If you want to avoid looking like a jerry on a whale, or a tom on a jerry, allow me to walk you through the prime features of wakeboards, and explain why the size and design of the board matter.
The size of the board impacts your overall performance and functionality of the board, while your wakeboarding experience, riding style, and weight determine what size of the board you should be opting for.
If you are an inexperienced rider and you have mistakenly bought an advanced board that you cannot handle, please wipe your tears and throw it away before the board throws you in the water. Now, don’t ‘please’ me because we know where there’s a will, there’s a way, not a relative.
Ahead, I’ll explain to you the importance of a wakeboard length and its shape. Relying on what you will be able to decide whether you are ready to try your luck and drown anyway, or you are prepared to buy the right board because the writer is a ministering angel.
What Size Wakeboard Should I Buy?
Buying the right board depends on several factors. One should take into consideration their weight, skill level or agility, riding style, and experience before selecting a wakeboard size.
Firstly, take into account your weight and consult the wakeboard size chart that is mostly provided by the brands. In this way, you can see what size suits best to your weight. So, instead of ending up buying a titanic, you may end up making a wise and promising decision.
Secondly, always remember that your height accounts for nothing when buying the right wakeboard. Thirdly, your skill level matters a great deal if you have been wakeboarding. Never dare to put your hands on any advanced board until you are done acquiring enough knowledge of this particular water sport. I’m dead sure you won’t like being mistreated nor be played by the Regina George of the wakeboard world.
And lastly, pick a board that suits your riding style and meets your expectations. Decide beforehand if you want to use a wakeboard with a boat or if you are buying it for Cable Park. It will save you a hell of a lot of money. And if you don’t do as I say, start planning a money heist (where playing the Professor’s role is the only option) because your poor decision-making seems to cost you a fortune.
Weight Factor in Choosing the Best Wakeboard Size
The rider’s weight and the board’s length should complement each other. The length of the board is usually measured in centimeters. Wakeboards that are above figure 144cms amiably support riders weighing over 247 lbs. While shorter boards like 130cms are suitable for riders weighing below 100 pounds.
Normally, you are provided with a wakeboard size chart when you are buying a board to decide what size corresponds to your weight. Now, let’s talk about the performance of shorter boards and longer boards.
A larger board or a lengthy one is ideal for wakeboarders with more weight. Longer boards let you surf/ wakeboard faster in comparison to shorter ones, but it proves to be a nuisance in turn initiation, also, when lifting.
On the flip side, a short board may not be as speedy as a longer board as it slows you down because of less surface area, the good news is they are easy to maneuver, lift or turn. Shorter boards are highly cherished by intermediate and advanced riders because of their capacity to let them perform tricks and stunts.
Height Factor in Choosing the Best Wakeboard Size
Let me state this fact loud and clear the board doesn’t care a hang if you are The Great Khali or Daniel Bryan. Height doesn’t matter at all when deciding on a longer or shorter wakeboard. So, even if you are Jason Statham to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, it’s alright. All that matters is how much you weigh.
Choosing the Right Wakeboard Length
Before buying the right type of wakeboard, kindly acknowledge your experience level and your riding style. Now, let’s see how they stand so important.
Your Skill Level
Wakeboarding demands a specific skill set to ace it. If you are a newbie to this watersport, remember to buy a board that’s easy to ride, provides a good balance, and supports predictability, otherwise, be ready for a camel ride.
The beginner’s wakeboards are comparatively less expensive as they don’t possess advanced features and tech. Also, these are larger in size with mostly square rails, offering more stability to help the rider in staying on board. The dark side is that a large board doesn’t allow easy maneuvering, lift, and acrobatics.
An advanced rider can use a smaller wakeboard for it provides flexibility and easy maneuvering. Shorter boards usually come with rounded edges and pointed noses to help in cutting through the waves, jump faster and land smoothly.
Your Riding Style
If you are an intermediate or an advanced rider, you must be familiar with switching, crossing, and jumping the wake, ollies, and other tricks like tail grabs. In order to perform such tricks, you may require a twin-tip snowboard. You must have to carry the safety equipment with you like a wakeboard life jacket, helmets, and ropes, etc
Wakeboards come in two types of models – single-tip and twin-tip wakeboards. The single-tip wakeboard possesses a different tip and tail. In such wakeboards, the front is tapered and the rear is squared. It means one can ride it in only one direction (with its tip taking the lead). Such a shape is ideal for other water sports also like skiing or surfing.
Twin-tip wakeboard has its nose and tail similar in shape. This wakeboard model is suitable for skateboarding and snowboarding as it allows the rider to switch the direction of the board easily. You can also perform wakeboard tricks with the right wakeboard bindings.
Choosing a Longer Wakeboard
Beginners always opt for a longer wakeboard as it assists you well in your wakeboarding learning process. Hence, proving itself a great teacher. They are super easy to ride and offer plenty of stability, and control, courtesy of their larger surface areas.
Larger boards tend to be heavier, therefore, have a solid boost-off-the-wake feel. They allow speedy journeys, softer landings, and massive control and floatation. It lets you move quickly through the water like a bullet. Because longer boards are heavier, you got to work harder and put much effort into performing tricks.
Pros of a Longer Wakeboard
The good thing about riding a larger board is that you embrace softer landings. A bigger size also means plenty of floatation, the larger surface area of the board allows you a smooth ride. It lets you ride through the water speedily with less energy consumption. In addition to this, more surface area gives you enough space to get the max out of the flex pattern of your wakeboard.
Cons of a Longer Wakeboard
The larger surface area also has a dark side to it. The spaciousness of the bigger board impacts its responsiveness, as the larger board shows a bit slower response to your commands. For instance, slower edge to edge. When you want to switch from the toeside to the heelside, it may take longer to submit.
Besides that, more surface means more weight, which makes it harder to spin a board or flip it. So, choose a board wisely and don’t embarrass yourself, if you know what I mean. Also, its quality of being heavyweight may cost you extra energy for inverts, as the board sticks more to the water.
Choosing a Shorter Wakeboard
As we know, the more surface area the board has, the faster it will float. As shorter boards tend to have less surface area, they demand more effort to push through the waters. This concludes that a longer board has more speed to offer compared to a shorter board. Moreover, landings are also made harder when you are riding a smaller wakeboard.
The bright side is that shorter boards are easier to do air tricks, invert riding, and spins. Advanced riders prefer shorter boards for tricks, as such activities require you to be in the air a lot, and a smaller board is better to ride for such purposes.
Pros of a Shorter Wakeboard
The less wide smaller boards make an easy edge-to-edge control. As the surface area is less, therefore, you are required to put less pressure on it, which results in fast switching from edge to edge. Furthermore, less weight of the board permits easy spins and flips, I mean, you don’t have to flip with a heavy load on your feet and twist your ankle.
Shorter boards also allow fast edging. It means, the area of contact between the board and the water is less, which leads to less drag, and less drag equals more speed.
Cons of a Shorter Wakeboard
Let me tell you one thing if you have weak knees, consider getting off that short board. Because due to less surface area, the board tends to subject you to hard landings. The reason why is that less surface area does not provide enough surface to absorb the blow of a landing. So, always keep in mind that you cannot deal with it with weak knees.
The rocker refers to the shape of the wakeboard. It holds great significance because the wakeboard base shapes determine their performance level. There are mainly three types of rockers – continuous, three-stage, and hybrid.
Continuous rocker wakeboards have a smooth curve and no edge. Such profiles offer fast and smooth rides, as well as, enough pop to make you enjoy your ride. These are good for flat waters.
On the other hand, a Three-stage rocker offers higher jumps and excellent pop. Such wakeboard features two breaks in their profiles, carving three planes. The flat surface between the wakeboard boots allows better control and stability. However, such boards are slow in navigation. Such a profile is ideal for aerial tricks and stunts.
Hybrid rockers are a blend of the two above-mentioned profiles. They feature a smoother center curve, allowing you a consistent ride and good pop.
The first question you should be asking yourself while buying a wakeboard is, what are your expectations, and what do you plan to do with the board? Answering it will help you steer clear of confusion.
If you are a beginner, go for a larger board as it tends to prove more stable, and stability is all you need when starting. But if you are a professional rider, you can get all you want, but remember that the shorter boards will comply with your expectations.