When it comes to distinguishing among brands and models of wakesurf boards, the material and weight of the board usually comes down to personal preference. Most wakesurf boards include at least some fiberglass for durability and buoyancy, and smaller boards weigh less than larger boards. But don't forget these additional features that also impact the speed and ride of your wakesurf board.

Rockers

The "rocker" is the front to back curvature. If you have more rocker, your wakeboard won't go as fast, but it will be more responsive to the waves. If you have less rocker, you'll have more speed but less dramatic responsiveness. The Lib Tech Air’n Wakesurf Board ‘19 features a flat rocker and mellow concave for speed. The Liquid Force Rocket Wakesurfer ‘20 is a great wakesurf board for beginning and intermediate riders as it features thicker rails and a single to double concave hull for stability.

Rails

The "rails" are the board’s edges. Thinner rails put up less resistance and are therefore faster. Thicker rails are more forgiving, making them a better choice for beginners or those trying to learn new tricks. Rails are also either hard or soft. Hard rails have a harsh edge while soft rails have a rounded edge. Hard rails give a board more responsiveness and speed and are good for advanced riders, while soft rails are more forgiving and better for beginners. There are also blended (combination) rails, which are good for beginners transitioning into intermediate and advanced skill levels.

Tail Shapes

Another feature to consider is the tail shape of the board. The tail shape is not just the way it is for aesthetic reasons. The different shapes can help provide more or less resistance in the water, or a stable platform for the rider. While there are plenty of different tail shapes out on the market, we’ll narrow it down a bit to the most common ones.

  • Bigger/ Wider - Provides more power and quicker acceleration; better for catching waves.
  • Smaller/ Rounder - More responsive to turns and provides a looser feel on the water.
  • Fish/Swallowtail - An intermediate shape between the big/wide and the small/round tail shapes; provides good power while also providing responsiveness to turning.

Overall, beginners should go for boards with thick rails and a curved rocker, while advanced wakeboarders should go for thin rails and a flat rocker. By understanding the features on a wake surfboard, you will be able to choose the best one based on your ability. Have more questions about wake surfing or any other water adventures? Visit us in-store or online at your local Sun & Ski Sports for expert advice before your next water outing.