The WakeMAKERS Wakeboard Buyer's Guide is the most extensive document on everything wakeboard. In this buyer's guide, we will cover everything you as the consumer needs to know before pulling the trigger on your next board. After all, finding the right board for you is imperative to making the most of your time on the water.
Simply put, a wakeboard rocker refers to the “U” shape of the board from tip to tail. Each one provides a different ride for its user and there can be numerous pros and cons to each. There are three different types of rockers for a wakeboard; continuous, 3-stage, and hybrid, and depending on your riding style we can help you find the right one.
The original rocker shpe. Continuous rockered boards have one uninterrupted curve from tip to tail. The continuous shape is great for surfy carves, a fast and smooth feeling ride that is more forgiving, and softer landings. However, a continuous rocker won't generate as much pop off the wake as a 3-stage rocker board. But the continuous shape is great on bigger rampy wakes thanks to the way water is distributed off the bottom of the board on landings. Your knees and back will thank you, as landing impacts won’t be so heavy since you will be sailing smoothly into those landings.
A 3-stage rocker has three levels that blend together to make the shape of the board, usually a more dramatic tip and tail with a flat middle section. The three levels work together to force more of your energy to pop straight up off of the wake. The added hang time does come with its drawbacks, particularly, landings will be harder because of the 3-stage’s flat bottom shape. This style of board also tends to ride lower in the water creating a plowing effect, so most 3-stage rocker boards have added channels to the base to help with water flow and to ride faster on the water. Depending on how aggressive a board’s 3-stage rocker is can dictate how explosive the board will pop off the wake.
Hybrid rocker wakeboards (as the name implies) combine characteristics of both continuous and 3-stage rocker wakeboards to blend the best of each into one shape. A firm “flater” center with a more flexible nose and tail rocker lines. Allowing for big wake hits with smoother and more forgiving landings. Each hybrid is unique and no two will ever feel the same, with some riding like a continuous rocker and others like a 3-stage. A happy middle ground for those that like to ride higher on the water and still get straight up pop off the wake.
Wakeboard Fin Setup:
Designed to make learning easier the shorter toeside edge makes rolling over onto your toeside edge feel more natural. This also makes toeside jumps easier to learn since there is less of a rail to hold. Designed to also have less drag in the water, so beginners can learn at slower speeds.
Molded vs. Removable
As the name suggests, ‘removable fins’ allow the rider to unscrew and remove fins from the board. If you plan to ride obstacles at a cable park, the lack of fins allow your board to slide over obstacles catch-free. The lack of fins will also give the board a loose, slippery feeling on the water. Granting the ability to perform snowboard-style butters and surface spins with ease.
This style of fin is molded into the base of the board along with any channels or features, ergo not removable. Most all boards with molded fins are built to accommodate a wide range of riding styles and situations. Along with the strength that molded fins offer, there is also the convenience of never having to double-check the tightness of your fin screws.
The shape of fins on your wakeboard as well as their length and depth will play a big role on how the board feels for the rider.
Bigger fins will give you more grip on the water and better control of the board in rough waters
Because one board shape is not going to be perfect for everyone, companies have created multiple options for you to be able to choose from. To help you find the right one for yourself, you need to be able to determine what type of rider you are: beginner, intermediate, advanced, younger, older, weekend warrior or everyday shredder? Then: what do you want your board to do? Are you looking for hang time, or do you want carvability? The best bet in deciding on a new board is going to be through personal experience or talking with an expert at WakeMakers.