Yeah, we know. You’ve got options. But there are some rules about buying new gear that you should follow, and some common misconceptions you should avoid. If used correctly, these should put you in your best ride ever.
Do your homework. Pick three wakeboards that you think may fit your ability and style. From there, your local shop can help narrow down the search. Remember, you get what you pay for. In no way are we saying you have to buy the most expensive board on the market. Buying a wakeboard that fits you perfectly is the key and will show when you hit the water. A board and boots that fit your entire posse are nice to have, but if you’re looking for high performance, get a board that fits you specifically. Your friends will just have to deal with it or go out and get their own, which is what we recommend. You don’t all go to the skate park or mountain and share the same board, right?
Common misconception: Three-stage wakeboards get more pop than continuous-rocker boards.
If you think you’re not getting enough pop out of your board because it’s continuous, it’s not the board — it’s you. Sorry, but it’s the truth. Three-stage and continuous both have their advantages. Pros have been riding both for years. Your wake and the way you ride decide which one you need.
Boots are a huge part of wakeboarding and have probably improved more than any other product in the last 10 years. Don’t get set on any type until you try them, though. Nobody’s feet are alike, so take some time and wear them around the shop.
Common misconception: My open-toe wakeboard boots are fine.
Try out a pair of closed-toe wakeboard boots on the water, then go back and try open-toes. You’ll be amazed. If you prefer open-toe boots, make sure the support goes all the way over your toes.
Decks have come a long way now and your options are way broader than they used to be. Grip tape versus foam tops and wood versus composite construction will be debated forever. If you come from a skateboard background, you will most likely prefer grip and wood.
Common misconception: Wood doesn’t hold up.
The type of riding will determine how long your board holds up. Hitting rails will break down any board in a matter of time. Wood just provides a different feel from composite construction.
Although these usually don’t affect how the board rides, they do add steeze, so when you’re having an off day you’ll at least look good.
Drinking at the boat show
We’ve always agreed this can provide a great time, but when you head to your local show this winter take it seriously until you get your hands on some goods. OK, that doesn’t sound like any fun. So maybe just stick to beer, not booze.
Words: Silas Thurman and James Balzer Photo: Anthony Monaco