Wakeboarding is one of the top water sports that people like to partake in. It’s also a sport that people of all skill levels can do–a rider can get up and coast on the top of the water or go fast and use the wakes as ramps to do flips off of. However, a wakeboarder needs to get to the point where they can handle being pulled behind a boat comfortably before they can consider doing any jumps or flips. Those who are brand new to wakeboarding need to make sure they get the right board so they can properly hone their skills.
Top 10 Best Wakeboards for Beginners (2017 - 2018)
What To Consider When Buying Your First Wakeboard
Before going out and buying the first wakeboard you find, it’s important to know about the differences between them and which ones are going to be better for learning on. If you’re looking to buy your first wakeboard, you need to know what to look for so you can truly develop your skills and grow to love wakeboarding instead of becoming discouraged. Many people purchase advanced boards that are for professionals only and end up ruining their learning experience, therefore losing the drive to wakeboard at all. If you want to be sure that your first wakeboard is going to fit your skill level and actually help you learn how to perform on the water, then you need to know some important aspects of wakeboards and what you should be looking for.
First of all, it’s important to mention that most places with wakeboards for sale categorize them into beginner, intermediate, and expert skill levels for customer convenience. The beginner boards are going to be easier for anybody to ride and the professional boards are going to be more custom-made to fit an experienced rider’s particular style.
The Edges of the Board
One of the most important things a novice wakeboarder needs to look at is the edges of a board and how they are shaped. Any expert will recommend a beginner to get a board that has squared edges. This is because the square-edged boards will provide a wakeboarder with stability and balance, enabling them to truly get the hang of riding on the water. Once a novice wakeboarder has mastered the ability to get up on their board and glide on top of the water with ease, then they can consider getting a different board in the future.
However, it’s important to remember that wakeboards can be expensive, especially the high-quality name brands or boards that are made out of a unique material. Speaking of material, that is the next thing a novice wakeboarder needs to take into consideration!
The Material the Wakeboard is Made Out of
People who are new to wakeboarding may be under the assumption that all wakeboards are made out of the same material. This is not true at all, though, as there are some boards which are made out of foam and covered with fiberglass. In fact, this is the most common type of wakeboard on the market today–right next to fiberglass-coated boards with a wooden core.
A wakeboarding beginner can also find boards that are made out of graphite. This material is more experimental right now, but a diligent wakeboarder can likely find graphite boards if they look hard enough. In regards to a beginner, though, a foam board coated in fiberglass is likely going to be the best option. This is because wooden-core wakeboards provide a better “snap” off of a wake when performing tricks. Anyone who is doing wake jumps and concerned with how their board snaps is likely an experienced professional, though.
Foam-core wakeboards will be able to take heavy beatings, which is one of the main reasons any expert will recommend this type of board material to a novice. A beginner is likely going to fall several times, and their board may get damaged in the process. A beginner could become very discouraged with their learning efforts if they purchase a wooden board and damage it before they have truly mastered this highly popular watersport.
The Wakeboard’s Rocker
Another factor that’s important to consider when purchasing a wakeboard, for both professionals and beginners, is the grade of the rocker a particular board has. There are several types of rockers that can be found in various wakeboards, such as continuous, three-stage, hybrid, five-stage, and camber. For those who don’t know, the “rocker” refers to the actual shape of the board if you are looking at it from a side angle while it’s lying flat on the ground.
A continuous rocker, for example, is going to have a shape that’s similar to a flattened-out C. It is smooth in the way it bends, which also means that it provides a predictable performance. A beginner should try a board with a continuous rocker before they consider getting one that has an advanced shape to it. A three-stage rocker, which is probably the second most common type available, has abrupt bends in its shape. The best way to get a mental picture of a three-stage wakeboard’s shape is to think of the way a skateboard deck looks–it has abrupt bends at both the front and back of the board.
The Fin of the Wakeboard
A wakeboarding beginner that has spent a lot of time looking at various boards is likely wondering about the fins present on them and how important they are. The fins are actually very important as they are responsible for making the board go in the direction you desire and also what keeps it from floating freely in the water.
Expert-level wakeboards are likely going to have shallow fins that may be removable, while beginner boards are likely going to have deeper fins on them. You can always ask the employees at a wakeboard shop to explain terminology to you if you are unfamiliar with anything, but deeper fins mean that they are longer and thicker in shape.
A good tip for novice wakeboarders is to find a board that has deep fins which can also be removed. Riding finless can help a wakeboarder learn how to truly use the rail of the board in order to develop edge control. Being able to control the board properly is critical to becoming an expert wakeboarder.
There are many things that a novice wakeboarder needs to be on the lookout for when they are serious about getting into this amazing watersport. Pay close attention to what you’re buying and try to do some research before you actually spend any money. There’s a good chance the person selling you the wakeboard will have plenty of knowledge and insight about wakeboarding that they can share with you, but you will still want to be armed with your own knowledge if you plan on spending money. Depending on how often you practice, you can be an expert wakeboarder in no time!