Aside from the important equipment like your board, boots, ropes, and fins, your wakeboarding gears should be dedicated to safety materials. I know how excited you are to talk about all the gear you need but, like with any sports, you should take safety precautions seriously. Here are some of the wakeboarding gears you will need to avoid any injury before starting with this water sport.
Wakeboarding Gears – The Ultimate List
A Coast Guard Approved Life Jacket
Yes, you probably know how to swim. Otherwise, you will not be trying out watersports. But, a life jacket is a top priority among all wakeboarding gears even for professionals who had wakeboarded thousands of times. So, take a little step towards safety and wear yours as well. (See my blog post about different types of life jackets here).
Wearing protective headgear is also essential, especially if you are wakeboarding in a cable park. Put this on your wakeboarding gears list to avoid injuries from accidents like slipping on the dock or hitting an obstacle.
Wearing a wetsuit when wakeboarding is not really that necessary. You can just wear board shorts and a rash guard too. But, I recommend it as part of the wakeboarding gears for beginners, especially to those who will be wakeboarding behind a boat. This is because the temperature of open water can be unpredictable depending on where you are.
If you are wearing a wetsuit, you can just focus on learning how to ride your board and not get uncomfortable enough because of the cold water. Bonus perk: You might avoid getting little cuts from slipping and falling.
And now, for the most important part of the wakeboarding gears, the wakeboard itself. When it comes to choosing the right board, it all boils down to the most important factor to consider – the wakeboard’s size or length. The best wakeboard size would depend on your weight and riding style.
Longer wakeboards are preferable because they are typically easier to ride on. They have a more stable feel and control, which would be best when you are learning tricks for the first time. But of course, the longer the board, the heavier it is. The main disadvantage of the board being heavier is that it is going to be harder to maneuver in the air. However, its bigger surface area allows for quicker movement and softer landings make up for this downside.
On the other hand, a shorter wakeboard would obviously be the best choice in terms of maneuverability and spinning as you go up the wake. The downside to this is that shorter wakeboards would need more energy in riding through the water, which results in slower movement. They also have a smaller surface area which would be the reason why the nose of a shorter wakeboard may tend to dig into the water when you land.
Buying a wakeboard for the very first time can be tricky. There are a lot of choices out there and a lot of factors to consider, which, honestly, can be very overwhelming. For this reason, I have listed some of the best wakeboards you can buy, so you would not have to start from scratch when choosing what wakeboard to buy.
The list below is in descending order. I had narrowed down the criteria to four things when I came up with the top 5 wakeboards. I rated them based on (1) skill level, (2) Speed, (3) maneuverability, and (4) price.
This wakeboard can be bought in two sizes – 134 cm and 140 cm. This is a mid-length wakeboard perfect for those who weigh around 150 lbs to 180 lbs. It comes with a few wakeboarding gears. It has molded-in fins and a continuous rocker that offers fast and smooth rides and allows you to easily turn the board in the water.
This wakeboard also has a forgiving 6-degree edge bevel and a V-bottom tunnel, which makes it the perfect wakeboard for beginners. Although it is a little pricier than the others listed here, this wakeboard comes with boots that are one-size-fits-all. This gives you fewer wakeboarding gears to worry about buying. However, since the size of the binding or boots is not specific to your size, they might not fit you well, which could affect your wakeboarding.
This wakeboard is the longest wakeboard on the list. Its length is about 147 cm which is the perfect size for people weighing around 200 to 275 lbs. You can also put this wakeboard on your wakeboarding gears list if you want a board with a bigger surface area.
Since this wakeboard is bigger in terms of surface area, you won’t have to worry about its nose digging into the water when you land. On the other hand, the maneuverability of this board is not that great because it is heavier in weight. However, if you wish to have a faster ride, this would be on top of your wakeboarding gears list as the best choice for you.
The length of this wakeboard is about 145 cm. This is also a long wakeboard on our wakeboarding gears list that was designed for riders weighing 150 lbs. and above. This board has ultimate hold and tracking thanks to its fin dual thruster setup.
You can get more speed into the wake with this wakeboard, and it offers stomp landings. The removable center fins provide tracking. The wakeboard rocker on this wakeboard is a continuous rocker that is fast and forgiving while providing a smooth pop.
This lightweight wakeboard with a length of 124 cm is the shortest wakeboard on the list. It is usually part of the wakeboarding gears list mainly for younger people who are just starting to learn wakeboarding. But it can also be used by anyone weighing 130 lbs at most regardless of skill level.
This wakeboard has two removable fins made out of fiberglass reinforced nylon which provide excellent carving and tracking. Like the previous wakeboard, this also has a continuous rocker resulting in faster and smoother rides.
Despite being the priciest of them all, this design of this wakeboard can offer you the ability to ride at the cable or behind the wakeboarding boat with the same deck. This board is the most expensive one because Crossover Core Technology was used to combine two advanced core materials for this board.
This board has a 3-Stage rocker line that causes the wakeboard to carry speed and height when you hit the wake. This board has a flat center spot which results in a more intense impact of landings that makes the board slow right after every landing. With such features, I believe it should be on every advanced boarder’s wakeboarding gears list.
Wakeboarding boats are specifically intended to make a large wake with a particular shape, that you would jump from side to side as you ride your wakeboard. They are developed from the Runabout type of boat.
Simply put, wakeboarding boats are generally V-drive boats, or inboard boats with engines located in the rear end and placed backward. This provides more weight in the back of the boat that causes the boat to make a larger wake. However, there are other types of wakeboarding boats that you can choose from which are discussed below.
Choosing a Wakeboarding Boat
Now that you are equipped with the right wakeboarding gears, it’s time to move to boats. However, before choosing a specific type of wakeboarding boat, you have to know what time of the year it is to best buy a wakeboarding boat. What’s the reason for knowing this? Well, wakeboarding boats are very pricey, so buying them in the right place at the right time can help you save money.
So when is the right time? The right time would be during boat show season which usually runs from late fall to early spring. Boat show season is the time when dealers and manufacturers offer factory incentives that will only last during the entirety of the boat show.
If you are not comfortable going to a boat show, you can still negotiate a good deal at the dealership. Just try not to do it during summer because it is the peak season for boat buying.
Now, on to the classifications of boats that you have to familiarize yourself with when you go wakeboarding boat shopping. They are mainly jet boats, outboard boats; inboard/outboard boats or I/Os, and inboard boats. Yamaha, Skeeter, Honda, Nautique, Sea-Doo, Ranger, and Sea Ray are just a few of the brand names you can choose your wakeboarding boat from.
Types of Wakeboarding Boats
Jet boats are getting more and more common in the wakeboarding market as they are marketed primarily to wakeboarding boat buyers. However, a jet boat cannot actually produce a wake in the shape and size that most wakeboarders want.
They produce wakes that are usually low, very soft, and washy. Jet boats also do not have a rudder which is required to help steer the boat, making this wakeboarding boat very difficult to cruise in a straight line when a wakeboarder of average size is behind it carving around.
Outboard boats are primarily designed for fishing, but some boat manufacturers make outboard boats for water sports such as barefoot skiing. An outboard boat typically has a very shallow hull or the portion of the boat that rides in and on top of the water.
Being so means that this type of boat does not sit in the water very deep. Although they are usually very fast and responsive, they do not displace much water that would make a good wake for wakeboarding. This makes it the least ideal wakeboarding boat.
I/O’s have been extremely popular in the wakeboarding market over the years. The engine of the I/O boat is located in the rear end of the boat like an inboard boat, while the propulsion system is that of an outboard drive unit.
These can produce a decent-sized making it the most ideal wakeboarding boat for wakeboard beginners. However, the downside to this wakeboarding boat is that despite the fact that it creates a wake that gets larger when more weight is added to the boat, the wake produce is actually getting softer making it harder to perform tricks on.
An inboard boat has its engine on the inside of the boat and placed at the rear of the boat, which provides more weight there allowing for a big wake to be created. Inboard boats with deeper hull designs offer a smoother ride, even in rough water. It also makes clean and crisp wakes that are not soft and washy.
This is the perfect wakeboarding boat if you have become more comfortable in riding behind the boat and want to perform wakeboarding tricks.
Inboard boats are further classified into two types – the direct drive and the V-drive. The direct drive is considered the more traditional one as the engine is placed in the center of the boat, while the boat transmission is at the rear of the engine.
On the other hand, the V-drive has its engine at the rear end of the boat and is placed backward. This allows the transmission to be pointed towards the front of the boat. This is the most popular choice in the wakeboarding industry.
Getting Started With Wakeboarding Fins
If You Are a Beginner
If you are new to wakeboarding, it is time for you to put fins on the top of your wakeboarding gears list. After all, it keeps the movement of the board simpler than without. To explain even further, a wakeboard fin is equivalent to a rudder for boats (the rudder controls the steering of a boat) because they both have the ability to control and direct.
If You Have Flat Board
Beginner boards normally have bases that are flat. The same thing goes for many high-end ones. And, with wakeboarding, the flatter the board, the more slippery your ride can get. So remember this when buying your wakeboarding gears. This can be difficult for beginners as it gives you less control than when fins are gripping in the water.
If You Prefer To Ride Behind a Boat
As I mentioned, cable parks can be a risky place to use fins as you can ruin the obstacles or your board. That is why riding behind a boat would be a perfect way to try out fins. The speed of the boat is less consistent than in wakeboard parks so it would help to have the grip of the fin for balance. Plus, it will allow you to move forward and turn easily.
Now that you know the wakeboarding gears you should consider before getting your own pair of wakeboarding fins, let us talk about my favorite ones.
As first on the wakeboarding gears list, we have a pair of fins from Hyperlite. This product is a P-Wing replacement for wakeboard fins. The mounting holes for this recommendation are three inches apart and you can mount this on most wakeboards and wake surfboards.
As for my second recommendation for your wakeboarding gears list, here is a pack of fiberglass fins from CWB. It is made from durable and high-quality material. You do not even have to worry about ruining it. When you purchase this product, it comes with a screw and a washer. This pack is compatible with wakeboards such as Bella, Surge, Pure, Lotus, and Charger. Bonus perk: It is easy to install.
Similar to the CWB one, I like this Ronix wakeboard fin and I recommend putting it on your wakeboarding gears list as it is made of fiberglass, which we know is a heavy-duty material. This one is ranked as number 319 on Amazon wakeboarding gears so that should tell you that riders really do like it. The holes in this one are three inches apart. If you like your ride to have a little more “bite” on the water, I think this product is for you.
Here we have another Hyperlite product in our wakeboarding gears list. This is a two-pack fin kit that is more affordable than the ones I have mentioned. Of course, it is not going to be as durable but for beginners, this one will do just as well. The screws for the Hyperlite 2019 are three inches apart too.
Hopefully, this blog post helped you learn more about the wakeboarding gears you will be needing. I also hope the information I provided will guide you to get started with your wakeboarding journey (you don’t have to get your own boat though, haha). Keep in mind that on top of everything else, having the right safety gear should be prioritized so you can avoid unwanted injuries.
Let’s start a conversation about wakeboarding gears in the comments down below! We can also continue this topic on my Facebook and Instagram pages.
Here at Stand Up Paddle board world I try to show you as many different paddle boards as I can. I’m a true water sports fanatic and I would love to get everyone enthusiastic about my passion as well. Read my different reviews and find out which paddle board is the best to get you started with this amazing sport!
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