If you take a look at the wakeboard scene you will quickly notice that it is growing inexorably. One cable after the other shoots out of the ground at German lakes and the number of people on the jetties increases from year to year. One event after the other celebrates its premiere and thanks to the media attention the sport becomes more and more attractive for companies. We are very happy about this development and follow the action in the scene with big eyes, because we also feel at home in wakeboarding and contribute our part to the big picture.You can also read Best Bowriders of 2018 for greater details.
Even though your interest in this young sport has been aroused, but you don’t really know how to start and get into it, we have collected some tips and tricks for the first steps.
If you have never been on a wakeboard, kiteboard, or something of the same, it is recommended to borrow materials from the respective wakeboard system. Just test the feeling and the handling on the water. It should be clear to you relatively quickly whether the sport inspires you and you want to get deeper into it or whether you leave it at the first attempt. There will also be a suitable wakeboard facility near you.
If you are already one step further and have done the first laps on the water and have been packed by the world at the cable, now it is time for your own equipment. The rental items at most of the facilities will help you to do the first laps on the water and to learn the first steps, but will already reach their limits afterwards. The difference between rental boards with rental bindings and a more or less professional wakeboard including bindings is extreme.
Most systems in Germany work in the area of rental boards with so-called “Easy Up Boards”. These boards are made of extremely thick polystyrene and offer extreme buoyancy, which is worth its weight in gold at the first attempts. In addition, these wakeboards are equipped with fins to offer the board and you a simpler guidance and therefore easier handling on the water. The bindings are reminiscent of sandals, as you simply slip your feet into two loops. This has the advantage that you get the board off your feet faster in case of a fall. For the beginning these boards are excellent suitable and give the perfect support at the necessary places where it often fails.
Nevertheless you will quickly notice that the boards and bindings have only a small range of use. Even the banal turning on the water is only conditionally possible with these boards. So it’s time for your first own wakeboard. Now you are spoilt for choice, because at first sight the product range seems huge and completely opaque, peppered with countless marketing terms and technologies that are processed in the boards and written by the manufacturers thick and bold on the packaging. But don’t worry, we will help you.
First you should think about the size of your board
This depends primarily on your body weight. The heavier you are, the bigger or longer the wakeboard should be to provide enough buoyancy. In rare cases the body size should also be taken into account. If your body size and weight deviate strongly from the norm, your body size should be taken into account. The standard measurements can be found in the following table.
Next you should think about the use of your board
Wakeboards have different characteristics. Depending on whether you want to use your board behind the boat or on the cable.
At the cable
If you mainly want to ride a cable, you will want to ride over one or the other obstacle sooner or later. Your board on the underside should be processed accordingly.
You must not have fins attached to the board when riding over the obstacles. On the one hand the ramps can be damaged and on the other hand the fins break off relatively fast and are not cheap in the new acquisition. With most boards these fins are mounted with screws at the board and can be removed in few minutes. In this case the board can be used on obstacles.
Another important factor is the so called Grindbase. This is processed on the underside of the wakeboard and protects the underside from excessive wear caused by obstacles. You should also consider the nature of the channels. Channels are notches on the underside of the wakeboard, which increase the stability on the water. The smoother a board is from below, the better it behaves on the respective obstacles, but control on the water suffers.
The deeper and more pronounced the channels are, the easier the handling on the water and especially in curves becomes.
The next question is the flex. Flex describes flexibility. Boards that are used on the cable and take the path over obstacles should be softer to have a better feeling on the ramps.
If a board is only used behind the boat, other requirements are made than when it is used on the cable. The wakeboard should have fins in any case. If these can be fastened optionally with screws, this is absolutely sufficient. No Molded-Inn Fins have to be used.
In addition, the board should have channels that are as pronounced as possible.
Through the interaction of fins and channels, the board guarantees the greatest possible stability on the water. Due to the enormous rear wave, a board with a smooth underside and no fins is not advisable.
The Grindbase, which is indispensable for parkboards, is not needed for pure bootboards. When waking behind the boat no obstacles are used and therefore this special protection for the underside of the board is not needed.
Wakeboards that are preferably used behind the boat usually offer a comparatively low flexibility. This is because the power of bootboards should be transmitted directly and not delayed.