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How to Size a Wakeboard the Right Way


January 10, 2022

The wakeboard size you go with depends on your riding style and weight. Each wakeboard model has sizing specifications from the manufacturer and we guide you through how to size a wakeboard here.

If multiple people are riding one wakeboard, make your size selection based on the rider’s weight, using the board the most or the heaviest rider. You’ll find that you get annoyed when the wakeboard you purchase isn’t long enough for you to float on. 

how to size a wakeboard

However, there is a range in wakeboard length. Below, we explain why you might choose to ride longer boards or shorter boards. 

Wakeboard Sizing Chart

Weight of Rider (lbs)

Wakeboard Length (cm)
<100

<130

90-150

130-134
130-180

135-139

170-250

140-144
200-275+

>144

Why You Might Choose Shorter Boards

In general, a shorter wakeboard is slower and requires more energy to push through the water. To make your wakeboard faster, the board needs to have more surface area on the water. 

However, shorter wakeboards are easier to maneuver and spin in the air when you’re doing tricks or flying across wakes, which is ideal for a more advanced rider.

However, shorter boards make the landing harder, and the nose of shorter boards can dig into the water, which means that your face can dig into the water too. 

Why You Might Choose Longer Boards

Longer wakeboards are easier to learn how to ride because they have a boost-off-the-wake feel to them. 

They are heavier than a shorter wakeboard, though, so you need to work harder to get the board into the air and gain more control. This makes longer wakeboards better for beginners learning the basics and tricks.

A longer wakeboard also has more surface area on the water, so it will move faster through the water. 

You’ll also find that a longer board allows for softer landings compared to a shorter board. 

how to size a wakeboard
Source: Unsplash

Picking a Wakeboard by Skill Level

Any rider can ride any wakeboard shape as long as it’s big enough. Some wakeboard shapes are easier to learn, but a beginner wakeboarder shouldn’t shy away from a more advanced board shape and vice versa. 

When choosing a board, the most important factor is knowing how to size a wakeboard. Picking out your wakeboard is a personal preference and should be a fun experience; look at all kinds of wakeboards – no matter the shape. 

Beginner and Intermediate Boards

If you’ve never ridden a wakeboard before, only ride sometimes, or are only starting to cross the wake, you should be looking at beginner-intermediate boards. These wakeboards are continuous rocker wakeboards or have mellow 3-stage rockers and are priced for recreational wakeboarders. 

Intermediate and Advanced Wakeboards

If you’re clearing the wake and crossing it in both directions, you might want to look at intermediate to advanced wakeboards. You’ll find quite a few options available in this wakeboard category. 

Because there are so many options available to you in this category, you must know what features you want and need for your riding style before purchasing a wakeboard. 

Advanced and Expert Wakeboards

If you’re attempting new tricks, know how to spin, are stomping inverts, then it’s probably best for you to look at advanced boards. These wakeboards have aggressive 3-stage or continuous rockers and are much less forgiving than the other categories. Advanced to expert wakeboards are pro models, but the bottom line is that advanced boards are aggressive. 

Wakeboard Riding and Rocker Style

Now that you have a better idea of your skill level, let’s learn how different wakeboard features will impact your riding experience.

Continuous Rocker Wakeboards

A continuous rocker wakeboard has one fluid, curved shape. These wakeboards provide you with a smooth, fast ride that lets you link turns together quickly. You’re able to generate quite a bit of speed on a continuous rocker wakeboard. 

Continuous rocker wakeboards are an excellent choice for carving, especially when the water is clear and glassy. 

how to size a wakeboard
Source: Unsplash

3-Stage Rocker Wakeboard

A 3-stage rocker wakeboard has three distinct planes located on the bottom of the wakeboard. These types of wakeboards respond with more height when you hit a wake. However, having more rockers isn’t always a good thing. 

The board has a slippery or loose feel on the water with a dramatic rocker. Additionally, the shape of the wakeboard causes it to plow through the water instead of cut, which makes it slower. Your fins are less effective, and you have to rely on the edges of the board. 

3-stage rocker wakeboards have a much flatter center spot, making falling harsher and giving you a sluggish feeling after landing a jump. 

Hybrid Rocker Wakeboard

A hybrid rocker is a wakeboard profile between a continuous and a 3-stage rocker wakeboard. Each board and brand will offer a different combination of these two profiles. 

Camber Wakeboard

A newly introduced wakeboard profile is called camber, and it takes inspiration from classic snowboard and ski shapes. A camber wakeboard allows you to have a more centered ride than the other types of wakeboards, which changes the weight distribution when you’re on the water. 

Wakeboard Fins

The fins on your wakeboard are like claws: they grip the water. But the way they grip the water will depend on how many fins there are, the fins’ size, and the fins’ placement. 

Fin Size

Longer or deeper fins will create a more stable ride and lower your ability to do any tricks. Beginners benefit more from longer fins because it helps them stay balanced and not fall quite as often. But as you become more advanced, you might want to remove the fins or choose a wakeboard that has smaller fins so that you can do more tricks.

Fin Maintenance

Make sure that you’re checking fin screws regularly to ensure that they’re securely attached to the wakeboard. The screws and fins don’t float, so if they fall off, you’re out of luck.

Wakeboard Maintenance

  • Avoid keeping your wakeboard in the sun for extended periods. Sun can damage your wakeboarding gear just as it does your skin
  • Always rinse off your gear with fresh water after using it in any saltwater
  • Protect your wakeboard by purchasing a wakeboard bag for transportation and storage. Bags will protect your bag from scratches, sun exposure, and bumps. Make sure that you’re drying your wakeboard entirely before leaving it in a bag for extended periods. 
  • Store your wakeboarding gear in a dry, cool location

For more information on how to size a wakeboard, check out this video:

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