Wakeboard Buyer’s Guide – What Features Do You Need?

Published: 26th November 2009
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If you have never owned a wakeboard before, the purchase process can be a little daunting, with a huge variety of shapes and features available. There's rockers to consider, different tip and tail shapes, channels and the all-important sizing to consider when you're buying a wakeboard. Whether you're a beginner who wants to have the same consistent board to learn on, or you have enough wakeboarding experience to call yourself advanced but have never owned a board, we guide you towards a comfy fit for your technique and ability.



Factors to consider when buying a wakeboard

If you're buying a wakeboard online, you can get quite a full picture of how the board will behave by looking at several key features. If you're buying in a brick and mortar store, this is what you'll ask the sales clerk. Look for the board's:



* Sizing

* Type of rocker

* Channel depth

* Width

* Tip and tail shapes



Some features of the wakeboard are closely related to your riding ability, while you'll choose others based on your technique, or what you want to achieve with your board. In features that are determined by riding ability, you'll find that leaning towards one side will make riding easier but will be less responsive, while the other end of the spectrum makes them more responsive, but less easy to control. Luckily buying a wakeboard isn't a precise science - beginner boards can still do some good tricks, while 'advanced' boards are often still forgiving enough for beginners to ride. The differences are subtle - but if you wakeboard a lot they will be important.



Sizing

This is one of the easiest factors to determine. Choose your wakeboard size based on your weight and what you want to do with it. Here is a rough weight-based guide to board length:



* Kids/Teen's board (under 40kg): 109-119cm

* Under 50kg: 119-125cm

* Under 60kg: 125 - 131cm

* Under 70kg: 132 - 133cm

* Under 80kg: 134 - 135cm

* Under 90kg: 136 - 139cm

* 90kg and over: 139cm and over



If you are looking for air and pop off the wake, go for a slightly longer board close to your weight range. If you want speed and technicality in your tricks, go for a slightly shorter board close to your weight range.



Rocker

The rocker is the shape of the bottom of the board. A higher rocker is more rounded, and lets you pop higher and land more easily. As you can imagine, a flatter bottom is more difficult to land on, but gives you greater control while just moving along. Flatter boards are also faster than higher rocker boards are - more rocker will make a board sit deeper in the water and create more drag.



Channels

Like your rocker, these can make it much easier to land with different shapes. Buying a wakeboard with deeper channels will mean you'll catch the water upon landing, and give you a little bit of a jar if you aren't quite centred. They do make it easier to change and maintain a steady direction, though. Shallower channels sort of slip along a landing, but you need to have better edge control to keep them pointed where you want them to go.



Width

Wider boards give you better air and more pop, narrower boards are faster and give you better tracking or directional control.



Tip and tail shapes

Broadly speaking, a tip or tail will have one of the following shapes: rounded, square, diamond or swallow. Look for more rounded edges when buying wakeboards for beginners, as they provide softer landings and less air. Square ends are for more advanced riders that want good air.



"Waterskiers World & Ski Surf & Snow are specialized retailers for all you watersports, surf and snow equipment. We stock a huge range of waterski's, wakeboards, kneeboards, tubes, wetsuits, life vests, ropes, gloves and anything else you need for a fun day out on the water. For more information or to view our range, visit Wakeboard".

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