Wakesurfing has exploded in recent years because you don’t need to live close to the ocean to experience it.
It’s one of the most challenging and exciting ways to spend an afternoon, which can be made even better with the right tweaks.
One is using the best wakesurf board when you’re in the water. It makes a huge amount of difference when surfing the boat’s wake.
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Best Wakesurf Board: Main Features
There are lots of wakesurfing boards on the market so choosing the right one isn’t easy. To make things simple you should know the best features you’ll need on your board. Here are a few of the most important ones and how they’ll affect your wakesurfing skills:
1 – Length – A longer wakesurf board is more buoyant and easier to stand up on. When you’re surfing the wake you’ll be a lot more stable and less likely to nose dive into the water. It’s the reason why beginner and intermediate wakesurfers tend to stick to longer boards.
If you’re more advanced, shorter boards are the way to go. This is because you’ll be able to perform sharper turns and attempt more fancy tricks. But if you’re a tall and heavy individual the best wakesurf board for your needs will still be longer than one a smaller person would use.
2 – Shape – Wakesurfing boards come in different widths. Wider boards are more stable in the water and easier to get up on, but it’s not the shapes you need to focus on. The ones you’ll want to concentrate on are the nose and tail shapes, which we’ll discuss in a little more detail below:
- Nose shape
- Tail shape
Nose shape – Although all nose shapes are slightly different you’ll notice wakesurf boards with either pointed or squared noses. Pointed noses will increase the speed you’ll be able to reach when rocketing through choppy waters. It’s not the best shape when it comes to spin tricks.
On the other hand, boards with squared noses do have a positive impact on a wide range of tricks. A wider nose even gives you more stability so you can surf the wakes longer. It does have a downside because you won’t be able to cut through the water as easily.
Tail shape – Pin, square, swallow, round, diamond, squash, half moon, and bat tails are designs you’ll see mentioned if you look at enough boards. I wouldn’t bother getting too caught up in the exact tail shape specifics unless you’re an advanced rider with special needs.
Just remember wider tails with a larger surface area will give you more push and help you accelerate because they lift the wakesurfing board out of the water. On the opposite end of the spectrum, narrow tails with less surface area helps with maneuverability but feels slower.
3 – Rocker – Place any wakesurf board on a flat surface and it’s not going to be flush to the ground. It’s going to have a curve known as a rocker, which determines how much of your board will be in contact with the waves. Each one has its positives and negatives which you’ll see below:
- Aggressive rockers (more curve)
- Relaxed rockers (less curve)
Aggressive rockers (more curve) – An aggressive rocker means there is less contact area between your wakesurf board and the water. It’s easier to carve from side to side, perform tricks, and avoid nose dives. Rockers with an increased curve perform better in bigger waves too.
Relaxed rockers (less curve) – A relaxed rocker is basically the exact opposite. When more of your board is touching the water it’s easier to generate speed and you’ll feel more stable. A decreased curve definitely comes in handy when you want to have fun on smaller waves.
4 – Rails – The rails on wakesurf boards have a huge role to play in performance. They run from the tail of your board to the nose and impact how the water flows around it. We’re going to look at the different kinds and how they will affect you in the water:
- Hard rails
- Soft rails
- Blended rails
Hard rails – You’ll notice harder rails straight away because they look more squared-off. The abrupt edge gives you extra speed and responsiveness. It’s the preferred rail shape for stunts and tricks. Harder rails offer less stability and can be intimidating to new riders.
Soft rails – Softer rails (or full rails) come with a rounded edge. They are geared more towards beginners thanks to the smooth consistent rides you’ll be able to experience. The edges don’t really dig into the water so it’s harder to perform sharp turns and it adds extra drag to your board.
Blended rails – Like most features on wakesurf boards you can find designs that sit somewhere in the middle. Blended rails is yet another example. Performance and stability are pretty good, plus you’ll be able to throw in some nice tricks and sharp turns at the same time.
5 – Fins – Wakesurfing boards have between 1 and 5 fins with each setup suiting a particular style of riding. The size of the fins have an impact on how your board will perform too. Here is a quick breakdown of each one without bogging you down with too much information:
- One fin
- Two fin
- Three fin
- Four + five fin
One fin – A single fin lets you follow a straight path by acting like a boat rudder. These are usually smaller in size which won’t get in your way when you’re performing tricks on large waves. It’s not the ideal fin setup if your main goal is to turn sharply or generate maximum speed.
Two fin – If you want to turn like a pro and generate lots of speed two fins is a good choice. You’ll have a lot more control versus the single fin setup. When you’re wakesurfing in smaller waves you’ll be able to boost your speed by swinging the board back and forth.
Three fin – Everyone agrees a wakesurf board with three fins is a happy medium between the single and double fin setup. You’ll get an ideal combination of speed and control without putting too much effort into it. A good choice for beginners who don’t know what they like.
Four + five fin – Once you start adding even more fins to your wakesurfing board it’s going to have a negative impact on your surfing. On the plus side, all the extra drag and resistance does help in huge waves. Extra fin boxes means more experimenting with various combos.
Major Wakesurf Board Styles
Wakesurf boards come in a few particular styles and each have their pros and cons. Although every board can be used in any situation they’ll perform better when used with their strengths in mind. Let’s look at the main styles you’ll come across when looking for the right one:
- Skim-style wakesurf board
- Surf-style wakesurf board
- Hybrid-style wakesurf board
Skim-style wakesurf board – Advanced surfers will love shorter and thinner skim-style wakesurf boards because they’re really agile. The boards are amazing when it comes to tricks. You can perform 360 degree spins on the spot and make sharp turns instantly.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to catch waves on these wakesurfing boards. Stability is a huge problem. If you’re not nose diving into the water you’re being thrown from the board like you’ve slipped on a banana peel. Less buoyancy means they’re better for lighter surfers.
Surf-style wakesurf board – If you’re a beginner looking to ride waves like a traditional surfer a surf-style wakesurfing board should be at the top of your list. The boards are longer than other styles and thicker too. Thanks to the high buoyancy you’ll be a lot more stable on all waves.
Surf-style wakesurf boards are easy to stand up on and you’ll catch more waves on a regular basis. You’ll end up surfing them for longer before falling too. But it’s difficult to carve on such boards and you’ll eventually want to progress to a more hybrid-style model.
Hybrid-style wakesurf board – Anyone looking for the best of both worlds should opt for a hybrid-style wakesurfing board. You can catch waves easily while feeling stable at high speeds, plus you won’t lose out on the carving and smaller turning radius skim-style boards offer.
Some tricks won’t be so easy because the boards tend to be one-directional, but they are possible and you’ll have plenty of fun. You will have to remember to focus on the tail when carving because you would normally use the edges of the board on skim-style models.
The Best Wakesurf Board On The Market
Most people usually choose a hybrid-style wakesurf board, but it comes down to personal preference at the end of the day. If you have a boat it might be worth keeping one of each onboard. Not only to please you but anyone else who comes out on the water with you.
If you listen to everything we’ve talked about today you’ll be able to choose the best wakesurf board for you. Anyone who wants a little more advice should click on the links to Amazon. You’ll be able to read unbiased reviews from multiple people which is always beneficial.