Best Wakeboards

Updated April 2019
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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
Bottom Line
Pros
Cons
How we decided

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

19 Models Considered
8 Hours Researched
1 Experts Interviewed
83 Consumers Consulted
Zero products received from manufacturers.

We purchase every product we review with our own funds — we never accept anything from product manufacturers.

Why trust BestReviews?
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.
We may earn a commission if you purchase a product through our links.

Shopping guide for best wakeboards

Last Updated April 2019

Positioned somewhere between water skiing and surfing, wakeboarding is a fun pastime for anyone who loves to get their adrenaline pumping. A wakeboarder is towed behind a motorboat and uses the boat’s wake to perform jumps and tricks.

If you’ve been renting or borrowing wakeboards, perhaps it’s time to buy your own. It's important to pick the right one to fit your requirements, but how can you tell which wakeboard that is?

We at BestReviews have put together this shopping guide with the information you need to find the best wakeboard for you. When you’re ready to buy, take a look at our top wakeboard picks.

The term "carving" refers to the act of pressing your toes or heels into your wakeboard to turn in the water.

Key considerations

Types of wakeboards

Not every wakeboard is suitable for every rider. It's important to choose a model that matches your abilities or it will be hard to control your wakeboard.

  • Beginner: If you're just starting out, a beginner wakeboard is what you need. It might not be the fastest or nimblest model, but it’s easier to balance on and control over a relatively smooth run. To improve balance and help you stand up on your board without falling, beginner wakeboards are longer than average, with wider noses. These boards also tend to be cheaper than more advanced models, which is great if you don't want to spend too much on a new hobby.

    • Price: Expect to pay $100 to $200 for a beginner wakeboard.
       

  • Intermediate: If you’ve got the basics of wakeboarding down and you’re looking for a board that packs more of a punch, consider an intermediate wakeboard. These boards are quicker and more maneuverable than beginner models, and they’re easier to control and cheaper than the most advanced options. These wakeboards are great for people who are adept at crossing over the wake in both directions and want a more challenging ride.

    • Price: Most intermediate wakeboards cost between $200 and $600.
       

  • Advanced: Advanced wakeboards are designed for professional or high-level amateur riders and are too much board for anyone who's only been wakeboarding a short time. These boards can take on the roughest water and are great for those who want a thrilling ride with as much air time as possible. These wakeboards are extremely nimble and quick through the water but much harder to control than beginner or intermediate boards. Because they tend to incorporate advanced wakeboarding technology, they're also quite expensive.

    • Price: Advanced wakeboards are generally priced between $600 and $1,000.

Intermediate and advanced wakeboarders should chose a board at the shorter end of their weight range. These boards take more skill to ride successfully but are faster and more maneuverable.

Staff
BestReviews

Wakeboard features

Length

It's important to select a wakeboard that is the correct length for you, and that length depends on your weight. While you shouldn't ride a board that's too short, you can ride a longer board. In fact, beginners might want to size up slightly because it's easier to stay balanced on a longer wakeboard.

  • 100 pounds or less: Opt for a wakeboard of 50 inches or less.

  • 100 to 150 pounds: Opt for a wakeboard of 50 to 53 inches.

  • 150 to 180 pounds: Opt for a wakeboard of 53 to 55 inches.

  • 180 to 240 pounds: Opt for a wakeboard of 55 to 57 inches.

  • 230 to 280 pounds: Opt for a wakeboard of 57 to 60 inches.
     

Underside

The underside of your wakeboard might have channels, fins, concaves, and/or V-spines that affect the way it handles in the water. The type and arrangement of these features affect maneuverability, turns, landings, tracking, and stability. The type of wakeboarder you are and your level of experience will determine the underside design you need.

Rocker

The term "rocker" refers to the curve of the board from front to back. Wakeboards can have different rocker styles and degrees, and each has its benefits.

  • Continuous rocker is a smooth, gradual curve from front to back and perhaps the most common style for a wakeboard. It gives you a smooth, fast ride and the ability to carve effectively. However, you do sacrifice some height (“pop”) when making jumps.

  • Three-stage rocker refers to wakeboards with a mostly flat bottom that rises at each end at a 30° to 45° angle. This rocker style increases water resistance, so you'll move more slowly, but you’ll get the best pop.

  • Hybrid rocker is the middle ground between the three-stage and continuous styles. Wakeboards with a hybrid rocker have a flat bottom with a raised front and back tip like three-stage models, but the angles are smoother, which decreases water resistance and increases speed without reducing pop too much.
     

Edges

The edges of the wakeboard affect how the board tracks through the water and how fast it can go.

  • Rounded edges generally slow boards down a little and decrease maneuverability. However, it's much easier to keep your balance on a wakeboard with rounded edges if you get your footing slightly wrong. Most beginner and intermediate wakeboards have rounded edges.

  • Sharp edges are much less forgiving and require skill and precision to keep your balance. The tradeoff is increased speed and maneuverability. Most advanced wakeboards have sharp edges.
EXPERT TIP

If you tend to go over obstacles when wakeboarding, look for a board with grind protection so the edges won't wear down as quickly.


Staff  | BestReviews
EXPERT TIP

Most wakeboards come with bindings, but some models don't, so you’d need to buy them separately.


Staff  | BestReviews

Tips

  • Decide if your wakeboard needs fins. Most wakeboards don't have fins because the channels, concaves, and V-spines on the underside are usually enough to let you carve through the water. However, if you often use your wakeboard in exceptionally rough conditions, fins can give you extra control.

  • Think about how often you'll use your wakeboard. Sure, you might have your eye on the best wakeboard money can buy, but if you’ll only use it a few times a year, it may not be money well spent. Conversely, a cheap wakeboard won't stand up to regular use.

  • Check the weight of your chosen wakeboard. Lightweight wakeboards tend to be nimbler and more enjoyable to ride.

  • Consider design last. Naturally, wakeboards with cool graphics are more appealing, but the quality of the board is far more important. We only recommend choosing based on appearance if you're deciding between wakeboards of equal quality.

Other products we considered

If none of our top five wakeboards take your fancy, we've got some more excellent models here. All of these very nearly made our top spots and are worth considering. The Connelly Reverb 2017 Factory Wakeboard is a solid, well-made board with a deep center channel to give the rider more control and a spine design that makes it easier to cut through the water. If you'll mainly be partaking in cable park wakeboarding, the Ronix District Park Wakeboard is an excellent choice. With its concave bottom and variable rail, it's great for the everyday rider. Finally, consider the World Industries Battle Kids’ Wakeboard if you're looking for a solid but inexpensive board for a young beginner.

Boards designed for boat wakeboarding flex less than those designed for cable park wakeboarding, but you can find hybrid boards that are suitable for both.

FAQ

Q. How do I keep my wakeboard in good condition?

A. After riding your wakeboard in salty or brackish water, rinse it off so the salt doesn't corrode your board. Ideally, you should store your wakeboard in a dedicated wakeboard bag somewhere out of direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.

Q. What's the difference between cable park wakeboarding and boat wakeboarding?

A. Traditionally, all wakeboarders were towed by a boat. However, an increasingly popular alternative is cable park wakeboarding, which takes place in special wakeboarding parks where riders are pulled across the water via a system of cables.

Q. How can I improve my wakeboarding skills?

A. As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Regular practice will improve your competency over time. However, you might also find it useful to take some lessons, especially when attempting to learn more advanced skills.

The team that worked on this review
  • Bronwyn
    Bronwyn
    Editor
  • Devangana
    Devangana
    Web Producer
  • Eliza
    Eliza
    Production Manager
  • Kristin
    Kristin
    Writer
  • Lauren
    Lauren
    Writer
  • Melinda
    Melinda
    Web Producer

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