When purchasing a wakeboard, getting something suitable for your unique set of styles and tricks during riding is crucial.
The number of options can be overwhelming with so many colors and brands available in the market.
Worry not, this article will give you information on the different types of wakeboards by focusing on the rockers, fins, and bottom design.
It will also give you details of the supplementary equipment that you need for wakeboarding as well as wakeboard binding.
Armed with this information, you will be able to choose the best wakeboard to get you started in your new adventure.
Types of Wakeboard Rockers
The rocker refers to how the wakeboard is shaped and there are three different ways in which a wakeboard can be shaped. This is explained below:
The Continuous Rocker
The continuous wakeboard rocker is fun and amazing when riding at a cable park. This board has a curve from the nose to the tail which is uninterrupted and smooth.
This shape gives more room for error and is incredibly forgiving when landing, enabling the rider to save a trick or ride away.
With a continuous rocker, a rider needs to be more skilled to get the same height as the 3-stage rocker behind the boat because it does not get much pop off the wake.
The continuous rocker is fun for carving because it gives a smooth, fast ride and allows you to easily turn as well as flex and press when you are riding around the cable park.
This shape is perfect for bigger ramp hits when landing because of the water dispersion off the bottom of the wakeboard. You will be able to roll smoothly into the big landings without risking heavy impact on your knees.
The 3-Stage Rocker
The 3-stage wakeboard rocker is mostly used behind the boat. The shape is made of three flat surfaces, a flat base middle, and a more dramatic tail and nose.
The reason for this stiffness and shape is to provide you with more pop, releasing and cutting your energy through the wake.
This type of board often rides higher on the water giving room for a higher speed to plow into the wake leading to greater height and pop behind the boat.
The flat bottom shape of this wakeboard makes landing a bit harder and rougher, meaning that the great height comes with a toll.
The pop off the wake with this board is explosive compared to other rockers because of its shape. This can result in intense heights which can catch some riders off guard.
The Hybrid Rocker
The hybrid wakeboard rocker combines the characteristics of both the 3-stage rocker and the continuous rocker, blending the best of each shape into one. This type of board is going to be for your cable days during the week and boat rides over the weekends.
No two-hybrid wakeboards will be the same as each one is unique. This rocker allows for big ramp hits and wakes off the wake with more forgiving and smoother landings.
With a more flexible tail and nose as well as a stiff center, this board allows for rail presses and wake hits.
The hybrid rocker is perfect for riders who have access to a cable and a boat but want one board to serve both worlds.
Fins consist of components of a wakeboard attached below the board to prevent the flow of water during riding. They are meant for a forward movement that is controlled when riding. The placement and configuration of these fins are done based on the preference of the rider.
Depending on the type of tricks performed by the rider, different fins are used to make it more maneuverable. If the fins are nearer to the center of the board, the board will move quicker and sit better on the water.
If the fins are put nearer to the tip and tail area, the board will not sit well as the board hooks more in the water.
Riders use the different types of fins based on their performance and desired effects. The following are the different types of fins:
- Molded Fins – these fins hold up against ramps and rails and they look like big channels. They are more slippery compared to other fins.
- Long-based fins - these types of fins provide the board with a smooth feel and release better when riding flat on the water. They hold up nicely on rails and ramps.
- Multi-finned set-ups – these fins hold the maximum aggressiveness into and through the wake.
- Canted side fins – these fins offer hard edges as they are leaned at an angle. When you ride the board flat, these fins are not in use but when you start leaning on the edges, they will help you hold up more.
- No fins – these boards are specifically designed for riding in cable parks.
Wakeboard Bottom Design
The following are the different wakeboard bottom designs, and they define how a board rides through water and its functionality:
- Concaves – they make the board sit high on the water by creating a lift. A board with a double concave will sit higher compared to one with a single concave.
- Channels – they help the board edge harder by acting like long fins. The board edges harder while perfectly sitting in the water if the channels are in the middle of the board’s bottom.
- Featureless – with this board, the width, length, and type of rocker decide its speed as it moves smoothly. The nature of the board is decided by the attached fins.
The purpose of wakeboard bindings is to hold the rider's leg in position when riding. The riders put their feet in it, and they are connected to the board. The two types of binding are closed-toe binding and open-toe binding.
Open toe binding allows for better movement of the toes and they look like broad size shoes. On the other hand, closed-toe binding has more responsiveness to the wakeboard when moving the toes.
Supplementary Equipment For Wakeboarding
The following are the supplementary equipment needed for wakeboarding:
- Wet suit – these suits do not let water in as they are tightly fit to keep the rider warm.
- Life vest – life vest helps the rider stay on top of the water and are mostly a protective guard for staying up the water in case the rider loses balance and falls into the water.
- Wakeboard line – this is a connective line between the rider and the boat. the length of this line depends on the level of experience of the rider. The most common length of the wakeboard rope is between 24 meters and 26 meters.
- Helmet – this is a protective measure because it can be dangerous to fall after you lose balance due to great speed.
One type of board is not going to be suitable for all riders. You need to decide on the type of riding you are going to do, either behind a boat or at a cable park.
It is also necessary to understand your level of riding be it beginner or intermediate or pro before purchasing a board.
Hopefully, the above article has given you enough information to get you started on choosing the best wakeboard for your needs.