How to Choose the Right Wakesurfer
If you’re looking into buying a new wakesurfer, there are a few basic factors to consider. We’ve put together this basic breakdown that should help narrow down your search, and make sure that you’re riding the board that best suits your needs.
Before you make that purchase, here’s what the Slingshot team thinks you should consider:
How big is your wake?
Before thinking about the speed, handling, and slash-ability of your board, you need to consider what size wake you and your friends will be playing with. If your boat puts up a killer wave, your options are wide open. But if you’ll be cruising behind something with a smaller wake, or if you’re on the heavier side, you’ll want to choose a larger board (like the Gnarwhal). The extra surface area and volume of a bigger board will help you stay in front of a smaller wake so you can have a killer time.
Do you want a skim or surf style board?
Wakesurfers fall into two main styles – Skim and Surf. Surf style boards are thicker, more buoyant, stable, and have larger fins with more drive. Surf style boards are the most popular and are the best choice if you’re looking for an all-around board that everyone in the boat can ride. They’re great for learning and progressing, especially if you’ll be riding a smaller wake, and/or accommodating heavier riders.
Skim style boards on the other hand, are flatter and thinner than surf style boards, with narrow rails and smaller fins. Skim style boards have a looser, more playful skate-style feel that can be a fun escape from the locked-in feel of a standard surfer. A skim is a great option if you’re looking for a secondary board, or if you’re a more experienced surfer who wants to mix it up and work on tricks and spins that your surf style board won’t quite let you try. Our most popular skim style board is the Butter Bar – check it out!
If you can only have one, go for a classic surf style board – unless you already know a skim’s the choice for you (in which case, you probably wouldn’t be reading this anyway). If you already have a surfer and are craving something new and different, go for a skim.
What type of fin setup are you looking for?
When it comes to fin setups, you can either choose a thruster or a quad. The thruster (three-fin) setup is the most popular and versatile configuration for wake surfing. It’s a little slower than a quad fin setup, but more stable and locked-in on the back end. The outside fins help generate speed and grip on the wake, while the center fin provides stability and tracking. Check out the Cobra Cat or the Butter Bar to get an idea of what this looks like.
If you’re looking for a little more freedom on the back end, you may want to consider a board with a quad fin setup instead. The quad fin setup favors speed and a freed-up back end feel. This configuration is great for generating speed to work the length of the wave, boosting airs, and slashing off the lip. The Gnarwhal is a great example of the quad setup.
Don’t feel like once you pick one you’re stuck with it, though! Both setups can be configured in different ways (by removing the front or rear fins) to alter performance and handling.
We hope this helps you get out there and slash on the board that’s right for you!
In the meantime, check out some of our 2018 boards in action: