What to Know When Choosing the Perfect Wakesurfing Board
Wakesurfing is a sport that can be enjoyed by individuals of all ages and experience levels. Having the perfect wakesurf board will make the experience a lot more fun and comfortable for you. While many wakesurf boards look similar, that doesn’t mean that they are all made the same. We’ll look at the different types of wakesurf boards as well as the most important components to be aware of before you go out n the water.
The Various Types of Wakesurfing Boards
Each wakesurf board is going to fall into one of three categories including boat, park, and hybrid. The classification of a board gives you insight into what the board is best used for. That doesn’t mean you can’t use any of these boards for other activities, it just gives an idea of what a specific board will do best at.
Boat Wakesurf Boards
A boat board is designed to use the wakes that are created by boats to surf, which means they are less flexible than a park board. These boards offer very smooth and simple landings. You may not get as much air with this board as a park board, which means they also have a different base than other wakesurfing boards
Park Wakesurf Boards
The main design feature behind a park board is extreme durability, which means the boards are exceptional for use of rails and ramps. The base on a park board is reinforced and smooth with precise edges. These boards are also smaller which means they can take sharper turns. A park board is very slim and has a high flex rating which makes it easier to handle corners and pop up into the air.
Hybrid Wakesurf Boards
The newest design of wakesurf boards is the hybrid design. It is a bit of a mixture of a surfboard and a skimboard. Those who want to try different things without needing to buy multiple boards may find this is the best choice. It also makes an excellent choice for those with a tight budget.
Wakesurf Board Tail Choice
One of the most important parts of a wakesurfing board is the tail. This component determines how well you can balance on the surface of the water as well as how the board rides. Since these can determine how your wakesurfing goes, it’s a great thing that there are several options to choose from on the market.
As you might guess from the name, a pin tail is the narrowest you will find. This makes it a fantastic option for anyone who wants to take on huge waves. The small size of the tail means it dips just right in the water to offer a low center of gravity. This offers a better grip while in the water, which is why it’s a popular choice. However, this can present issues with smaller waves.
Those who want to enjoy a great deal of speed may enjoy the square tail since that is exactly what it is built for. This tail has you sit high up on the water, so it can make it a bit more difficult to keep traction and gain footing. This tail has an excellent pick up so you can hit high speeds quickly.
If you aren’t sure a square tail or a pin tail wakesurfing board is right for you, the swallow tail is something that gives you the best features of both. This also makes it one of the most popular tail designs. A board with a swallow tail is perfect for small and moderate waves. It is simple to control while it can still get up to some exciting speeds.
While we’ve talked about a few of the most popular tail designs, none are as used as the squash tail. These are going to be the most common wakesurf boards you see on the market since they are adaptable to many kinds of wave conditions. Whether you are in powerful waves or smaller ones, the tail can handle them all. It has the potential to reach good speeds and offers great performance for an easy ride.
The round tail design is ideal for wakesurfers who like to hang out in various types of water. This design works well in many wave conditions and is similar to the pin tail, but it also has a larger surface area. The inclusion of a wide back makes it great to get started with turns and simple tricks.
Those who have tried and enjoyed a squash tail will find the diamond is another good option. This is a great choice that incorporates features of the squash and pin tail for great levels of speed and easy maneuverability. Those who want a simple ride but also want to pull a few tricks will be well-served by this wakesurf board. This tail is great for riders of all skill levels so you will see it on many boards on the market
Half Moon Tail
This tail design isn’t super common, but you can run across it on occasion. This design has a small board area beyond the fins. The design is great for turning in the water and makes it easy to do a few tricks in the water. No matter the size of the waves, this wakesurf board is easy to maneuver.
The last tail type is the bat tail, although it isn’t very common. It has a very wide tail to offer the most stability possible on the water. It also has sharp corners which make it easily cut through water so it’s simple to maneuver.
Related: Best Bodyboards
Wakesurf Board Rails
While the tail is important, the rail might be even more crucial to get right. This component helps you control the amount of water that can flow over your board. For a beginner, a thicker rail is ideal since it offers a bit more grip. However, this also means the board will be slower and water cannot easily flow over it.
If you are more experienced with wakesurfing, you may want to choose a board with a thinner rail. This gives you the ability to get up to high speeds since the water can flow over the board without resistance.
When choosing a wakesurf board, there are three types of rail systems:
A full rail design is ideal for beginners since it gives you additional stability on your board to enjoy a smooth ride. This is not recommended for more experienced wakesurfers since the performance is limited and it may not be capable of making sharp turns.
Those who are already comfortable on a wakesurfing board will find that a hard rail is an excellent choice. It lets you do all the stunts and tricks that you could want. It has less stability and a harder ride but can turn much more easily than boards with other rails.
Most wakesurfers will find that a blended rail is the best option since it offers both performance and stability. For intermediate and beginner riders, the rail can help you keep your balance and ride in a straight line without issues. It also can make fairly sharp turns for those who want to do a few tricks.
Rockers on Wakesurf Boards
If you are someone who has been involved in other watersports, you may be familiar with the rocker component on a wakesurf board. The rocker is an amount of curvature that your board has when sitting on a flat surface. The level of curvature has an effect on how the board will perform. A heavy rocker is going to sit down in the water more which makes the board easier to maneuver and more stable. A board with less rocker will sit higher and give you better speed.
Wakesurf Board Fin Configuration
As with a surfboard, a wakesurf board can have various fin configurations. Some boards come with a single fin while others have three or even five. The configuration will determine how the wakesurf board is best used so you can reach your goals.
Single Fin Design
If you choose a wakesurfing board with a single fin, this component acts as a rudder on a boat. The fin helps keep the board on a straight path and guides it through the water. A board without a fin would simply slide around on the water. This is an adequate fin configuration for some people, but it does not add speed to your ride as multiple fins would.
Double Fin Design
There are lots of watersport enthusiasts who prefer a board with two fins since it offers greater control while in the water. However, keep in mind that this configuration works best with small waves.
Triple Fin Design
A three fin design may be the most common to see on the market. These are very versatile boards that can be used on waves of any size. Due to the additional fin, you can easily get more speed when you would with a one or two fin wakesurfing board.
Quadruple Fin Design
Those who want the most speed possible will find a four fin design is a great option. This lets you enjoy even the largest of waves when you are out on the water. While a three fin design might have the best ride, the four fin option is very close.
Five Fin Design
Adding another fin to the board will not add additional speed. It will decrease speed but give you additional stability based on the resistance and drag as you go through the water.
At this point, you have all the information you need to select a wakesurf board that meets your needs. Whether you are a seasoned professional or a complete newcomer to the sport, there’s a board on the list that will meet your needs. If you don’t find one that will work for you, you can use the information above to make an educated decision. Either way, you can be out on the water having a lot of fun soon!