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Wakeskates Explained

Buyer's Guide &gt Wakeboards Explained | Wakeboard Bindings Explained | Wakeskates Explained | Wakesurfers Explained | Wakeboard Ropes & Handles Explained | Life Jackets Explained

Size

Your weight is the main factor in determining the size wakeskate that you should go with.  General wakeskate length guidelines are listed below.  Make sure that you look at the specific sizing charts for all wakeskates on their individual product detail pages.

General Wakeskate Size Chart

Rider Weight (Lbs.)Wakeskate Length (in)
90 Lbs.-170 Lbs. 39"-41"
150 Lbs.-200 Lbs. 42"-43"
180+ Lbs. 44"-46" 

The shorter the wakeskate, the more maneuverable it is.  Shorter wakeskates make function more like skateboards and make skateboard-like flip tricks easier.  Longer wakeskates allow you to stay on plane at slower speeds.  If your wakeskate will be used by multiple riders of different sizes, you should go with a size based on the largest rider's weight.

Griptape vs. Foam

The top surface of the wakeskate is either covered with griptape or a soft, high-traction, EVA pad.  Griptape provides more traction and more of a true skateboard feel.  EVA won't tear you up if you fall on your wakeskate.

Rocker

Continuous Rocker

Continuous rocker is a smooth curve that does not change from tip to tail.  Wakeskates 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 wakeskate because the water flows without disruption across the bottom of the wakeboard.  Another benefit of a skate 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 wakeskates are great for carving, especially on those glassy summer mornings.

3-Stage Rocker

A wakeskate 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 wakeskate to respond with more bucking/explosive/vertical pop.  3-Stage rocker wakesktess 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 skates have a looser feel on the water to where your fins become less effective and riders must rely more on their edges.  Skates 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.

Deck Shape

Variable Edges

Wakeskates with variable edges have rounder rails in the middle that sharpen towards the edges to allow forgiveness on rails and when doing lip tricks, while also providing solid tracking and a consistent edge.

Flat Decks

Traditionally regarded as a more entry-level design, flat decks offer a true skate feel.

Concave Decks

Just like your favorite skateboard, concave allows for better board control and more leverage for initiating flip and varial tricks.  Concave also allows for better foot control and more pop on your Ollies.

Bi-Level Decks

Bi-level wakeskates consist of two parts, a flat bottom deck and a separate concave top deck that is shaped more like a skateboard.  Usually, the only contact points between the top and bottom decks are the attachment points that hold the whole skate together.  The attachments points are placed where the tip and tail start their upward curve from the straighter middle section of the top deck.  Bi-level decks allow for higher Ollies cause the wakeskate to stay with your feet in a way that much more closely models the feel of real skateboarding.

Materials

Wakeskates are often constructed out of wood.  This wood is glassed over with a marine-grade epoxy that gives the wakeskate a lively feel and prevents waterlogging.  Wood wakeskates are less durable than their composite counterparts.  Manufacturers usually offer only limited warranties on wood wakeskates.  Often times they do not offer any sort of warranty on wood wakeskates at all.

Composite wakeskates provide a more traditional wakeboard feel.  Composite wakeskates last longer than wood wakeskates.

Fins

Fins help your wakeskate track through the water.  Deeper, larger fins create a more stable ride while shorter, smaller fins allow the skate to break free easier.

In some cases, multi-fins are placed at the nose or tail to act like trucks on a skateboard, allowing the rider to lock in on Noseslides, Tailslides, and Bluntslides on docks and rails.