A hugely popular sport for water-loving adrenalin junkies, wakeboarding borrows elements from water skiing, surfing and snowboarding. The diversity of the sport’s heritage is reflected in the incredible array of available wakeboard designs. There are boards for beginners and boards for pros; boards intended especially for the cable park and others that perform best behind a boat. Some have wood cores and others have foam, and the list of technical features on offer is seemingly endless. In this article, we divide the best wakeboards of into a few categories to make your choice a little clearer.
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The latest edition of the Ronix Vault Wakeboard is a classic all-rounder designed for a range of skill levels by pro wakeboard coach Mike Ferraro. It is fiberglass-wrapped from top to bottom for extra strength and features a thinner profile that gives you close contact with the water and reduced swing weight in the air. Advantages for beginners include the grip and release channels on the hull, which provides added stability without generating unnecessary resistance. The board’s rails are asymmetrical (thinner and sharper on the topside rail vs. fuller and vertical on the heelside rail).
This helps to make carving and cutting easier while encouraging newer riders to develop board control in record time. Unlike many beginner boards, you won’t grow out of the Ronix Vault in a hurry. The low friction base offers one of the best glide speeds on the market, while the three-stage rocker provides a more aggressive lift off the wake making it easier to get good air and land jumps. The board... also boasts two fiberglass 1.7” hook fins and a medium flex pattern.
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If you’re new to the sport, the Full Throttle Aqua Extreme Wakeboard is an excellent choice. Specifically designed for beginner and intermediate riders, the board features multiple channels that run from the nose to the tip to provide increased stability and edge control. Two molded-in fins also give you good directional control; while the continuous rocker allows for a comfortable, consistent ride (especially in the turns). All of these features combine to make the basics easier to master so that you build confidence quickly.
Measuring 140 cm long and 42 cm wide, the board is suitable for any rider of 155 pounds or more. A layered glass top sheet protects its crisp gray, black and white graphics; while feather core technology makes for a high-density board that’s as strong as it is lightweight. Your purchase also includes a pair of one-size-fits-most wakeboarding boots with a traditional claw plate, floating EVA toes, molded EVA heels and elastic laces.
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Designed to take new riders to the next level, the Hyperlite State 2.0 Wakeboard boasts an abrupt continuous rocker - making it smooth and predictable on the straights, and fast with just the right amount of pop coming off the wake. The key to this board’s popularity is its asymmetrical design. It pairs a traditional heelside edge with a shorter, more effective topside edge to make wake jumps easier to learn, land and master.
Additionally, toeside footbed risers allow you to create more leverage ahead of a jump; while the thinner molded-in fins create less drag and a better release off the top of the wake. The board is available in 125 cm, 130 cm, 135 cm, 140 cm and 145 cm lengths. All boards pair Hyperlite’s famously lightweight Bio 3 Core with a layered glass monocoque construction that integrates the top and bottom glass into a single, ultra-strong unit.
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The Hyperlite Machete 2018 Wakeboard is one of the most popular new designs for advanced riders and combines elements from the boards of pros Shaun Murray and Rusty Malinoski to give the best performance possible. The variable edge design, for example, is mellow beneath your feet but increasingly sharp and cupped towards the tip and tail - allowing the board to hold aggressively in the turns without catching.
Four removable fins provide flawless control. The three-stage rocker helps you to pop explosively off the wake so that you get the air you need to perform serious jumps. The board itself is narrower than previous incarnations and therefore lighter. Similarly, layered glass construction covers a lightweight, durable Bio 3 Core; while the exclusive Enduro base is built to last through season after season on the water. Choose a 136 cm, 140 cm or 144 cm length.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
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Specially designed for park riding, the Slingshot Windsor 2017 Wakeboard is a competition-level board with a unique flex pattern. It’s stiff in the center, giving you greater stability and increased speed through big kicker landings. At the tips, the board is super soft and flexible, allowing you to lock easily into presses. A hybrid rocker adds to the board’s versatile nature.
The Windsor has a vertically laminated wood core, which provides a bigger rebound and more forgiveness on your landings than most foam core boards. The ballistic park base is purpose-built for the rigors of the cable park, while the Fusion Sidewall edges are made from liquid urethane cured seamlessly into the core. Other pluses include four wake fins and super-light carbon bedrock inserts complete with industry-standard M6 hardware.
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Designed by pro rider Oli Derome, the Slingshot Oli 2017 Wakeboard echoes its namesake’s versatility by excelling in the cable park, on a winch and/or behind a boat. It’s intended for intermediate and advanced riders and is a great choice for those who like to switch between different riding styles. It has a ballistic park base and a vertically laminated wood core.
The medium flex pattern offers plenty of pop off the wake when you’re riding behind a boat; while single NACA channels laser-cut into the tip and tails give the strong edge needed to tackle sliding obstacles in the park. The rocker is a three-stage hybrid. Your board also comes with four wake fins and carbon bedrock inserts (the latter being one of the strongest, lightest mounting systems on the market).
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The Liquid Force Remedy FT Wakeboard is custom-made for aggressive boat riders with a split-tip shape that encourages better grip and cutting ability. It has an exceptionally stiff flex pattern, thanks to a rigid polyurethane core that combines with the three-stage rocker to provide an explosive pop off the top of the wake. Pair that with the fast tail release offered by the triple concave hull, and you have a serious board capable of serious tricks. Four fins keep things under control in the turns, while the low volume rails minimize the chance of catching. Uniquely, the brand’s FlexTrack binding track moves with you through every twist and turn.
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