Wakeboarding. One of the most fun, versatile, and cool water sports out there. It’s a combination of so many things you find out on the water, and for that reason it has grown rapidly in popularity over the years. Today, we are going to help cut down on the clutter that that very same popularity has helped to produce by helping you wade through the best and most popular wakeboards of 2019 in our buying guide. In addition to giving you the in ebbs and flows of them and all of the ins and outs, we’ll also be reviewing the top wakeboards that you can find out on the market. So, let’s get our life jackets on and get to this!
Top Wakeboards Comparison Chart
|Name||Size (cm)||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Hyperlite Motive 140 Cm Wakeboard||140||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Mystique Hyperlite Women’s 135 CM Wakeboard||135||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Full Throttle Aqua Extreme 140 CM Wakeboard–||140||$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Rave Sports Lyric 141 CM Wakeboard||141||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Humanoid Huxtable 2015 Wakeboard||$$$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Ronix Code 22 Intelligent Core Men’s Wakeboard||135-143||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|O’Brien System Wakeboard||119-140||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|RAVE Sports Jr. Impact Wakeboard||122||$$||Check Price on Amazon|
|Hydroslide 56 Inch Wakeboard||142||$||Check Price on Amazon|
Wakeboards Buying Guide
What is Wakeboarding?
If you don’t know, now you know. Well, you should know after this! Wakeboarding is a combination of several different things, all of which are elements brought over from water sports or other so-called ‘extreme’ sports. It combines snowboarding with jet skiing and water skiing to give you an awesome time on the water and help you waste awaya day full of fun and memories. This makes it very easy to do, since you just need a board, a boat, and a cable. From there, the rest is up to you. And we’ll be helping you take care of 1/3 of that problem in locating you the ideal board for your wants and needs.
Perhaps the most important of all the elements when it comes to picking the best possible wakeboard for you is to examine the size. Without the proper sizing, you are not going to do very well at all. If you have ever went kayaking, you will know this all too well. If you’re just a couple of pounds over the weight capacity, you begin to tip over wildly. This is much the same with wakeboarding. Wakeboard sizes should be based on your skill as well as your weight. The range in size goes from anywhere between 130 and 144 cms. That doesn’t sound like much, but that is a difference of about 51 inches to nearly 57 inches. That is about half a foot, a significant difference that can determine whether you are stable or just altogether unable to keep balanced. If you are bigger, you’ll probably want to lean toward the longer end of the spectrum. But it all just depends on how well you ride and what kind of ride you want. Keep in mind who all will be using the board, too. If you are going to be buying one board for the entire family, then you have to make sure that the largest individual is taken care of. If you tailor it toward the smallest person, then you might end up with a poor experience for the others. However, if you are going to be purchasing it for yourself, then you are free to choose what you like the best. It’s much easier for a small rider to get used to a big board than it is for a large rider to get used to a small board. To get the most accurate measurements and readings for you, consult with instructions, manuals, and materials that are provided by the sellers. This way, you know what they recommend for your size so that you can get the utmost from your day on the water.
If you want to ride at a slow, leisurely pace or a fast pace, then you will want to have a different setup entirely. This directly correlates to the size of the board. While it’s vital that we tell you to just get used to riding one first, this is still worth pointing out. If you want a slower ride, then a shorter board is going to be the one for you. Despite going slower, however, these boards are much more adept at letting you do tricks and flips of all sorts. This is because the shortened length and the lessened weight make them easy to manipulate, letting you pull off those cool tricks. A longer board also has its perks. A larger board is going to be easier to control while simply riding across the water and will also be faster simply because the surface area is large and thus it is able to pick up more speed. When you attempt to do tricks on a bigger board, you will lose a little bit of speed due to increased drag. They are also going to be heavy, too heavy for some riders, who want to do tricks, so if that is you and you aren’t very big or strong, a shorter one is right for you. So, to put it succinctly: smaller boards are better for tricks and going slower, while bigger boards are better for going fast but staying on the water. Neither of them are great for leisure, per se, but the bigger board is likely to be the best bet if you are looking to go in that route.
Style of Board
Wakeboards can be put into two fairly simple categories. A board either is going to be called a “park” or a “boat.” The two are different and they need to be acknowledged as such in order to ensure you have the best possible time while on the water. You can use one for the other purpose, but there is a very good reason why they have been designated as different, so it would be wise if you heeded that and respected it as such.
A park board is meant for those that are going to be having a more extreme time in the water. This means if you are the kind of person that will be coming up against ramps and all sorts of rails and other jumps, then this is the board for you. A park board is made to withstand this punishment by looking and feeling different from a boat board. The edges are precise, allowing you to cut corners sharper than boat boards. The fact that they are almost always smaller also helps in this regards, since less weight means better turning. The base of these boards are going to be reinforced to sustain that beating, as well as being smooth. This means there aren’t any juts sticking out that can end up being damaged, leaving you far less likely to end up with a board that might not be able to be used any longer. This type of board is also light due to it being quite thin, leading them to be flexible compared to their counterparts. This flexibility means that they can be tossed and turned hard when cutting corners and can come off the ground (“pop”) higher than others since they don’t deal with the wake as badly.
A boat board is going to be taking the wake, unlike the park board, from the boat. What this ends up doing is making boat boards incredibly smooth and easy when landing. They also aren’t going to be nearly as flexible as park boards, since they use the wake while doing this. Because they don’t have to go through the beating of hitting ramps and rails, you won’t find this type with a whole lot of reinforcement being made. So, if you are looking to have a bit of a Sunday stroll of sorts, this is more of the kind of board you will be wanting to turn your attention to. With that said, it’s easy to see why it’s not recommended to go on ramps with this type, since they are much more likely to get damaged. This type is also usually heavier as well, making tricks and turning a little bit harder to pull off.
The hybrid board is fairly new to the scene, but it is capturing a loyal audience due to the immense amount of versatility and variety that it is able to bring to the table. The hybrid boards seeks to marry the best of the park with the best of the boat boards, giving you the opportunity to get the positives of each without going through as many of the lows. If you don’t have the money for two boards, and let’s face it, not many of us do or would be willing to buy two, this is the way to go if you want to have a mixture of both styles of riding. Instead of having high or no flex, hybrid boards are going to reside in the middle of the scale. They will flex well enough to help your cornering and will also pop up with you regardless of whether or not you have the wake. Add in that they have some reinforcement to them, and you are also able to do tricks off of ramps and rails that you can’t do without worrying about damage with your boat board.
Parts of the Board
There are quite a few parts of the board that should be talked about, so that is what we will do in this section. Each of them have an affect on how well your boat will ride, so all of them are important when trying to select the best potential option for you and your budget.
To many, this is the most vital part of the entire board. It’s not where you stand, but it’s the part that is under your feet. Just think about your shoes for a moment. They can look look a million bucks on top, but if they don’t have the right traction beneath you, they are worthless. Much in the same way, the bottom of the wakeboard is essential to delivering the best time. The base can have many looks: smooth, concave, V-spine, and channeled. Each of them impact the way you can ride the board. A board that is smooth gives you the most control you can possibly have. This is ideal for a new rider, since you want to try and get the basics down before graduating up to bigger and better things. Better to learn on a board that is fairly easy to control than one that you are out of control on and can’t handle. The concave base on a board is going to make popping much easier than with other types. It does this by using a circular intentions in the base, which cuts down on the suction of the water, allowing it to ride higher. The V-spine base is goes to allow you to ‘carve’ easier and will also make landing tough tricks easier than ever. Carving is just basically turning from one side to the next, a skill that could be quite valuable to you in a crowded bit of water. And finally, channeled bases are going to yield the rider a smoother landing. It accomplishes this feat by including grooves that force the water outward. This helps dissipate the waves and means it’s easier on you when you land. Depending on how you like to ride, this is a big choice and one that you need to make wisely with you and/or others’ needs in mind.
The fin isn’t the biggest piece of the puzzle, but it is still very much a necessity to have and to talk about. The fin, just like what you see with paddleboards and with surfboards, too, are used to keep the board pointed in a straight line. Without them, you’d be like a ship without a sail or a captain. Rudderless. It does this by creating drag on the board, thus creating a stable feel to the ride. Some fins are going to be more stable than others. A wider fin is going to be more stable than a thinner fin would be. If you’re new to riding, then getting a board with as wide a fin as possible would best suit you. If you are more advanced, then a thinner fin is the way to go. It won’t be great for stability, but it will make rotating out on the water so much more simple and effective.
There is also another issue with fins, and that is over whether you want them to be able to be detached or not. Detachable fins can be attached by using either screws or channels. Because most boards have two sets of fins, you have the chance to customize the feel to you if they are detachable. This means you could make it so the board is less stable or more stable, depending on the day, the conditions, and the rider. In general, it will be cheaper to find a board with fixed fins, since everything is just pre-manufactured. If you do find yourself taking fins off, you have to be careful while doing so. You also have to make sure that the screws are tightened before you get out and ride. If you don’t get them in, they will sink to the bottom and you’ll never see them again. That’s the fin, too, which would be a massive bummer for you, your friends, and your family. It’s possible to sand down your fins should they get damaged and then fill them in.
The rocker is the part of the board that gives the board its shape. All wakeboards have a curve to them, but the amount of arc to that very curve will help to determine what kind of ride you will get. There are two main types of rockers that you will find: continuous and three-stage. Continuous rockers are for those of us that like to stay directly on top of the water more than off of it. This type’s name makes sense in that light. It is able to do this by having a large curve to it- a ‘continuous’ one- that makes it easy to turn continuously. This type is great for going really fast and is also really easy to keep control over. Three-stage rockers are going to look differently. They will have more bend to them and will look much like a cup would. Because of that, these boards are going to produce a lot more air than the continuous version would be able to bring to you. As a result, they are harder to handle, since they don’t have the edges that the continuous ones do. This type is also going to be harder on your as you land, since you don’t get a lot of ‘padding,’ if you will. They are also slow to regather up their speed, so there are trade offs to be had with each. If you want big air, then a three-stage rocker is the way to go. Otherwise, stick to the ground with a continuous rocker.
We talked about flex a little bit earlier, but we’ll go into a bit more detail right here. This term is going to determine how much the board flexes. Flexibility is a big factor if you want to pop and get higher into the air. It’s also very helpful when you are turning corners or trying to carve in and out from side to side. Some boards will flex more than others, and it’s more about how you feel on them than anything. If you don’t feel comfy, then you should look in another direction for your ultimate choice.
The materials that are used to compose the board are also very much worth a look. As a rider, you need to look and think about what you expect from the ride. Are you looking for a board that is going to be super performance based or do you want a board that will hold up for a long time? If you want durability, then you should go with foam. Foam will take much more of a beating and it will also be lighter, meaning you don’t have to worry about lugging it around or having to put as much into lifting it on the water. However, wood is preferred by those that want to find more flexibility in their ride. This will give you more pop up and will also make turning easier, as discussed in the section above, so you should take a long hard look at which style fits you best. It is possible to get a long lasting wood board for sure, you’ll just have to pay a little bit more for it.
If you find yourself here, you should contemplate for a moment about the kind of rider you are. Determining if you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced rider is paramount to picking out the right board. The size you need is going to depend on this distinction. As you get better, you can go to a smaller board. But as a beginner, the bigger the board you can find, the better it will be for you. A board that is longer isn’t going to be as responsive to movements, however, so if you are progressing up the ladder, you’ll likely find this fact a tad bit frustrating. Be mindful when shopping for boards. Each board should have number that rates how the skill level of the board. If the board is to your liking, then you can consider it. If not, then you would be best served to look elsewhere for your best pick.
Price and Durability
Unfortunately for some, buying a wakeboard is not the most cheap thing you can find yourself doing. There are a lot of cheap items in the sports world, but when it comes to water sports it’s rarely going to be able to present you with a very cheap option. And that’s the case with these boards. Be prepared to spend some money for them, especially if you want to go a level or two higher. The better the board is, the more you are going to pay. But note that this does not automatically mean it will last longer. Should you fail to keep the board in good shape, you will see it lose out on lifespan. Also, if you don’t ride it properly or use it in ways that it was not designed to do, it will also suffer and will not last as long. A lot of it is common sense, and if you can keep to that, then your dollars and cents will be taken care of.
Let’s Review The Top 9 Wakeboards of 2019!
Hyperlite Motive 140 Cm Wakeboard
Kicking off our list is a decently priced option from Hyperlite. This board has a continuous rocker that is designed to let you turn with great speed throughout. It’s not a huge board but also isn’t among the smallest, either, so it will be good for middle sized people and those that just want a more neutral ride. The deck is made out of fiberglass to enhance the durability of it all, and it also comes with molded fins that you won’t have to worry with changing in and out. This is an ideal board for all ages and sizes since it’s so easy to get it to pop up off of the water. As skills improve, you could go up a level, but you don’t need to be concerned with learning because it’s built with that in mind. The boot should accommodate most sizes, though it will be large on smaller feet.
- Enhanced durability
- Good for beginners to get pop on
- Easy to turn
- Boot might be too large for some
Mystique Hyperlite Women’s 135 CM Wakeboard
If you are looking for something specifically for a lady, then the Mystique is a way to go. This 135cm board is a little bit smaller than most, but still offers a great deal of features. Because it is light and thin, it’s super easy to maneuver about the water. It’s got a three-stage rocker that will make the ride a little bit rougher on you, but it does mean that big tricks are much more possible out of it. With four removable fins, it’s also very customizable for you, letting you tailor your ride to your own liking. It also comes with a one year warranty from the manufacturer, leading to increased confidence and helping contribute to why this board is so well received in the industry. Other than riding a little rough for newbies, the only potential issue appears to be the boot not fitting snug enough for some.
- Easy to maneuver
- Big tricks doable
- Awesome looks for the lady in your life
- Tad rough
- Boot doesn’t stay tight
Full Throttle Aqua Extreme 140 CM Wakeboard
Sticking within the same price range is the Full Throttle offering. This 140 CM board is going to not only look great but feel great on the water, with it’s V-spine on the bottom and it continuous rocker. With these features combined, this board will be great at carving in and out while on the water, all the while letting you turn as freely and effortlessly as possible. Despite the fact it is in the middle of the size chart, a lot of work has been done to construct this board with materials that are light, and that has paid off for them. With that said, this board has been reinforced, making you available to try out tricks on ramps and rails without picking up too much unwanted damage. All types of riders, from newbies to advanced riders, can get a good, fun ride out of this board, and it shows. The bindings don’t hold the feet in very well, so this problem is one to think about.
- Very light board
- Easy carving and turning
- Reinforced means it can go on ramps
- Bindings don’t hold feet that well
Rave Sports Lyric 141 CM Wakeboard
The Lyric from Rave has to be one of the best looking boards out there for sure, but there is much more than that to it. This board is a board that is made with aggressive, hard riding users in mind. This board has a three-stage rocker to it, meaning you can expect it to get some serious air for you while on it. It also has progressive edges to it, making you more free to ride as hard as you can while keeping the board protected. This board, it’s worth mentioning, is made for individuals over 125 lbs. So if you are introducing wakeboarding to the kids or are smaller, then you should look toward something else entirely. This board has a boot that has multiple points that you can adjust from, helping to alleviate some of the issues others have on the market when you can’t get the boot tight enough. Some don’t like it because it feels heavy for them, so that is possible deterrent for you.
- Ideal for aggressive riding
- Lots of air
- Locks down your feet
- Heavier than most
Humanoid Huxtable 2015 Wakeboard
This is going to represent a step up in quality compared to the others so far, but with that also comes a rise in the amount of money it will cost. These boards just look awesome, like a surfboard would with great designs, and that’s just a sliver of their appeal. This board is perfect if you are going to be going up and hitting the ramps and rails. It’s also going to be the kind of board that you want if you are looking to take your ride from good to great, with many using it to help them take it to the next level of riding. With that said, it’s smooth thanks to the continuous rocker, meaning you’ll be able to carve and turn much more freely than ever thought. It also comes in a range of sizes, letting you get the most out of your ride without needing to sacrifice by not fitting it to you. On top of all of that, it’s got a number of flashy colors that catch the eye for you, so it’ll do that for you whether you’re on the water or off of it.
- Will improve your ride
- Great for rails
- Easy to turn
- Pretty pricey
Ronix Code 22 Intelligent Core Men’s Wakeboard
Despite its lower than average price for our list, this offering from Ronix is also among the best looking boards we have seen. It’s just, in a word, clean to look at, and it’s got a lot more than that going on. By blending wood and foam together, this board’s core is able to extract the best of both materials to create a superior ride. The board is fairly thin, making it able to repel those hard landings and give you more control since the weight is lessened as a result of the design. It offers a lot of pop right off the water, while also giving you the chance to get on the rails and have a blast, too. For the money, there might not be a better choice in terms of versatility, such is the makeup of this beast. It’s just a consistent board that you can really get used to it, and as such, it’s a board that is well worth your time to take a good, long look at buying.
- Blended core offers smooth ride
- Thinness yields soft landings
- Exceptional looks
O’Brien System Wakeboard
If you’re looking for a board that is inexpensive and has a lot of different sizes available, then this is one way you could go. This board is best served for intermediate riders that have already gotten some experience on the waves before. With a continuous rocker, though, it’s not the worst selection ever if you have guests over and want to take them for a ride on the lake. It’s smooth and able to handle the bumps easily, allowing riders the chance to learn and work their way toward the advanced status. The foam core makes the board very durable as well, leading you to rest easy that it will hold up well over a long period of time. Just remember that it won’t be capable of flexing quite as much, so it could be a little stiff. This is the biggest reason why this board is suggested for intermediate to advanced riders over beginners. There are some concerns over fiberglass sticking out from the sides of the board, so you’ll have to be careful when riding.
- Lots of sizes to pick from
- Foam core makes it durable
- Pretty inexpensive option
- Fiberglass sticks out
- Doesn’t flex much for beginners
RAVE Sports Jr. Impact Wakeboard
If you are buying specifically for a younger rider, then this is the sort of board you will want to turn toward. This board is built with stability in mind, taking the continuous rocker and wedding it to a very wide board. What this does is make it so much easier to stand on. On top of that, they have made it into an oval, which helps to increase the surface area and means it will be smoother to ride. It’s an ideal board for a first timer that’s not the most agile because of this, provided that they are under 125 lbs, of course. The boots are adjustable at two different points, giving you the chance to have some freedom with the way your feet feel while on the board. One of the chief issues with this board is down to its lack of durability. It’s just not going to be able to hold up through a ton of torment, so keep that in mind. That shouldn’t be a huge problem since it is a beginner’s board for the most part, however.
- Great starter board
- Very stable ride
- Adjustable boots
- Not all that durable
Hydroslide 56 Inch Wakeboard
Another board that is geared toward the beginner or intermediate rider, the Hydroslide is a board that is super easy to get on and then ride. Not all boards are that way, so that is really saying something. It’s one of the longer boards we have seen on this list, making it very much ideal for the larger rider in the family. It’s also a good board because of the added size and weight for staying put in the water and going really fast, so if that is your thing, this would be the board for you. It comes in at a low price point, too, further promoting the board as one that you should be looking into if you are new to the game of wakeboarding. There have been complaints about their (lack of) customer service and the bindings used are not the best at all, so that is why they are toward the bottom of our list.
- Easy to ride
- Very fast
- Great for bigger riders
- Terrible customer service
- Bindings are not up to standard
Conclusion And Final Wakeboards Recommendations
There is a lot more to wakeboarding than meets the eye at first glance. It’s not just taking a board out there, tying it to a boat, and then getting dragged all around the lake. It goes beyond that. It’s complicated because there are all sorts of ways you can ride one. You can go out to be like the water version of Tony Hawk, or you can choose to go out and have a somewhat mellow experience. The type of riding you want is going to be determined by the board you get, and the only way to make sure you are getting exactly what you asked for is by taking a look at all the intricate parts of the board. We’ve helped you do that today, and hopefully after our guide and reviews, you’ll be in a much better position to make a great, informed decision that will have you and those around you having a blast for a very long time!