As a wakeboarding beginner, picking up your very first wakeboard can be a tough task. With the tons of available options, making the decision on the best beginner wakeboard needs an extra pair of hands. I am glad to help you sieve through the clutter and ensure you always make the best choice.
How to Choose the Best Beginner Wakeboard
Length of the Wakeboard
The choice of wakeboard you make is to be determined to a great extent by the length of the wakeboard itself. This is because the length of a wakeboard is what determines whether it will handle your weight or waterboarding style. Otherwise, it would not float as intended.
Most of the wakeboards measure from slightly less than 130 cm to above 144 cm. If your weight is below 100 pounds, then a wakeboard shorter than 130 cm would be ideal. Between 100 and 150 pounds, lengths of 130-134 would be an ideal choice.
The general consensus is that the more you weigh, then the longer the wakeboard should be. If you are having a hard time figuring this out, then a sizing chart would come in handy. Most of the products have one, but I think this should help you out.
Wakeboard Size Chart
Rider Weight (lbs)
Wakeboard Length (cm)
Whether you are a beginner or an advanced wakeboarder, the rocker featured in your wakeboard of choice is essential. Wakeboards come in an array of rocker grades ranging from three-stage, continuous, five-stage, hybrid, and camber.
The term wakeboard rocker is used here in reference to the board’s shape when viewed from a side angle when laid on the flat ground. A continuous one has a smooth flattened out C-like shape for predictable performance. These types are great for beginners.
A 3-stage rocker is the other popular type among beginners. It consists of abrupt bends along its shape, just like on a skateboard deck.
If you have looked at various wakeboards, you must have noticed the presence of fins on the board. For those wondering what they could be for, the fins are what steer the board in the direction you desire. Fins also make the board float on water.
Deeper and longer fins create a stable board that’s easier to steer for beginners. However, you wouldn’t be able to do tricks or jump any higher into the air because of the increased grip on the water.
As your skill-levels increase, you might fancy shallower fins, or you might even not need them in the first place. In this way, the wakeboard makes sharper turns with quicker responses. With fins, you have two choices, fixed, or removable one. The latter provides excellent flexibility.
How sharp the edge of a wakeboard is defines some of its performance aspects. A sharper edge is faster through water but puts the rider at a higher risk of wiping out or crashing than a rounded one. Mostly, a sharp edge is ideal for people who love to carve on water.
One with a rounded edge is slower but slides smoothly through the water. Their relative ease of control and landing makes them perfect for riders who fancy performing tricks while wakeboarding.
For the best of the two worlds, go for one with a variable edge. They have sharp edges on the front and back but then become round in the middle section. There are also squared edges which are the most ideal for beginners if you want to get the hang of waterboarding.
Material of Construction
One of the assumptions beginner wakeboarders make is that all wakeboards are made of the same materials. However, this is not always true. There are boards made from foam, then covered with fiberglass. Others have a wooden core with a fiberglass coat on them.
Another experimental material currently in use is graphite. It is rare and takes a diligent wakeboarder to find. If you are a beginner, I would suggest you buy a fiberglass coated foam board.
The other option is better for advanced users because of its superior snap off a wake in the course of a trick. Also, the foam core boards tend to take heavier beatings, which is what a beginner needs.
Reviews of The Best Beginner Wakeboards
For someone looking to begin the wakeboarding hobby, I think the ZUP is one of the best options you might consider. It’s not fancy but offers you the basics to get you started. The package includes a built-in handle hook to aid you to get in an upright or kneeling position.
While learning, you wouldn’t have to worry about holding the handle. And for even better control and stability, there’s the double ZUP wakeboard handle. These features are meant to provide beginners with an easy to use and versatile wakeboard.
Riding options vary depending on the positions you are most comfortable at. You could opt to ride on this board while in a lying down position, while kneeling like when one is using a kneeboard, while standing like you would on a wakeboard or surf behind a boat.
Another feature you might love about this wakeboard is its lack of age or skill level restriction. As a beginner, you can comfortably cruise along with the easy to slip in foot straps holding you in place. These straps can as well act as knee pads or even elbow pads.
- Excellent versatility
- Great for all ages and skills
- Enhanced hydrodynamics
- Very buoyant
- Padded with non-skid foam
- Enhanced tracking
- Easy to slip in straps
- Quick directional change
- Easy to use
- Great buoyancy
- Large weight limit (about 300 pounds)
- Some users find it hard to wakeboard on it
- Handle grip can be lousy at times
As a 3-stage rocker, 140cm wakeboard, the 2018 Hyperlite is a combination of stability, maneuverability, and comfort. It is a combination of the Machete wakeboard and a Destroyer binding. This binding is the one that is responsible for responsiveness and comfort in demanding situations.
For learning, you need a wakeboard that is easy to turn. Fortunately, this wakeboard features Hyperlite’s 6” Low Pro Plate System. This system is made thin but retains high strength to reduce weight and increase response when taking turns.
4 removable fins are fitted on this product. Based on your skill level and how much speed control levels you might require; you can remove or add the fins. By combining true step down edges, a rider gets ultimate speed when approaching a wake, then zips in and out of turns with ease.
At the rear of the destroyer binding is a flex zone that reduces the amount of abrasion generated at the back of your leg. For cushioning of the toe and heel areas, this wakeboard features a molded Ethylene Vinyl Acetate (EVA). It adds to the underside padding that creates soft landings for a rider.
- Well-padded for soft landings
- Easy to turn
- Excellent comfort
- Reduced rear abrasion
- Designed as one size fits most
- Great warranty
- Very stable
- Explosive pop off a wake
- Feels loose on some riders
- Reported to rip apart on occasions
The Rave Sports Lyric is another great option you might want to consider for your beginner wakeboarding endeavors. It is designed to be used by potential riders weighing over 125 pounds. Reinforcement is done by carbon fiber, with a laminate core for the whole 141 cm length.
If you plan on riding in high air, then you might love the 3-stage rocker feature of this wakeboard. In addition, the edges are rounded at the center while sharp at the top and tail. This design makes it possible to perform tricks while being gentle on your knees.
Another great feature about this wakeboard is that while it is excellent for beginners, it adapts well to more experienced riders too. This feature saves you from having to buy an upgrade once you have gotten used to wakeboarding.
As part of the package, you get the Lycra Advantage boot that has a multi-point adjustment system. In this way, the boots fit most rider feet sizes. You can also make the shoe tighter or loser depending on your user preferences.
- Works great for beginners and advanced riders alike
- Increased height and tricks with a 3-stage rocker
- An all-rounder with optimal performance for riders over 125 pounds
- Great aesthetics
- Stability is great
- Great snug fit
- Comfortable boots
- Slightly heavy for beginner riders
- Laces on the bindings require replacement at some point
The Rave Sports Jr. Impact wakeboard is another of the best beginner wakeboards you could opt for. It has charger bindings and measures 122cm long. This wakeboard is made particularly for young riders to train with. That is why it has a weight capacity of not more than 125 pounds.
The oval design is forgiving on the knees and creates an easy to learn on equipment. If you need a continuous rocker for enhancing your riding skills and building your confidence, then this wakeboard might be a great option.
When you buy this product, you get a 2-point adjustable charger boot as part of the package. Most of the learner riders can fit in this charger boot since it is adjustable for a snug, secure fit on a wide number of child shoe sizes.
- Fits great for children
- Bindings remain solid during rides
- Oval design eases learning
- Included boot provides a great fit
- Soft landing
- Secure fit
- Relatively affordable
- Suspect durability
- Poor quality control
- Might not fit certain kids
The Connelly Reverb 2017 is available in sizes of 131 and 136 centimeters. Ease of use and comfort are some of the great features of this wakeboard. Just like the lengths, rider weights vary too in accordance with ages.
Design-wise, it features an ABS rail with variable height. You can extend this rail for about 1 inch into the wakeboard to increase board strength and safety. Onboard are 4 fins made from fiberglass. These fins can be detached when need be by a rider.
With its accompanying boot, the CWB 2017 is definitely one that would appeal to most beginners. In addition, a V-tech inside the tip and tail becomes useful when a rider needs smooth transitions between the edges and landings.
For that extra pop off the launch of a wake, the board comes with a 3-stage rocker. It is a great feature to beginners, more so when honing your skills. When you are unsure of what to do when wakeboarding, the user manual and guidebook comes in handy for a beginner.
- Center spine extends the full length
- Bindings included
- Softer landings
- Amazing launch off the wake
- Guidebook provided
- Available in varieties
- Snug fitting boot
- Excellent buoyancy
- Great value for the price
- The finish is not so great
- Requires an upgrade when you become an advanced rider
How to Maintain Your Beginner Wakeboard
- After every wakeboarding session in salty water, rinse it thoroughly with fresh water. Then let it dry out in a shade
- Ensure the board as well as bindings do not stay in the sun for extended periods
- Do not use any lotions, oils, gasoline or any other petroleum products on the bindings and board. Instead, use a binding lube or water
- Unlike your surfboard and bikini, a wakeboard should not be waxed
- Every time before setting out to ride, inspect the board and bindings for any tear. Even the smallest tear can turn your board into trash after a while of usage. Repair these tears or any part with damages.
- Tighten loose fins and bolts retaining the binding. Once any snaps off, you wouldn’t find it with ease
- Desist from using thread sealants on fin screws or binding bolts. These products corrode some plastics hence interfering with the structural integrity of the boars.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Do the boots come already attached to the board?
A: Yes. Most of the models come with the boots attached to the wakeboard. But if you plan on changing the bindings, then you can remove the boots.
Q: Does my height determine my choice of wakeboard?
A: To some extent, yes. Your height determines how wide and long your wakeboard needs to be so as to reduce your chances of falling. If you are above average in height, choose a larger, wider board. For shorter riders, size down the width, but not so much that you sacrifice on speed.
Q: When should I choose a short board?
A: Choosing a short board depends on the riding style you intend on riding with. A short board ensures a slower ride, with the ability to perform flips in the air. In addition, if you don’t mind the harder landings due to small surface area.
Q: When should I go for a longer board?
A: If you are a beginner, then a long wakeboard is ideal for you. They are easy to ride, are stable, and have a softer landing. However, they tend to be heavy when airborne.
Q: Can I find a “one size fits all” type of wakeboard?
A: There are several models with this design. Most importantly, the boots that come with the board are adjustable to allow for different shoe sized individuals to use them. But weight-wise and lengthwise, you are better off with your exact specifications.
In this review, I think the best beginner wakeboard is the RAVE Sports Rave Lyric Wakeboard with Advantage Bindings. It is a one-stop board that functions as a wakeboard, a kneeboard, a wake surfboard, and water skis board.
It is also made for riders of all ages with a maximum weight restriction of about 300 pounds. An EVA foam padding in addition to a soft rubber provides the cushioning a beginner rider should look for.
Although the fins are fixed, they still provide excellent steering albeit with limited flexibility. In comparison with the other 4 products, it ranks well among prior users who attest to its great quality, ease of turning and better control for beginner riders.