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|Before You Buy A Wakeboard
wakeboard you choose will most likely reflect your skill level and the
type/style of boarding you want to do. The different features of the
wakeboard determine how it will perform. Most wakeboard manufacturers
have printed information to help you determine which board is right for
you. But often it's just a small description. Use the topics below to
help you choose a wakeboard before purchase.
|Level of Ability /
Beginners prefer a board with squared edges. This allows more control
and stability for someone who is not ready for big air tricks. More
advanced riders prefer a board with rounded edges because air tricks are
easier to land. Rounded edges allow less of a chance of catching an edge
when landing. They also help the board gain faster speed (allowing for
nice lift off the wakes when jumping).
More On Level/Ability
Boards come in single and twin tipped. Single tipped boards are pointed
at one end and squared off at the other. These boards are best for one
directional riding. Twin tipped boards are rounded at both ends,
allowing for easy transition with switching directions and landing
tricks. The majority of the boards manufactured today are twin tipped.
Width and Length / Rocker
The wakeboard length averages between 120-150 centimeters. Width is
usually between 38-44 centimeters. Longer boards are better for
beginners and offer more stability when starting and turning. If
uncertain of who all may be riding your wakeboard it is better to get a
longer one because longer boards can hold larger people, whereas shorter
boards may only be able to hold smaller/lighter riders
More On Width and Length / Rocker
Rocker is how the board curves/angles at its ends. A higher rocker is
more rounded bottom and allows easier landings with jumping. Lower
rocker is a flatter bottom and allows the rider to accelerate better and
gain easier control over the board. Gradual rocker curve is known as
continuous rocker. Progressive rockers have a gradual curve along the
center and then become more angled under the feet.
Fins are tracking and turning devices located on the bottom of the
wakeboard. Fins help steer the board. In smooth water conditions smaller
and thinner fins work well. In rougher water conditions a larger, wider
fin helps steer the board when it bounces on the water. Wider fins
displace more water and create a suction effect with the board to the
water, which helps the board connect to the water.
You want your wakeboard bindings to be snug but not so tight that they
are painful. If the boot is too tight you run the risk of breaking an
ankle, leg, or knee because the board may not properly release from your
foot upon falling. Many bindings offer a lace up feature that allow
tightening of the boot once your feet are in the boot.
More On Bindings/Boots
Generally bindings are made of a heavy foam material. Bindings generally
have finger holes in the rear that allow for easy foot entrance. Always
wet your bindings before entering them. If necessary use binding
Try Before You Buy
The biggest piece of advice I can offer is to demo a wakeboard before
the purchase. No matter how much research you've done it makes no
difference if you are unhappy with how the wakeboard works with your
style and skill level. Most pro shops will allow you to demo a board for
a fee, however, many shops will remove the cost of the fee in the event
you end up purchasing the board from them.
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