Wakeboards Explained

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Wakeboard Length
The size your wakeboard will depend on your weight, your riding style, and your personal preferences.  Every specific wakeboard has specific sizing guidelines for rider weight.  If there are multiple people using your wakeboard, base your selection on either the weight of the rider who rides the most or the heaviest rider.

General Wakeboard Size Chart

Rider Weight (Lbs.) Wakeboard Length (cm)
25 – 70 Lbs. Up to 118 cm
40 – 85 Lbs. 118 – 130 cm
65 – 110 Lbs. 124 – 134 cm
70 – 130 Lbs. 130 – 138 cm
100 – 170 Lbs. 134 – 142 cm
150 – 225 Lbs. 138 – 146 cm
170 – 250+ Lbs. 142 – 146 cm
200 – 275+ Lbs. 146 cm and up


Look for sizing charts for each specific wakeboard on our product detail pages.

Here are some reasons why you may choose to go with a longer or shorter wakeboard:

Shorter Wakeboards
Some riders prefer a board at the short end of their suggested size range.  The feeling that you get from a shorter wakeboard depends on the board’s shape, but generally speaking, shorter boards are slower and take more energy to push through the water (the more surface area the board has on the water, the faster it will move across the surface).  However, a shorter wakeboard is easier to spin and maneuver in the air.  But, the decreased surface area can make landings harder and the nose may tend to dig on landings.

Longer Wakeboards
Longer wakeboards are typically easier to ride and easier to learn on.  They offer a solid feel and increased pop.  Longer wakeboards are usually heavier, which means that they aren’t as easy to maneuver while you’re in the air, but the trade-off is that you’ll get more control.  The longer wakeboard has more surface area that allows it to sit on top of the water nicely and move quickly through the water.   The increased surface area of a longer wakeboard will offer softer landings.

Ability Level:

A range of wakeboard shapes and styles are available to suit different ability levels.  Anyone can pretty much ride wakeboard provided that it is sized correctly.  Some wakeboards are more rider-friendly while others are more aggressive.  Beginners and entry-level riders shouldn’t necessarily shy away from a more high-performance board.  Similarly, advanced riders will not necessarily be restrained by riding a “beginner” board.  The most important factor in selecting the right wakeboard is size.  Choosing a wakeboard is primarily a matter of personal preference and should be fun.  Pursue your curiosities about a different shapes and features, and don’t be afraid to let the board’s graphic be factor in your decision.

If you have never ridden before, ride occasionally, or are just getting started, these are the wakeboards for you.  In general, these wakeboards have continuous or mellow 3-stage rockers and tend to be priced for recreational riders.

There are a ton of options in this category.  Make sure that you read up on and fully understand the features of these wakeboards to recognize which specific features appropriately compliment your riding style.

These wakeboards have aggressive continuous or 3-stage rocker designs and are typically much faster and less forgiving.

Wakeboard Features:

Continuous Rocker
Continuous rocker is a smooth curve that does not change from tip to tail.  Wakeboards with continuous rockers provide fast, smooth rides and allow you to hook up turns more easily.  You can generate a lot of speed on a continuous rocker wakeboard because the water flows without disruption across the bottom of the wakeboard.  Another benefit of a board with continuous rocker is a very predictable pop that will carry you farther out into the flats.  The pop offered by a continuous rocker wakeboard can be characterized as more “horizontal” than “vertical”.  Continuous rocker wakeboards are great for carving, especially on those glassy summer mornings.

3-Stage Rocker
A wakeboard with a 3-stage rocker features two distinct bend points and three distinct planes on the bottom of the board.  A 3-stage rocker causes your wakeboard to respond with more bucking/explosive/vertical pop.  3-Stage rocker wakeboards push more water in front of the wakeboard, which makes them a little slower and gives them a slight sluggish feeling after landing.  Addtionally, 3-stage rocker boards have a looser feel on the water to where your fins become less effective and riders must rely more on their edges.  Boards with 3-stage rockers have a flat spot in the center that can make the impact of landings a little more intense.

Hybrid Rocker (a combination of continuous and 3-stage)
Living somewhere between a continuous rocker and 3-stage rocker, the hybrid rocker boards include Blended 3-Stage, Continuous Hybrid, Progressive, Subtle 3-Stage.

This new idea in wakeboarding allows you to ride in the most centered and ergonomically correct body position, which gives you more of an effective edge and predictable, lofty, wake-to-wake pop.  Better body position means less fatigue and longer sets.

Wakeboard Base Shapes:

Concaves on the bottom of the wakeboard create lift and act as suction-reducing accelerators so that the board will sit higher in the water and offer more float.

Channels act like long molded-in fins on the bottom of the board that assist in tracking.  Channels also break water’s surface tension before the rest of the wakeboard hits, providing softer landings.

Center spines also help soften landings by displacing water.  They also and allow you to easily roll from edge to edge.  Center spines are often added to wakeboards with 3-stage rockers.

Wakeboards without concaves, channels, or center spines are considered featureless.  A featureless bottom leaves the work and performance to the wakeboard’s the overall shape, rocker, and fin configuration.

Base Material:

Base material should be a consideration if you will be using your wakeboard on sliders, rails, docks, and other features that may impact the base.  Tougher, more durable slider bases were developed in response to the increasing popularity of rail riding and are typically found on wakeboards designed specifically for this particular style of riding.

Wakeboard Edges:

The sharper the edge or rail, the more aggressively the wakeboard will track, resulting in improved acceleration and overall speed.   The drawback of a sharper rail is that it makes it easier to catch an edge, as a sharp edge is less forgiving than its rounded counterpart.  Riders who enjoy surface tricks or like hitting rails are advised to look for wakeboards with rounded or variable edges.  Riders who prefer a more aggressive, hard-charging ride will feel more at home on a sharper rail.

Variable edges give you the balanced feel and performance found in sharp-edged boards and round-edged boards.  Variable edged boards have different sharpnesses in the middle versus the tip and tail of the board.  Variable edges are thicker and rounder and softer in the middle of the wakeboard and become progressively thinner and sharper towards the tip and tail.  The variable edge allows the wakeboard to maintain a high level of grip when edging while also giving you a more forgiving ride for butter slides, surface tricks, and hitting rails.  The variable edge pattern creates lift and pop toward center of board and the thinner edges towards the ends make the wakeboard faster and better suited for carving.


Fins grip the water differently depending on the number, size, and placement on the wakeboard.

Fin Placement and Size
Deeper or longer fins create a more stable ride that tracks better, but don’t break free as easily.  Entry-level riders often benefit from longer, deeper fins.  More experienced riders tend to like to experiment with fin size depending on how much traction they want or need.

The closer the fins are to the center of the wakeboard, the quicker and better the wakeboard releases. The further out the fins are toward the tip and tail, the longer the they will stay locked in.  How the fins of will work depends on what size fins you are riding.  Try different fins to change how your wakeboard rides.

Removable vs. Molded-In
Removable fins can be unscrewed and removed from the wakeboard while molded-in fins are glassed into the wakeboard and do not come off.  Many wakeboards have molded-in fins toward the outside and removable fins closer to the center.  Molded-in fins are more durable on sliders.  Removable fins give you more options to change the feel of your ride.

Flex Technology:

Flex technology provides for the lastest pop that you can get on a wakeboard.  It allows the rider to load the board as you go into the wake while providing additional pop while absorbing the impact of landing.  The pop provided by flex technology feels more like Ollieing or the “load and release” attributed to snowboards.  Flex wakeboards are typically ridden finless for more of a snowboard-style carve.  This primarily is a matter of rider preference.  Boards featuring flex technology are commonly preferred for hitting rails and sliders.