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8 Best Wakeboards for Every Rider

There’s fun to be had on just about every body of water as long as you have a wakeboard under your feet. In the past few years, wakeboard brands have been going head-to-head to see who can come up with the most innovative designs for the season—the wakeboard market has never been more exciting.

Whether you’re looking for the best model for clearing the wake behind a boat or preparing for a day out at a cable wake park, we’ve selected the best wakeboards for every budget and skill level.

What to Consider

Size and Shape

Size is one of the most important factors when choosing the right wakeboard. Most wakeboard brands release a size chart that correlates a rider’s weight to the most suitable size. “If you’re taller and heavier, you will want a bigger board (150 to 153 centimeters),” professional wakeboarder Liam Peacock says. “If you’re a little kid who is learning, you’ll want something like a 128 to 132 cm size board.” A rider who is between 130 and 180 pounds should look at a wakeboard in the 135 to 139 cm range. When in doubt, err on the larger size of the scale.

The curve of the bottom of the board, called the rocker, influences how a wakeboard will ride. Wakeboards tend to come in two rocker types: continuous and three-stage. A continuous rocker connects edge-to-edge in a smooth arc. A three-stage rocker has a flat base with upturned edges. Continuous rockers are generally more predictable to carve, track well, and are easier to land jumps with. Three-stage rockers are ideal for getting extra height when popping off the wake and can have a more playful feel on the water.

Like on a snowboard, bindings secure your boots to your wakeboard. Some wakeboards come as a package with boots included, but others are sold as the board only. Make sure to budget for the additional cost, and purchase boots within the size range of your running shoes.

Boat vs. Cable Park Board

Gone are the days where you need a boat to go wakeboarding. As cable wake parks become increasingly popular, wakeboard brands are adapting their boards to suit different terrains. Boat wakeboards tend to be stiffer and have molded fins that help the rider track behind a wake. Cable boards tend to have a flexible wood core and reinforced grind bases for durability on boxes and rails.

Skill Level

Professional wakeboarder Harley Clifford advises wakeboarders to choose a board with features that match their skill level: “Do you want a board that feels fast on the water, do you want a board that tracks into edges easily, or do you want a board that’s forgiving?” Answering these questions will point you in the right direction. Beginner wakeboards tend to be stable and easy to maneuver. Intermediate to advanced boards allow more flexibility in riding style, catering to tricks and jumps—though they’re not the most forgiving if you land at a wrong angle or encounter chop.

How We Selected

I have been wakeboarding for over twenty years and have tested more than fifteen wakeboards. My childhood summers were spent wakeboarding on any lake my dad could launch his boat, with California’s Bass Lake as our home base. Later, I cofounded my university’s wakeboard team as an excuse to test out new wakeboards and ride as often as possible. These board choices reflect my years of expertise and experience, podium-winning models used by pros, best-selling models from trusted brands, as well as wakeboards that have scored high marks at outlets such as Alliance Wake. I also checked wakeboard forums to ensure I considered all top models. During my evaluation, I factored in durability, brand reputation, value for the money, and how accurately each wakeboard performed within its type.


Best Value Boat Board

Liquid Force Trip

Liquid Force
walmart.com

$299.99

• Available sizes: 130, 135, 139, 144cm
• Best for: Boat
• Rocker type: Continuous 

If there is one wakeboard model that has withstood the test of time, it’s this one. The Liquid Force Trip has held the throne as one of the most popular wakeboards over the past twenty years, largely because of its versatility. Beginners will love the stability and predictability from its continuous rocker and center fins. When it’s time to level up, the center fins can be removed for added agility.

  • Proven performance
  • Removable center fins
  • Affordable
  • Advanced boarders might want a more agile board from the start

Best Overall Boat Board

Ronix One Blackout

• Available sizes: 134, 138, 142, 146cm
• Best for: Boat
• Rocker type: Three-stage 

Ronix made quite the splash in the world of wakeboarding when it released a line of wakeboards with a confidential (and still under wraps) construction it has deemed Blackout Technology. Ultra-sleek, modern, and responsive, the Ronix One Blackout is shaped with a three-stage rocker and is designed specifically for boosting off the wake. If you like the lightweight and high-tech aspects of the Ronix One Blackout but want a board that’s faster, consider the Ronix RXT.

  • Responsive feel
  • Designed for getting air
  • Might feel a little slow for some
  • Expensive

Best Overall Park Board

Hyperlite Pleasure

Hyperlite
amazon.com

$499.99

• Available sizes: 144, 148, 152cm
• Best For: Park
• Rocker Type: Continuous 

Board sport athletes will get a kick out of how similar the Hyperlite Pleasure rides to a snowboard or longboard skateboard. It falls around the mid-range mark in flexibility and is forgiving on turns and landings thanks to beveled edges. Beginners shouldn’t be put off by its nontraditional elongated shape, and intermediate to advanced riders will enjoy how fast and responsive the board is underfoot. Because of its narrow profile, size up if you’re in between size recommendations.

  • Similar feel to a snowboard or longboard
  • Elongated design can cause fit issues for some

Best Women’s Boat Board

Ronix Quarter ’Til Midnight

• Available sizes: 129, 134, 138cm
• Best for: Boat
• Rocker type: Hybrid 

Versatility is the name of the game for the Ronix Quarter ’Til Midnight thanks to its hybrid three-stage continuous rocker—where the tip and tail are not as curved as a traditional three-stage rocker. If you’re a beginner looking for a wakeboard you won’t quickly outgrow, this is a top contender. Tracking is predictable and turns on this board are smooth. When it’s time to launch off the wake, the board can handle that, too. Landings are surprisingly comfortable.

  • A board that can grow with your skills
  • Affordable

Best Women’s Park Board

Ronix Spring Break

• Available sizes: 133, 138, 143cm
• Best for: Park
• Rocker type: Continuous 

The Spring Break is a playful board made for the park. For riders who want a board on the bendy side, this is one of the most flexible boards in Ronix’s park board line-up. Durable grind base and sturdy rails can handle ride after ride on all park obstacles. Although this board shows its power under the feet of an experienced rider, it’s still a top pick for beginners hoping to progress in the park.

  • Bendy feel might not be right for every rider

Best for Beginners

Connelly Pure

Connelly
amazon.com

$299.99

• Available sizes: 130, 134, 141cm
• Best for: Boat
• Rocker type: Three-stage  

Designed with beginner wakeboarders in mind, the Connelly Pure is an affordable and reliable board that can take you on your journey from popping up to popping off the wake. It has a three-stage rocker that rides a bit on the slow side and a removable center fin to help stabilize the board. Because it can also handle jumps and looser riding with the fins out, this is an ideal board for families who share one board and have a mix of skill levels within the group.

  • Affordable
  • Removable center fin

Best Boat for Larger Riders

Hyperlite Rusty Pro

Hyperlite
amazon.com

$599.99

• Available sizes: 140, 143, 146cm
• Best for: Boat
• Rocker type: Continuous 

The signature model of pro Rusty “Bone Crusher” Malinoski, the Hyperlite Rusty Pro shows that wide doesn’t have to be synonymous with heavy when it comes to wakeboards. Rusty collaborated on the design, helping Hyperlite develop a lighter board-to-size ratio. This board is a great pick for experienced wakeboarders who might feel under-gunned on some of the standard models out there. It tracks predictably, boosts easily off the wake, and offers a soft landing even if you’re a larger rider—like Rusty.

  • Lighter board-to-size ratio
  • Predictable tracking

Park Board for the Rider Who Has It All

Slingshot Space Tomb

Slingshot
backcountry.com

$494.00

• Available sizes: 160cm
• Best for: Park
• Rocker type: Continuous 

The Slingshot Space Tomb is a creative rider’s delight; it’s a funky directional board with a wide front nose and swallow tail. If wakeboarding has felt stale for a while, the Space Tomb is sure to bring new life to your quiver. A solid 0.7mm grind base helps the board survive day after day on kickers, boxes, and rails.

  • Asymmetrical shape might not be to everyone’s taste
  • One size

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