we are going to guide you how to choose the right board to ride behind a boat in this article.
A boat wakeboard
Even tho you can ride around the wakeparks with them, even hit rails if you don't mind the state of the base of your board, wakeboard boats are very different
than wakepark boards.
Boat boards are designed to be less flexible for more pop off the lip of the wake. Their construction is also oriented to take all the heavy landings on the wake and in the flats. Some are moulded on the bottoms to help hold an edge while approaching the wake, those "deep channels" would get scratched away pretty quickly on a rail.
In most cases, boat wakeboards will have a Polyurethane core construction and be considerably reinforced around the centre of the board to create stiffness.
Hybrids boards have been away for some times but now it seems wakepark riders start to really enjoy them. "Hybrid" because they work well behind a boat and once the fins removed, they became a good wakepark board with a solid grind base that is made to go on rails.
However, boat boards and cable boards are quite different. They are two completely different way of riding differents but sometimes big names can perform at a high level in both disciplines.
Riders such as Gunther Oka, Raph Derome, Massi Piffareti use 2 different boards while Dylan Miller or Alex Graydon perform in the two disciplines with one single Hybrid wakeboard.
A wakeboard shape:
If you are a learner, we recommend you to start with something big and that floats a lot until you have enough control and balance to step to an expert board.
The length of your board
Riding long or a short board depends obviously on your sizes and weight but also and most commonly on the style of riding you are looking for.
Riding a small board will provide good control in your movement and rotations but it can feel very slow and deep in the water, which will make you frustrated most of the time. The decreased surface area also makes landings harder and the nose may tend to dig in, which can cause front edges, the worst nightmare of every wakeboarder!
With more board surface on the water from a big board, you'll feel much faster on the water. and landing will be softer. It will be harder to spin or do inverts though.
They also are the better ones to begin with.
The rocker of your board
A continuous rocker has one fluid, curved shape, like a banana. Wakeboards with continuous rocker provide fast, smooth rides and allow you to link together turns more easily. You can generate a lot of speed on a continuous rocker wakeboard. Speed and a very predictable pop. Continuous rocker wakeboards are great for carving, especially on those flat, glassy mornings.
This creates a board that rides consistently and carries riders a further distance horizontally while a 3-stage rocker pops more vertically.
At a wakepark, continuous rocker boards offer fairly soft landings, they are good for jumping off of kickers and landing on the flat water.
- More forgiving
- Longer jump
- Softer landings
- Less vertical pop
- "Forgiving" may hurt "technique"
A 3-stage rocker features three distinct surfaces on the bottom of the board.
A 3-stage rocker causes your wakeboard to respond with more vertical pop when you hit the wake. However, more rocker is not necessarily better in every circumstance. With a stronger rocker, a wakeboard has a looser or slippery feel on the water surface. The shape causes the board to plough instead of cut through the water, making it slower. Your fins become less effective and you must rely more on edging the wakeboard. Boards with 3-stage rocker have a flatter centre spot which makes the impact of landings more intense and gives a slightly sluggish feel after landing.
Wakeboarders who are serious about riding behind a boat most likely will want a 3-stage board. This is because they offer a more explosive, vertical “pop” off of the wake. These wakeboards provide great performance but require a little more skill to get the most out of. 3-Stage rocker designs require good timing and technique to provide the most amount of pop.
Also, since the centre of the board is flat, landings on flat water can be a bit harsh if you overshoot the other side of the wake. A curved, continuous rocker board will help dissipate the water a bit more, while the flat spot in a three-stage board just kind of “smacks” on a landing.
- More vertical pop
- Great performance for technical riders
- harder landings
A hybrid rocker is really a mix between both. they will have a "banana" shape with a stronger angle to make 3 separate surfaces.
For example, a hybrid board will pretty much always have softer landings than a three-stage rocker board but not quite as soft as a continuous rocker board. Depending on the hybrid board though, it might have a harder landing than another hybrid board because it leans a little more to the three-stage design side.
These boards can be good for someone who switches between riding at a wakepark and behind a boat often if they don’t want to or can’t buy two full setups.
Advantages of both but not as much as a continuous or a 3 stages.
Inconvenient of both but not as much as a continuous or a 3 stages.