pattern.

Beginner Best Wake Board Choices – What’s Important

Having the proper set up beneath you can completely determine your level of success and ease in mastering your new found passion. With all of the enticing differences available on the market today, you may find yourself on the fence about finding the exact options which best fit you.

Here is where it will be important to first learn what you need when searching for the best wakeboards then making comparisons with what you like out of the best suited criteria. In order to make an informed decision, who best to check for suggestions than the well seasoned experts in the event arena?

Body Glove Wakeboard

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After sharing the important guidelines with you, keep in mind when choosing the best wakeboard that you may wish to sample before you make your buying decision by looking into  the many demo options available and confirming what works perfectly for you.

Some Expert Advice to Beginners on the Best Wakeboards

Both professional riders and board manufacturers have compiled some very sound information to help the beginner make some educated decisions on the best wakeboards to research and in a nutshell what they have found to be the best strategies to share with you.

For starters, it is suggested that your having  own personal board is usually the best way to go as opposed to sharing with other riders whenever possible giving you the opportunity to better acquaint yourself and develop your style.  It will be extremely important to also choose a board that is at beginner skill level as we previously mentioned  and make certain that your choices match up to your weight and height.

O'Brien-System-Blank-Wakeboard

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Board sizes come in centimeters and typically a 134 centimeter board will match up to  someone between 90 to 160 pounds while a rider weighing between 160 and 200 should look into boards with 138 centimeters and above 200 pounds should not consider under a 142 centimeter board.

Many newbie’s in the sport have great success with a bigger board and keep in mind the hole set up for the bindings and degrees should be matched to the board for more ride plate options. Every rider should find their style of riding and select the best wakeboard for that style which may come from previous experience with other activities.

If you are used to a sport for example like skating or snow skiing where the feet alternate in the forward position, you may decide on a  board with rounded tips on each end as opposed slalom  water skier with a dominant foot who may prefer a single tip style.

Here are some helpful guidelines to choosing the correct board size.

Wakeboard Size Recommendations
Rider Weight
(lbs)
Rider Weight
(Stone)
Rider Weight
(Kg)
Board Length
(cm)
Under 100 7st 2lbs 45.4 Less than 130
90-150 6st 6lbs – 10st 10lbs 40.8 – 68 130-134
130-180 9st 4lbs – 12st 12lbs 59 – 81.6 135-139
170-250 12st 2lbs – 17st 12lbs 77.1 – 113.4 140-144
200-275+ 14st 4lbs – 19st 9lbs + 90.7 – 124.7 + Over 144

To Fin or not to Fin

There are two types of fins available for the wakeboard one is the removable fin that you can purchase separately and add to your new purchase or existing board and the latter is a molded fin that is made into the board.

Beginner advice that is most given is that a large board with big fins aids in progress and manageability. Other training tips suggest that the importance of fins is for learning the edge and that fins can totally change the way your board rides.

While some say that you should learn to edge your board from the start sin fins, others say if you are wobbly in the water, then large fins will help to resolve that problem. Bear in mind that fins are not a necessity to ride so this is something you may wish to attempt both ways in order to find your niche.

For example, you can elect to ride with a single fin in the center or two matching fins at different placements on the rocker. Because each set of fins changes the way you ride, you may wish to try different styles and settings on the board before making a decision.

Quality, Buying the Best for your Budget

There is not really any one specific brand that could be pointed to on the shelf and have someone tell you this is the best wakeboard for all beginners because this would just simply not be an accurate truth.

There are a lot of great brands out there with mentionable quality for the new enthusiast and we will run through some of those top picks. We are aware, at this point of the many different sizes, board materials, rocker designs, sizes, shapes bindings and numerous considerations to make.

The continuous rocker from tip to tip is the one advised to give the beginning rider the smoothest and best experience by providing more flexibility. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing from the best wakeboards is to look for quality and craftsmanship in the board and accessories that you select.

Wakeboards and Accessories by Brand

Many of the best wakeboards and equipment on the market today are names that have been around in water sports long enough to earn a claim to quality fame for their outstanding craftsmanship. One top leading brand whose name may be familiar here would be O’Brien.

Both Gator and Hyperlyte have been mentioned as favorites with beginners as well. Many beginners shop for a board that will carry them through to the intermediate stage and this is entirely possible by considering all choices carefully.

O Brien System Clutch

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Most boards that would be advised for the beginner do not necessarily have to have the features and materials that a pro rider would consider essential and are therefore normally much easier on the wallet. A great board designed for the lighter weight rider, the “Blindside 5-0” board has been noted for the beveled edges making it easier to get out of the water and avoid face planting.

Liquid Force, CWB and Sol are yet again some great name boards out there that offer nice beginner boards.

Setting up your Board and Bindings/Boots

Setting up the bindings for your riding stance on your board will be the beginning step to becoming one with your board.

Let’s get going on the set up with a couple of easy tests that will aid in determining some good stance information.

First, try jumping up in the air and just landing on your feet.  If you will take note of the distance apart that your feet normally land, this can give you a good indication of the best distance setting for optimal maneuverability of your board.

An ideal consideration for great control would be to make certain you are slightly out from the width of your shoulders and duck toe out or toes peeking toward the ends of your board. Now in order to decide which foot should be forward, just picture yourself at the beach and drawing in the sand with your toes.

If you are writing your name, perhaps then the foot you use is most likely dominant and should be the foot you control the board with.

Keep in mind when deciding on the bindings that boots are generally more crucial than the board but both should be comparably matched so put a lot of time and research into the best set up for you the rider out there breaking the wake.

What you will need to Begin your Best Wakeboarding Experience

If you are just beginning wakeboarding, you may be simply considering the equipment that you will need to join your friends who already have everything to do with this fun sport.

Perhaps you are only examining options for your own personal equipment. In this case we would not need to go into the wakeboard boats, towers and other major essentials at this time.

Keep in mind, if you are looking for the best possible experience in beginning this sport, you will need comfortable snug fitting attire such as life vest, rope, bindings and the board itself.

If you pinch pennies and sacrifice quality on any one of this necessary personal gear, it could create a most unpleasant and uncomfortable experience.

Always make sure that the equipment you choose gives you the advantage of the most recent improvements out there available. Lastly if you are buying before trying, you must keep in mind and compare your skill level and riding style with the available equipment in your comfortable price range.

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