How to Choose a Wakesurf Board


Picking your next wakesurf board

Whether you’re a beginner, an expert or anything in between… Bryan Soderlind

Picking a wakesurf board that’s right for you is simple. Wakesurfing remains the fastest-growing segment in all of watersports, which means there are more options than ever when it comes to wakesurf boards. With all these different styles and shapes, you might be wondering where to even start when choosing your first or next surfer. The first step is determining what kind of surfing you like most. Do you prefer to sit deep in the pocket and carve and slash the wave, or are you more concerned with ollies, shuv-its and tricks off the lip? Another factor in choosing a board is your height and weight, along with what size wave you plan to ride regularly. Lastly, will only you use this board, or will it be shared with your friends and family when you’re all out in the boat? When heading out to purchase a new surfer, use the above criteria along with these few technical points to guide you.

Buying a wakesurfer

Types of wakesurfers

Get familiar with the different types of boards… O’Brien
Surf Style Skim Style
These boards take inspiration from their ocean-bound surfboard cousins. They tend to have multiple larger surf-style fins and a thicker construction, which makes them more buoyant. Their high buoyancy makes them a great choice for larger, heavier riders and some beginners. The larger volume also provides more drive and push on the wave, so they perform well on smaller boat waves. Skim-style boards are shorter, with a thinner profile and smaller fins. While anyone can ride these boards, they tend to be more suited to advanced surfers looking for a loose, more playful feel, who like to pop shuv-its and ollies. Smaller, lighter riders also can be well-suited to skim-style boards, because they don’t carry as much speed and won’t have surfers riding into the swim platform.
Surf Style Wakesurfer
. Brian Boesch
Skim Style Wakesurfer
. Brian Boesch
Hybrid boards are a combination of surf- and skim-style boards and have become increasingly popular. They have the speed and push of surf-style boards but the playful maneuverability of skim-style boards.
Wakesurf Board

Wakesurfer Terminology

Some terms to keep an eye out for when picking your wakesurfer… Bill Doster
Rocker Rails
As in wakeboarding, rocker is the curve profile of the board and a big factor in how fast the board rides. Boards with more exaggerated rocker lines push more water, resulting in a slower ride, but tend to maneuver easily. Flatter rocker lines have less drag, resulting in a faster ride across the water. In surfing terminology, rails are the edges of the board, and their shape determines how a board will track and turn on the wave. Sharper rails are more responsive and turn more quickly, while rounded rails have a more relaxed feel and turn more slowly. Most wakesurfers have a combination of sharp and rounded rails placed strategically.