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It’s that time of year again where the days are getting longer, the weather is warming up, and it’s time to fire up the boat! Each year we get the scoop from our wake ambassadors on what they’re riding and why they love their boards. Check out some of our fav wakeboards, our 2021 Swim Collection, and honorable mentions from women and girls who regularly push the limits of their sport.
Thinking about getting into wakeboarding? Scroll to the bottom for a few of our FAQs, ask us a question, or leave us a comment!
These wakeboards are designed with grinds in mind, with slippery but durable bases. Cable park boards tend to be wider, shorter, and a softer flex that make spins and airs agile and let’s face it, a ton of fun.
The Contrast is a fast, easy-riding board built for all riding environments ...the perfect blend of cable and boat performance - it has all the pop and ollie power you need for behind boat while the Flex Tips delivered unmatched press-ability in the park.
“Slingshot handsdown. The Contrast is wider, so more board on the rail. I even got a bigger board (138 cm) just for the cable.” - Kim Vincent
A playful, soft women's park board. Jamie Lopina’s latest creation from Ronix has the freedom to break loose with its skate-like free feeling on the water and you can really exaggerate a press from the soft tip to tail layup. A cable fun board with a super clean bottom design and a spoonful of added rocker.
The Liquid Force Vamp Wakeboard is a women's specific park board that is built to shred. The Vamp is built with a sintered Grind Base™ for jumping off kickers, slapping boxes, and sliding rails without having to worry about whether or not your board will hold up. With an all wood core, the Vamp provides consistent pop and response.
The Slingshot Valley Wakeboard is a premier women's park board, with a super buttery soft flex for easy presses grinds, and buffing out choppy waters. It's fast, smooth, and nimble, and our ambassadors love it.
These wakeboards are shaped differently than the cable and park boards in order to compensate for different conditions and riding styles. Some may have a continuous camber profile without a ton of lift, and potentially fins, spines, or channels and perhaps less flex.
The Hyperlite Eden 2.0 Wakeboard is an easy-riding board designed with an asymmetrical shape which highlights the advantages that come from standing sideways, making your first jumps and carves easier to come by.
“For those I coach, I find the asymmetrical design really helps beginners develop their toeside skills.” - Natalie Graham
The Hyperlite Venice Wakeboard was developed as a tool for wakeboarders of all ability levels to progress their riding. It provides a smooth, consistent platform based around a continuous rocker shape and a wider profile, so you can ride on edge with precision and have a nice consistent pop off the wake.
“I have been a LF Melissa fan for Years! Until I rode the Hyperlite Venice!”- Kim Vincent
Back with a new thinner profile, the Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight is back and lighter than ever before. Get your lean on and slice through the water with buttery smooth turns, slash aggressively, or explode off the wake with a predictable takeoff.
The Ronix August Wakeboard is made for up-and-coming shredders who pull off new stuff every time they go out on the boat.
Asymmetrical rails give extra bite to a symmetrical shape, with a sharper toeside and fuller heelside to get the most out of every turn.
“I ride the Ronix August board with August bindings. It’s such a smooth and forgiving board!! Great to learn and progress on! And you can’t beat Ronix Bindings! Best quality bindings on the market.” - Hadley Sabin
The best wakeboard size depends on your weight and riding style, with each wakeboard having specific sizing recommendations provided by the manufacturer.
If there are multiple people using your wakeboard, you may want to base your selection on the weight of the rider who rides most often, or the heaviest rider.
In general, a shorter board will give you more maneuverability for spins and airs, but the decreased surface area changes how the board travels on the surface of the water. A longer wakeboard will require you to work harder in the air, but the length allows for more surface area to sit on the water which increases speed, stability, and softer landings.
How do I know my ability level?
If you’ve never ridden before, ride occasionally, or are just beginning to cross the wake, check out beginning-intermediate wakeboards. These boards generally have continuous or a more mellow 3-stage rocker profile and are priced for recreational riders.
If you’re crossing the wake in both directions and clearing the wake, take a look at intermediate-advanced boards. There is a ton of variety in this category so have fun exploring the shapes and profiles to compliment and progress your riding style.
If you know how to spin, are attempting new tricks, and stomping inverts you may want to check out the advanced-expert wakeboards. These boards have aggressive continuous or 3-stage rockers but are much less forgiving.
What's the difference between a cable park wakeboard and a boat wakeboard?
Cable park boards tend to be wider, longer, and softer flexing. They're designed to be easy to spin and fun to press, making rails and jumps a lot easier. Cable boards also have a smooth base with no fins, so you won't have anything to catch on your favorite park features! Boat boards, on the other hand are designed to be more stable in choppy water and poppy across the wakes. This requires a stiffer flex and channels and/or fins in the bottom of the board - each manufacturer has their own design for the shape and placement of these fins!
With regards to sizing a board for yourself, most of our ambassadors preferred a 2-4 CM longer board in the cable park than what they ride for boat.
Can I buy just one wakeboard if I want to ride cable and boat?
Polling our ambassadors on this question, the responses were mixed, but most wakeboarders owned a separate wakeboard for boat and park. While most serious wakeboarders have a different board for boat and park, some do ride and enjoy boards that have some hybrid features such as removable fins, and really like them.
The bottom line recommendation: if you can only afford one board, think about what you'll be riding most, and grab a board that's suited to that style of riding. If you plan to switch it up occasionally, look for a board that has the best features for your primary riding style, but the ability to move between disciplines - eg. the Hyperlite Prizm is a boat focused board that has removable fins so that it could be ridden in the park once in a while.
Do I need a women's-specific wakeboard?
Sometimes it's a little difficult to tell if manufacturers just "shrink and pink" their boards, or if they truly make changes that are really important to women. Our pro team athlete Taylor McCullough rides a women's board for park and a men's board for boat, and she says "Some women’s boards may be the same mold as a men's board but might be a bit lighter or a tiny more flexy."
Other boards may just come in smaller sizes in the women's model. Smaller women will undoubtedly find more options in their preferred sizes in the women's boards, but taller/heavier ladies will find viable options in the men's section as well, though you might not love all of the graphics.
What is a “blem”? Are these still safe to ride?
You may come across so-called “blem” wakeboards (blem is short for blemished). These are boards that have been dented or marred during production or while on display but are still fully functional and usually discounted.
What else should I be thinking about?
Safety. Always wear a Life Jacket or Personal Flotation Device, and we recommend that it is approved by the Coast Guard. If you are looking for something more performance-driven, there are lightweight options available that are NCGA approved.
Coast Guard-approved vests at Evo
Women’s Life Vests at The House
“Too many lives have been lost due to inadequate life jackets. I consider myself a good swimmer, and even as a good swimmer situations come up that you can’t account for and “swim” away from. For example, I blew my eardrum crashing on a toe-side back roll: I was totally disoriented! With the help of my jacket, I was able to lay in the water until the boat could come back for me. Never, never, never compromise your safety = USCG life jacket all the way!” - Natalie Graham
“...always love the Wing wetsuits bc they are Australian CG approved (tested more than USCG) until I crashed so much and really went under water.” - Kim Vincent