Does the size of a wakeboard matter or can you pick any and run with it? The size of your wakeboard determines how well you float, how smoothly you ride on water, and how easy you can lift it off the water. I have a few wakeboards for when I need to do different tricks as no wakeboard can do everything.
There are times I just want to glide on the water while other days I want to jump and do all the tricks I can. Before I learnt what to check from a wakeboard, I had to try out the boards I borrowed from friends. Here is all you need to know about the size of your wakeboard.
How Big Should My Wakeboard Be?
Your wakeboard should match your weight, height, and riding style. If you are less than 100 pounds, go for a wakeboard that is 130 cm or shorter. If you are heavier than 250 pounds, pick a wakeboard that is 144 cm or longer in length.
Although your weight matters more when you are picking a wakeboard, there are several other factors that you should consider when shopping. These factors include your riding style and the tricks you want to perform on the water. If you walk into a wakeboard shop, you will come across very large wakeboards that you wonder whether you can manage them.
There are advantages and disadvantages of choosing a short or long wakeboard. Read on to learn more.
Why Does Wakeboard Size Matter?
A longer wakeboard has a larger surface area. The more the surface area, the better the board is at keeping you afloat. If you picked a smaller board and you are heavy, you may end up sinking.
How long should a wakeboard be?
If you are tall, a longer wakeboard will feel more stable than a shorter and squeezed board. Below is a simple chart developed by Evo to help you choose a board based on your weight:
If you look at the chart above, the figures overlap. If you are between 90 and 150 pounds, you can go for the shortest wakeboard in the range, which is 130 cm, or you can go for the longest, which is 135 cm. Your riding style will determine whether you go for the longest or the shortest on the range.
With the right board, wakeboarding will be so much fun. Bring your golden retriever to cheer you on.
Why Does Your Riding Style Matter?
If you are a beginner, you need a longer wakeboard that will allow you to float and be stable on the water. With a longer wakeboard, you can try several tricks and the landing will be stable. You can use it to try flips and ride big wakes.
Pros can use a shorter wakeboard and still enjoy it. The shorter wakeboard is lighter, and you can lift it off the surface of the water with ease. Further, if you are skilled as a wakeboarder, you never have to worry about the landing, and you have worked on your stability.
The increased surface area of a longer wakeboard provides a bigger surface area for a soft landing. This gives you more control. But you have to deal with the increased weight of the board. What is the easiest wakeboard to get up on? A longer or shorter board?
What are the Advantages of a Longer Wakeboard?
The bigger wakeboard offers a soft landing. A soft landing is good for your knees – if you love riding high wakes and your knees are weak, you can go for a longer wakeboard. The board is also great for when you need to float better on the surface of the water.
When you float better on the water, riding the wakes will not take more of your energy. You will end up with a smooth ride that enhances your wakeboarding experience. You will enjoy a better flex pattern with a longer board as you have more surface area to press on to get the best out of your board’s flex pattern.
If you are a beginner, this board will give you the stability that you need. Before you build your stability, you can use this to try a few tricks.
Why Would a Longer Board Not Be a Good Idea?
More surface area comes with more stability, but it is also slower when you need to flip it from the toeside to the heelside. The board responds slowly, which is why most pros prefer a longer wakeboard.
The board is heavy. You will find it more challenging to flip and spin. The extra weight on the board slows you down.
Even if you prefer a longer board, it is important that it is not too heavy that you cannot flip it. Even if the board is lighter, it is still more challenging to perform tricks. The larger surface of the board sticks on the surface of the water, and you will find it more challenging to lift off.
You will perform inverts with the board, but it will take more of your energy to lift the board off the water. At the end of the day, you end up so tired from performing a few tricks.
Why Go for a Shorter Wakeboard?
A shorter wakeboard is lighter, so you can lift it off the water with ease and perform as many tricks as you need. The board gives you more airtime when you ride high wakes. When you need to perform inverts, the board doesn’t stick on the surface of the water, so you find the inverts easy – you never have to use so much energy.
Short wakeboards allow a fast edge-to-edge, thanks to its narrow surface. The board gives you better toeside-to-heelside control and you can perform tricks faster. When performing tricks, there is less surface to put pressure and you end up using less energy and turning the board faster.
Spinning and flipping takes shorter time and less energy with a shorter wakeboard. Your shorter board has a smaller effective edge – this means that the board experiences less drag on the edge and you can ride faster. With less drag, you experience more speed.
When is a Shorter Wakeboard Not Appropriate?
If you are a beginner, you may not be able to handle the tough landings of a short board. The smaller surface area is not enough to take the energy from a hard landing. Most people can take it, but if your knees are week, a shorter board will leave you with knee pains.
A shorter board is also less stable for a beginner. If you are still struggling with your balance and stability, you are better off going for a longer wakeboard as it offers more stability on the surface of the water.
You will need more energy to keep your board afloat. Because the board has a small surface area, it has less floating capability.
What Other Factors Should You Consider When Shopping for a Wakeboard?
Besides the size, you need to consider the rocker of the wakeboard. The rocker is the curve of the board and it can either be continuous, three-stage, or hybrid.
A continuous rocker has one continuous curve shape. This kind of a rocker allows a fast and smooth ride, and it also turns faster than other types of boards. These boards are great for carving.
A three-stage rocker board has three planes with a flat base and inclined heel and toe. Your wakeboard has a loose and slippery feel, but it is better when you need to hit those large wakes. The flat base increases the impact of your landing and might give a sluggish feel after you land.
A hybrid rocker gives the best of a continuous and three-stage rocker. It combines the two styles to allow a smooth ride and also make it ideal when you need to hit those large wakes.
There are also comber wakeboards, a new type of wakeboard. The board has a flat tip and tail and a raised center. It looks like classic snowboards. With this type of a board, you can ride more centered than you would with other boards.
The comber board is ideal when you need to distribute your weight on water. It will be a little challenging to use it first, but fun when you learn how to use it.
Again, you need to consider the bindings. Are all wakeboard bindings universal? No, they also come in different style and sizes to meet different needs.
There is so much more to consider when shopping for a wakeboard besides its size. Once you know the length and the rocker style that best fits your needs, you need to go on and consider other factors such as shape, material, the edge, bottom design, and the fin.
Much as the riding style and your skill level should determine the board you go for, you should also consider your preference. If you are buying your first wakeboard, allow a professional to help you at the store. You can also try wakeboarding with a friend’s board and see what you feel comfortable with.
Lastly, having two or more boards is not a bad idea. I haven’t used a camber board and that is what I am going for next. It will be fun wakeboarding with a comfortable board with your golden retriever barking at you.