Wakeboard ropes differ from water ski and tube ropes in that they virtually do not stretch. We, as wakeboarders rely on a taut, loaded line to allow us to get more air and to pull ourselves through flips and spins, as well as to keep us from face planting. The value in getting a wakeboard-specific rope is that it will improve your performance and make wakeboarding more fun. Settle for nothing less.
Wakeboard Rope Materials
A low-stretch rope material, Poly E is a bit more forgiving and is the least expensive of the wakeboard-specific ropes. Poly E will stretch 2% - 3% of its length under normal riding load. The give in the rope is beneficial for entry-level riders in that it helps absorb some of the shock of cutting through the boat wake as the rider crosses it. More advanced riders almost always go with no-stretch alternatives.
No-stretch Dyneema rope is super strong. It also outperforms steel and other synthetic rope materials in terms of both tension-tension fatigue and bending-bending fatigue tests. Dyneema stands up to salt water and has strong UV and abrasion resistance.
Spectra is a fiber that is 10 times stronger than steel, yet is incredibly lightweight. Wakeboard ropes made from Spectra will float, are very durable, and have zero-stretch.
Wakeboard Rope Coating
Wakeboard rope coating protects them from UV damage, adds strength to the rope material, and prevents tangling. It also prevents dreaded rope burns.
Wakeboard Rope Length
Wakeboard ropes vary in length from 55’ to 80+’. The right rope length for you depends on your experience level, the boat’s wake, how big you go, and personal preference. A starting point is around 65’. From there, riders increase the length of their ropes based on their ability to continue to clear the wake. Wakes are different shapes and widths at different distances behind the boat. A shorter rope places the wakeboarder at a narrower section of the wake (the narrowest part of the wake being closest to the boat). With a longer rope you can generate more speed into the wake and catch more air as you pop off of the wake. The longer your rope, the higher amplitude and the longer distance you’ll achieve.