What Size Wakeboard Do I Need?
Wakeboards come in all shapes and sizes. A wakeboard that is the perfect fit for one wakeboard enthusiast may not be the best match for another. But why?
While you might think determining the correct size of wakeboard could come down to some sort of mathematical calculation involving weight and height, the real equation is much more complex. In fact, height is not a factor you even need to consider when asking the question, “What size wakeboard do I need?”
So what do you need to know when trying to figure out the right size of wakeboard for you, your young child, your teen, or even that friend that occasionally joins in your wakeboarding fun? Let’s dive into the various components that should be a part of the decision-making process when purchasing a wakeboard.
What to Look for in a Wakeboard
In general, an advanced rider will need or prefer a different wakeboard than a beginner. That’s not to say a beginner can’t make a splash with a board designed for a more technical rider, but usually the best-fitting board for an individual goes hand-in-hand with the rider’s weight, skill level, and riding style.
Wakeboard Size Chart
Wakeboard sizing begins with matching rider weight to wakeboard length. When it comes to wakeboard sizing charts, numerous versions exist. While some charts get very specific, it is safe to conclude that:
- A rider weight of 100 lbs or less = a wakeboard length of 130 cm or less
- A rider weight of 90-150 lbs = a wakeboard length of 130-134 cm
- A rider weight of 130-180 lbs = a wakeboard length of 135-139 cm
- A rider weight of 170-250 lbs = a wakeboard length of 140-144 cm
- A rider weight of 200-275 lbs or more = a wakeboard length of of 144 cm or more
Why Wakeboard Length Matters
Wakeboards come in different lengths, and that length either provides more or less surface area for a rider. More surface area is beneficial for several reasons, including:
- A longer wakeboard has better floating capabilities. You need to be able to float sufficiently when wakeboarding, and a longer board can sit on top of the water easier than a shorter board.
- The increased surface area allows a rider to use less energy. A short wakeboard requires you to push the board through the water, while a long wakeboard can glide across the surface of the water.
- More surface area gives you more control. And with that control comes more stability, security, and balance.
- Length creates softer landings. The bigger the board, the softer the landing. This is important to remember if you have bad knees that would not be able to handle the hard impact of a landing.
These reasons are why longer wakeboards are the best option for riders learning to wakeboard. They need that surface area as they work to master their wakeboarding skills.
But if you are beyond that beginner’s stage, a wakeboard with length may not be the right fit for you. While a longer board has plenty of pros, those same reasons turn into cons for more advanced riders.
How to Size a Wakeboard According to Your Skill Level
As your skill level progresses, your wakeboard should progress with you.
For example, long wakeboards are heavy. If you are past the basics of attempting to get up and out of the water, it might be time for a shorter board. The weight of a longer board will make it difficult to catch air as you try to perfect spins, jumps, and flips. In other words, less weight equates to less mass to flip and spin.
Essentially, longer boards make you work harder to perform air tricks. Even switching from toeside to heelside can be a challenge with the increased surface area of a long wakeboard, and a shorter board will give you greater edge-to-edge control.
Plus, a smaller board gives you more speed. With a shorter wakeboard, the edge of the board that drags in the water is smaller in size. That smaller edge means less drag and less resistance against the water as you ride, which equates to more speed.
What Size Wakeboard Do I Need for Beginners and Advanced Riders
There is no simple answer to the question – What size wakeboard do I need?
For first-time riders that are new to wakeboarding, consider:
For advanced riders wanting to tear it up on the water, look to these boards by Liquid Force:
Yes, wakeboards are best when individualized to meet the specific skills of a rider. Yet, most families and boat owners need a general wakeboard suitable for all ages and abilities, too.
Unfortunately, you won’t find a one-size-fits-all solution to how to size a wakeboard, but you will find wakeboards that come in every shape and size as you shop around for the ideal board. The key is to keep in mind the needs of your riders.
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Wakeboards come in all shapes and sizes. A wakeboard that is the perfect fit for one wakeboard enthusiast may not be the best match for another. But why? While you might think determining the correct size of wakeboard could come down to some sort of mathematical calculation involving weight and height, the real equation is much more complex. In fact, height is not a factor you even need to consider when asking the question, “What size wakeboard do I need?” So what do you need to know when trying t...