In 1997, my friends at Da Kine, the accessory gurus for snowboarding, surfing and windsurfing, gave me a wakeboard bag big enough to carry three boards. Three boards??? "Who the hell needs to carry three boards?" I thought.
I know most of the pro riders in this sport, and none of them carries three boards. Wakeboarding is pretty much a one-board sport - not like surfing where you need a slew of boards for all the different conditions.
But then, after riding all the new boards for 1998 (tough job, I know), I developed a new theory, one my friends at Da Kine must have known all along. You do, in fact, need three boards.
Wakeboards are like members of the opposite sex. Indulge me for a moment, please. For you single guys (or girls) out there, think of boards as being like girlfriends (or boyfriends), and you will see just how accurate the analogy is. First and foremost, you want your normal all-around board for the bulk of your riding sessions. It's a board you can count on to be reliably good in any given situation. You like how she handles and know she won't embarrass you in front of everyone on the boat. Similarly, you need a good reliable girlfriend - the kind you'd bring home to Mom. Predictable, reliable and stable.
But, when you spend enough time on the water, you're going to get bored (no pun intended) with your normal board. Rather than take a couple days off and not ride because you think you need a break, you actually need another board - an opposite, if you will. You know the story - you've been dating a brunette so when you look to mix it up, you look for a blonde ... So, back to boards. If you ride a 142-centimeter high-end comp honeycomb board, then maybe you'd want a free-ride board - a little spinner built extra tough so you could slide it around with abandon. So that's two boards, two girls. Starting to make sense? Wait, there's more.
Every now and then, on special occasions, you get a wild hair. You want a redhead - or the wakeboard equivalent thereof, a wakeskate. It's a board you won't try your normal routines on. Take your boots off, get a little wild! That's three boards.
So while you think you want to get a new board this year, I'm saying adjust your sights somewhat. Go for a few.
Now, here's where it gets really tricky and the potential for trouble begins. Remember the opposite sex analogy? It is quite possible you can't afford three boards. Then the trick is to hook up with a couple of friends who have boards that you'd like to ride. I just hope you like their girlfriends.