The 9 Best Wakeboards of 2020

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The Rundown

Best Overall: Ronix RXT Wakeboard at Amazon

"Rides fast and lively, with softer landings and bigger flights."

Best Value: Hyperlite Murray Pro Wakeboard at Amazon

"A versatile, intermediate-to-advanced wakeboard."

Best for Beginners: Connelly Reverb Wakeboard at Amazon

"Hits the sweet spot that first-timers need."

Best for Intermediates: Liquid Force Raph Wakeboard at Buy Wake

"Delivers features that target the skill set of most intermediate and advanced riders."

Best for Experts: Slingshot Sports Bishop Wakeboard at Amazon

"Delivers a loose, more playful feel."

Best for Cable Parks: O'Brien The Fix Wakeboard at O'Brien

"Features a thick profile and long length to improve flex parameters."

Best for Kids: Connelly Surge Wakeboard at Amazon

"Delivers a smooth and stable ride, with enough forgiveness to ease landings."

Best for Learning Tricks: Hyperlite State 2.0 Wakeboard at Amazon

"Geared to help newbie boat riders quickly advance their skill set."

Best for Women: Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight Board at Amazon

"Aligns with the unique physiology of female wakeboarders."

Our Top Picks

01 of 09

Best Overall: Ronix RXT Wakeboard

A leading brand in wakeboards, Ronix took their much-loved 2019 RXT model and upgraded it with a new look, a bigger size to let the board float and glide like a dream, and the brand's “secret sauce" — blackout technology. While Ronix won’t divulge what goes into the board’s core construction, riders should take comfort that it’s their most advanced core ever. This translates into one of the smoothest, most responsive boat boards ever.

It rides fast and lively, with softer landings and bigger flights, and includes a magic carpet base to deliver speed and response. A continuous rocker shape further amps the overall smoothness and provides consistent pop off the wake. Configured for continuous riding styles, the RXT comes with one-inch fiberglass ramp fins, as well as eight-inch fiberglass “free agent” fins for optimal control even on heavy currents, with saw-cut channels for easy release and saw cut rails for ample traction. Dial the perfect fit by choosing a board length that matches your weight, and you’ll be upping your game on the water. It’s also one of Ronix's most lightweight boards, which helps with control and agility.

02 of 09

Best Value: Hyperlite Murray Pro Wakeboard

Pro-surfer Shaun Murray’s signature model, the Murray Pro from Hyperlite delivers a versatile, intermediate-to-advanced wakeboard without the sticker shot that typically comes with a high-end ride. The board’s shape was based on Murray’s 20 years of wakeboarding experience and comes with a three-stage rocker without any flat spots to provide massive boosts off the wake, with a center-landing spine and a variable edge design to open the board up to all riding styles. This slightly stiff board leans more toward boat riding than cable parks, but its rounded edges and sharpening underfoot lets you hold an edge in any condition. Even more, the B103 Core and CarboNetX construction make it light and easy to spin, and four, eight-inch P-Wing fins let you glide and control like a pro.

03 of 09

Best for Beginners: Connelly Reverb Wakeboard

The Connelly Reverb wakeboard hits the sweet spot that first-timers need: an approachable boat-centric profile that’s easy to pick up and even easier to advance, and a price point that doesn't feel like a heavy investment. It employs a subtle, three-stage rocker profile to help beginners understand the benefits of the tech (easier to pop off the wake and execute controlled landings) without overdoing it or sacrificing on-the-water edge control and glide. A deep center channel positions the rider slightly lower in the water to provide more surface area for the shaped edges, with a full-length center spine to deliver confident, flat landings when you launch into the air. It comes with 4 x 4-inch molded fins as well as two, bolt-on one-inch plastic fins for added control. Though Connelly ranks the board for intermediates, first-time wakeboarders report that this ride quickly became their gateway into the sport.

04 of 09

Best for Intermediates: Liquid Force Raph Wakeboard

Liquid Force 2020 Raph Wakeboard

Courtesy of Buy Wake

https://www.buywake.com/liquid-force-2020-raph-wakeboard

 

Intermediate riders looking to perfect tricks in the cable park will want a board that’ll challenge them. And the Raph, Raph Derome’s pro model, from Liquid Force delivers features that target the skill set of most intermediate and advanced riders, with a medium-soft overall ride. Rather than employing channels on the tip or tail, it favors a smooth, loose ride to help you line up and hit features instinctively, with 2D flex zones in the tips to let the board bend around the rails for optimal control. You also get the durability cable park riders need, thanks to the LF-exclusive “grind” base as well as their Liquid Rails to let you play without damaging your ride. The progressive three-stage rocker profile provides pop, with a finless single concave hull and a light, FSCTM-certified wood core. Available in three lengths (142, 147, and 152 cms), it can accommodate riders from 130 to more than 240 pounds.

Continue to 5 of 9 below.
05 of 09

Best for Experts: Slingshot Sports Bishop Wakeboard

Slingshot The Bishop Wakeboard 2020

Courtesy of Board Co.

https://www.boardco.com/slingshot-blake-bishop-wakeboard-2020 

Slingshot Sports' park wakeboard, The Bishop, is as bold and big as its bright graphics, designed by pro riders Wesley Mark Jacobsen and Black Bishop. An upgrade from the popular 2019 model, the new Bishop ditched the belly channels to deliver a looser, more playful feel that might hinder first-timers but will push expert-level riders to execute pro-level tricks. The three-stage rocker slightly slows speed when in water to help you line up your next launch or rail slide, and works well to lock the board into place when pressing down on obstacles — with the brand’s signature flex tips that make nose and tail presses more responsive when grinding. The whole thing rides on an atomic wood core that’s been vertically laminated for favorable flex, as well as carbon inserts that make the rig light, flexible, and strong. The brand also used the same tech found in high-end skateboard wheels into the board’s rails to amp dampening, with a .07-mm ballistic base that’ll stand up to years of abuse without creating drag. And though it’s primarily a park-focused board, its stiff belly adds serious rigidity to hold shape under the kind of pressure you’re likely to encounter on big kickers or when riding behind a boat at speed.

06 of 09

Best for Cable Parks: O'Brien The Fix Wakeboard

O’BRIEN THE FIX WAKEBOARD

Courtesy of O'Brien

https://obrien.com/product/2020-obrien-the-fix-wakeboard/ 

Following the "bigger is better" trend in park boards, O’Brien updated The Fix by tweaking the thickness profile and length of the board to improve flex parameters — making the ride even better than its already-popular 2019 model. On the water, you’ll feel loose and flowy, helping reduce fatigue and more easily aligning your next trick, whether it’s launching off kickers or pulling a super-technical trick on the rails. It also cushions landings significantly, with a V-Loc tip and tail and a slightly concave belly to lock into flexes when grinding. The progressive, continuous rocker profile adds vertical pop that’s more predictable than a traditional, three-stage rocker. A paulownia wood core offers max flex without adding heft, while impact-resistant urethane rail sidewalls wrap around the entire board edge to protect the core. Finally, a fully sintered high-density polyethylene base will endure season after season of park abuse.

07 of 09

Best for Kids: Connelly Surge Wakeboard

Young wakeboarders need a board that delivers a smooth and stable ride, with enough forgiveness to ease landings and enough camber to provide pop — Connelly delivers precisely that with the Surge. Molded 4 x 4-inch fins provide moderate grip for both boat and cable park riding, with a removable center fin that lets the board track straight until you’re skilled enough to control the board without it. A full spine lends to smooth, easy, flat landings, with a subtle three-stage rocker profile that provides pop without over-engineering the advantage. Its modest-density closed-cell poly foam core keeps things light, while the laminated nexus shell adds durability that’s bolstered with UV protection. Available at a fixed 125-cm length, the Surge accommodates riders up to 130 pounds. Bonus: some online retailers offer package deals for both the Surge and a pair of boots.

08 of 09

Best for Learning Tricks: Hyperlite State 2.0 Wakeboard

Dubbed an entry-level wakeboard, the State 2.0 from Hyperlite is geared to help newbie boat riders quickly advance their skill set. It employs a traditional asymmetrical design that delivers a shorter, more effective edge on the rider’s toe-side, making it easier to make wake jumps. A smooth, toe-side transition holds edges confidently thanks to the thin-profile molded-in fin, creating less drag without sacrificing control. Learn how to apply pressure to create pop, and the footbed risers will respond intuitively, while a traditional heel-side edge affords a natural riding position, letting you generate stability and speed. Slightly exaggerated tip and tail rockers partner with a continuous rocker profile to add more pop without sapping speed. Better still, the board will stick with you season after season thanks to its layered fiberglass build and Hyperlite’s monocoque construction, which integrates the top fiberglass into the bottom for a more durable ride.

Continue to 9 of 9 below.
09 of 09

Best for Women: Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight Board

Ronix took one of their all-purpose wakeboards as the point of inspiration for the women-specific Quarter ‘Til Midnight, making things lighter, more responsive, and open to softer landings that align with the unique physiology of female wakeboarders. The hybrid continuous rocker profile delivers pop without sucking speed, and allows you to switch from smooth, easy-to-initiate turns to high-speed cuts with aplomb. Take-offs from the wake are both fast and predictable, with a modest flex construction to ease returning to the water. It comes with four, one-inch fiberglass ramp fins and boasts a new, thinner overall profile for slicing across the wake. The Ronix wakeboard comes in three lengths (129, 134, and 138 cms), and can accommodate intermediate and advanced riders that weigh up to 185 pounds.

What to Look for in a Wakeboard

Design We’re not talking about aesthetics here, although there are options there, too. Instead, the design of the wakeboard goes hand-in-hand with the level of wakeboarders using it. Some boards, for example, include asymmetrical heels to help their newbie riders master control of the board quickly, as well as grip-and-release channels on hulls for added stability. 

Cost If you’re an advanced wakeboarder who heads out into the surf every day, take the time—and maybe spend a little money—to find the wakeboard that’s exactly perfect for you. Beginners who only go occasionally might want to look into a cheaper but still well-designed model before moving on to a more expensive and more advanced one. 

Wakeboarding Style Whether you like to cable ski or straight-up wakeboard, or you stick with one stance or switch between them, how you like to ride is going to influence your choice of board. Hybrid boards are great if you’re all over the map, but if you’re prone to one stance, it’s best to find a dedicated board that will help you excel as much possible.

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