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Everyone has heard of surfboarding and many people have heard of paddle boarding and bodyboarding before but what about wakesurfing?
The reason you may not have heard of wakesurfing before is that it only really became a sport in the 1990s, much later than surfing or paddle boarding.
You can think of wakesurfing as being a combination of wakeboarding and surfing.
Wakesurfing does not include utilizing a rope to tie you to a boat, as wakeboarding does. This makes it more dangerous but many would agree also more exhilarating and fun!
Because the sport can be so dangerous, getting a good board is key.
If the board isn’t the right size or style for you, you are going to risk wiping out a whole lot more. Different boats also make different types of waves so you want a wakesurfer that can handle the types of waves you’re going to be surfing in.
Taking the time to research boards and test out different ones is a must with wakesurfing. This isn’t the type of sport where you can just buy any old board or borrow a friend’s. You need one that suits you.
If you’ve never purchased a wakesurf board before, it can be confusing and cumbersome. There are a lot of different boards out there!
There are so many styles and sizes to choose from, it may seem like an impossible task at first.
Finding the best one for you may take a while but it will be worth it once you get out on the water and see just how well it works with you.
Hey, don’t miss my honest review on best soft top surfboards.
If you are looking for a board that can work for riders of all different skill levels, the Throwdown from Driftsun is a good one to buy.
The Throwdown comes in two sizes, 4’6” and 4’8”. It has an EPS core with a natural wood stringer. It is made from layered fiberglass that is hand finished with epoxy.
The Driftsun Throwdown features a traction pad with a kicktail and four interchangeable fins.
The ability to move the fins around is what makes this the best beginners surfboard while also appealing to intermediate riders and advanced riders.
Beginners will find the Throwdown to be very stable and easy to balance on while advanced riders will be able to customize their fin set up in order to achieve the maneuverability and speed they want.
The board’s ability to grow with the rider can also save you money.
You may need to buy additional fins that better suit your needs but you won’t need to buy a whole new board.
The board has a low rail and rolled edges, which make it more stable.
One downside is that the board can crack easily, especially if you are in harder waters or if you strap it too tightly to the roof of your car. Some people have also had problems with the fin set up system being defective.
The Throwdown is comfortable, maneuvers well, and is great if you want to practice some tricks you haven’t done before.
You can achieve the speeds you want while also enjoying a stable, responsive ride.
This is another board from Driftsun that has an interchangeable fin system.
The Fifty-50 is 4’9”. It has an EPS core with a natural wood stringer and a full carbon fiber wrap and carbon fiber rails that are finished with epoxy fiberglass.
It also has a traction pad with a low profile kicktail. It has a three fin set up and the fins are interchangeable with any other FCS fins.
The board has a low rocker, making for a fast ride, and a sharp rail that adds stability and allows for sharper turns.
Beginning through advanced level surfers can use the Fifty-50 because of the fin set up. It is stable enough for a beginner but will also suit an advanced user who wants to achieve high speeds and do some skim tricks.
Aesthetically, you can expect to see some minor blemishes in the laminate of the board.
This doesn’t detract too much overall and obviously does not affect performance at all. Beginners will be able to stand up and stay up on easily due to how stable it is.
Because you can add and take away the three fins, this one can grow with you as your skill level advances.
Overall, this board rides well and is a good choice regardless of your skill level.
If high speeds are your main desire when looking for a wakesurf board then the Hyperlite Broadcast is the board for you.
It has a monocoque construction and is made from layered glass, with an EVA traction pad. It also features a rolled edge profile. The Broadcast is 4’8” and comes in two colors, red and blue.
The 2019 Broadcast comes with a tri-fin system that allows you to use it with one, two, or three fins at a time. This makes it a good board for all skill levels.
You can get this board as a beginner and have it grow with you as your skill increases.
The Broadcast has double-edged rails. These allow you to grip the board easily which will enable you to do perform tricks.
It is easy enough to ride for beginners while still giving advanced wakesurfers the speed and maneuverability they need.
The board also has a swallow tail which makes it easier to float while still maintaining a good speed and also allows you to pivot more easily in the water.
This is an exciting board, for any skill level. The board sits high up in the water which makes it ideal if you wakesurf in different types of wakes.
The board has a customizable tri-fin system, making it good for people of all skill levels and also many different water conditions.
This style of the board also comes in three different sizes. Whether you are short or tall, you should be able to find a size that works for you.
A unique thing about the board is that the EVA core has pads for arch support.
This will enable you to stand up on the board longer. It also has a particularly tall tail kick which will make it easier to glide across the water.
This is a popular board for many reasons, including how well it rides and its ability to stay with riders as they build in skill.
One downside is that the board isn’t always in stock! If you want this one, be quick whenever you are able to find it for sale.
If you are a beginner or an intermediate level wakesurfer, give the Landlock from Hyperlite a try.
This board doesn’t just ride well it also looks great while doing so because of the layered glass construction.
This construction also makes the board more durable and prevents delamination.
If you are worried about the board being uncomfortable, fear not.
There is a foam pad on the top that adds traction and makes it easy to stand, sit, or kneel on the board. The board is 5’9” and 16 lbs.
This makes it longer and heavier than a lot of the boards on this list so if you are a taller or heavier person, this is a good pick.
The board has a lot of surface area and also rolled edges.
This makes it very stable and beginners will find they have no trouble balancing while on this board. This is another board that has a tri-fin system, making it customizable depending on what type of wake you’re surfing in.
At 3’9”, this is one of the shorter boards on our list.
Beginners and children will love this board, as it features two foam traction pads that make it comfortable to ride and also allow you to better distribute your weight across the board. This makes for a smooth ride and gives you more control over the board.
The base is a dual concave style. This makes the board more responsive, another plus for beginners who may not quite know how to control their boards yet.
More advanced users will love this as well since it allows the board to go faster in the water. Advanced riders will also be able to do rotational tricks on this board.
Another thing that makes this board great for all levels is the tri-fin system that allows you to use one, two, or three fins at a time.
The tri-fin system also makes the board good in most types of wakes.
This board is easy to ride for beginners but has enough speed and maneuverability to keep an advanced rider happy.
The color and design of this board alone will make anyone want to pick up this board and give it a look.
Luckily, it isn’t just pretty.
It is also a budget-friendly board that still has many qualities you might expect in a more expensive board.
The construction of the board makes it simultaneously lightweight and very durable.
The soft top of the board also makes it very fast, in addition to sturdy.
The board has three fins, one 2.9” one and two 2’3” fins. All three are made from polycarbonate.
This is a board that is built to last.
The construction keeps it from denting easily and allows the board to hold up well in all kinds of wakes. You should be able to enjoy many sessions on this board without worrying about it wearing out.
This is a more expensive board but it is worth the extra price.
The design of the board allows the rider to have more contact with the water while still allowing for a smooth glide as you surf the wakes.
The Honeycomb comes in two sizes, 4’5” and 4’11”.
This means that a variety of riders of different heights and weights can enjoy this board. The concave EVA pads of this board have added arch support and an extra tall tail kick, making the board comfortable.
The board is also very stable and balanced due to its thickness.
Less skilled riders will love that feature as it makes it easier to stay on the board.
The core of the board is, you guessed it, a honeycomb design that helps the board to be both durable and lightweight. It also has a wide tail that allows you to catch some air while surfing.
The tri-fin system, consisting of 1 symmetric fin and 2 asymmetric fins, is interchangeable and customizable to the needs of the rider.
One downside to this board is that it isn’t as easy to maneuver so it might not be the best choice if you want to do tricks but if you want a smooth, luxurious ride, this board is for you.
by: Slingshot Sports
The Gnarwhal is a great board if you’re looking to do aerial tricks. You may notice that the shape is different than other wakesurf boards.
This is true, the shape is progressive and unique. The flat nose of the board makes it easier to do all the tricks and stunts you want.
The board also has a large tail and the added surface area also helps when doing tricks, as well as allowing you to have more control when riding.
The fins featured on the board are removable so that you can choose to ride with two fins or four fins.
You don’t need any special tools to add or remove the fins either, you simply lock them in and out of place as needed.
This makes it easy to change the fins out if you’re sharing the board with someone else or if you want to switch to a different kind of ride mid-session.
The board comes in two sizes, 4’6” and 4’10”, so it caters to a range of different heights.
If you want to know exact surfboard size for yourself, our guide on surfboard sizes and height chart will surely help you out.
If you love to do tricks, this is the board for you! This board is extremely durable and will be able to stand up to even the toughest of wakes.
You won’t have to worry about it becoming dented or scraped with regular use or by hooking it up to the roof of your car.
The durability doesn’t make it heavy, though, as this is an extremely lightweight and easy to carry board.
It has a Dura-Shell construction and an EPS core which is how it is able to be both lightweight and durable at the same time. It features a squash tail, an EVA traction pad, and minimal rocker.
One thing that makes this board unique is that it has five removable fins.
You can use all five if you want the most amount of control, just use four so there isn’t as much weight on the board, or use 1-3 if you want a different kind of ride.
You can also move around the exact placement of the fins to fully customize your ride.
The board feels loose and smooth on the water, making for a great experience.
If you are an advanced surfer looking for a board that will give you a great ride, check this one out!
This is a hybrid board that combines the best features from surf and skim style boards. It has three adjustable fins so you can customize them to best suit your needs. Each fin is 2”.
The Model X features a fishtail design which allows you to zip through the waves.
A beginner may not be able to control the board but this will be no problem for a more advanced rider and the fishtail design actually helps with controlling and guiding the board.
The board is 1” thick and 53” long. It has a carbon fiber build which is great for durability.
This is truly a board designed for speed and one that more experienced wakesurfers will love.
by: Liquid Force
See a board you like but it isn’t designed for someone of your size?
Take a look at the Liquid Force Super Tramp.
This board comes in three different sizes allowing it to suit a wider range of riders. You can choose from 51”, 55”, and 59” sizing options.
This is another surf/skim hybrid board and it is a great option if you want to perform tricks and stunts while wakesurfing.
The board allows you to get a good amount of speed and to do stunts such as spinning lip tricks and quick cuts.
The board has more of a skim-type feel to it when you ride and it has a high amount of maneuverability. The light core also adds airtime to any trick you may want to do.
The board makes for an exciting ride though beginners should take note that it isn’t a very steady ride.
If you are more experienced, you’ll be able to balance yourself and remain upright but beginners may not be able to.
This is a very popular board among beginners and more advanced surfers alike.
The fiberglass board has a fishtail design and a full shape that creates more stability for beginners.
The board also features a sturdy trackpad and footholds for additional stability. Advanced riders also enjoy stability because it allows them to perform tricks such as air reverses.
This is a great option if you are on a budget as it is one of the most affordable wakesurf boards available.
The board has two fins and they are not removable, so be sure a dual fin setup is best for you before purchasing this board.
If you are a beginner, the fin setup should suit you just fine and advanced riders may want the dual fin system depending on what kinds of waves they are surfing and what tricks they want to do.
This board is only available in one size, 49”, and it can hold up to 175 lbs.
by: Liquid Force
This is a beautiful board with a cool design on both the top and bottom. That isn’t the only thing it has going for it, of course.
This board can be a skim style board, a surf style board, or a combination of the two.
It is extremely versatile and is definitely one of the top boards available.
The board comes in three different sizes, making it great for riders of all sizes.
The 4’5” model is good for people up to 180 lbs, the 4’9” option can handle up to 200 lbs, and the 5’1” board caps at 250 lbs. The added weight capacity doesn’t really add to the overall weight of the board, though, as all three sizes are extremely lightweight.
One unique thing about the board is the construction, which is a vacuum sealed compression construction.
This makes it extremely durable in addition to it being lightweight.
This board can truly handle anything you can throw at it.
It features a three fin system and all fins are removable for when you want to enjoy a dual fin ride or a really easy ride with one fin.
The board is good for all types of riders and you can be as fun or as relaxed as you want to be when riding it.
Wakesurfing can be dangerous, the same way wakeboarding and surfing can be dangerous.
If you are being cautious and wakesurfing properly, your chances of injury are lowered.
If you have never wakesurfed before, it is a good idea to find someone who has to help you learn.
If you cannot find somebody, do your research. Watch videos, read tutorials, etc. in order to learn the proper technique.
Unlike wakeboarding, you do not hold onto a rope the whole time you’re riding and you aren’t pulled by the boat the whole time.
You do need a rope to get yourself going, though. Wakesurfing ropes are thicker than wakeboarding ropes and are designed so that you can pull yourself up and get going, then throw the rope back into the boat once you’re ready.
It is best to buy ropes specifically made for wakesurfing as other styles of rope do not work with the sport and may actually be dangerous.
Unlike wakeboarding, your feet are free on a wakesurf board, much like they are on a surfboard.
This can make it easier to stand up for some people but also decreases stability once you are standing up.
Wakesurf boards are designed to be used behind boats with an inboard engine only.
If your boat has an outboard engine or an inboard/outboard engine you should not wakesurf behind it. Generally, a good speed to have the boat at for wakesurfing is about 10 mph.
The exact configuration of tail, rails, fins, rocker, and shape will depend on a variety of factors.
Your size, experience, what kind of waves you’ll be surfing, and what kind of tricks (if any) you want to do will all affect what kind of board you ultimately end up buying.
To learn more about how to choose a board, look at the Buyer’s Guide below.
You may see boards advertised for children or for women but you don’t necessarily need to buy a “women’s” wakesurf board if you are a woman or get your child one labeled for children.
Wakesurf boards come in all kind of sizes and have a wide range of weight and height capacities so you should be able to find one that suits you.
None of the boards featured here cater to a specific age or gender.
As with any kind of board, there are a few things to take into consideration when buying a wakesurfer: type of tail, type of rail, the rocker, and the number of fins.
There are eight main types of tails, all with their own good qualities and uses. The type of tail you get will affect how you balance and how the board rides.
There are three types of rails: full rail, hard rail, and blended rail. This is a very important aspect of the board design to take into consideration.
The rail determines how much water flows over your board.
Beginners may want thicker rails for better grip but more advanced wakesurfers wouldn’t want that same rail. Thinner rails allow riders to reach higher speeds since the water can more freely move over the board.
Wakesurf boards can come with 1-5 fins. The different amounts of fins have different purposes and what you want to do on your board will determine how many fins you need.
The “rocker” of a board is the amount of curve the board has. The rocker affects how the board performs overall.
A board with a light rocker will sit higher on the water and allow you to go faster, while a board with a heavy rocker will be more stable because it sits lower in the water.
A rocker in the middle would have moderate stability and would be faster than a board with a heavy rocker but not as fast as one with a very little rocker.
Any board on this list is a good place to start if you’re looking to get into wakesurfing.
Wakesurfing is a super fun sport and if you haven’t tried it before, you should give it a shot!
Anyone who enjoys surfing, wakeboarding, water skiing, or any other type of watersport will get a kick out of wakesurfing.
The variety of different fin setups help when choosing the type of ride you want: you can get a smooth, relaxed ride, an energetic and fun ride, or an exhilarating ride full of different stunts and tricks.
Novices and beginners will have no problem finding boards that will accommodate them as there are many affordable boards out there with enough stability and control for those who have never ridden a wakesurfer before.
As you advance your skills, you’ll also be able to try out a huge variety of other boards built for speed, maneuverability, and catching air time.
Wakesurfing, like surfing, can suit all kinds of riders and you can truly customize the type of ride you want.
About the Author Chet Thornberry
My name is Chet and I'm a surfer living in Cocoa Beach. I created this blog to put my experience with surfing, skimboarding, bodyboarding, and paddleboarding to good use (pretty much all things water sports).
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