Buying a wakeboard can be pretty daunting if you have never done it before and have no idea what you are looking for.
Going into a store and testing various boards is by far the best thing you can do but we can give you some quick guidelines here to get you started.
Assuming you are a beginner we will start with the simplistic core points of how to buy a wakeboard that will work for you, and move forward from there.
Firstly we need to evaluate your height and your weight, as this will immediately reflect the size of your board. If you are an average height of 170cm (5 and a half feet) with an average weight of 70kg (154pounds) then a board around 135cm – 138cm in length will probably work best for you. The length of your board can give you a solid platform to stand on whilst on the water but if you have it too long it will become to hard to manoeuvre. A longer length will also give you more rocker in the tip and tail. This means when the wakeboard is laid flat on the ground it will go up at each end and look like a banana, this will keep your nose up out of the water and help avoid nasty face plants whilst riding. Selecting a board that is too big will result in a long, slow, heavy and hard learning curve and selecting a board too small could mean many, many face plants.
Boots – Boots are important for stability and support for both your ankles and your board. Boots should be fit nice and snug, not to tight. You don’t want the boots to cut off circulation to your feet or stop you from coming out of them in case of a bad fall. You also don’t want them to be so sloppy on your feet like clowns shoes otherwise every-time you try and turn the board or cross the wake you will fall out of your boots. The Base – On the bottom of each wakeboard are unique channels, rails, fins or moulded fins. Each of these things individually plays an important part on how the board performs and will vary for each level of rider. A flat-bottomed base (no channels or fins) is widely generalised as a board for expert riders or park boards designed to hit rails and kickers. As a beginner you will want to have some traction on the water and ideally any combination of these fins and channels will help your learning curve on top of the water before you step up to hitting rails and kickers in the park.
Price – The price of a wakeboard will vary on many different things from the country you live in to the brand you want to get. Ultimately a good board and boot package will cost approximately between 200 - 500 USD. If you are after a particular professional signature board and boots you could be looking at around 500 - 900 USD
Ultimately the best thing to do is find a wakeboard to suit your needs. As much as it is easy to try a friends board you will want to be careful not to hurt yourself on a board that may be too big or small or not suited for your feet.
Before you buy a wakeboard as a beginner it is always best to head to your local store and try a few out and talk to the local shop pro.
Or if you know what you’re looking at already and want to buy a wakeboard, maybe head over to my wakeboard company and check out our latest boards and gear to strap your self to this summer.