2017 Water Sports Gear Guide: Wakesurfers

Maximize your wave-riding experience by selecting the wakesurfer that best fits your style.

2017 Water Sports Gear Guide: Wakesurfers
2017 Water Sports Gear Guide: WakesurfersJoey Meddock

The wakesurfing revolution of recent years continues to barrel on unchecked. As more boaters discover the low-impact fun of shredding behind-the-boat swells, gear manufacturers dedicate more resources to creating products that maximize the wave-riding experience.

From classic surf shapes to spin-happy skim-style models, there is no shortage of best-ever boards to suit every style of rider. While that kind of variety can be a little overwhelming, if you know what you want and know what to look for, it’s a great problem to have.

Ask Yourself
What kind of surfer are you? Are you looking for mellow carving sessions, or are you out to attack the wave? Do you want to pop, shove and spin, or is simple slashing more your speed?

Who are you shopping for? Are you buying yourself a board, or do you need something a little more universal for the entire boat?

Need to Know
Wakesurf boards typically fall into one of three style categories: surf, skim or hybrid.

Surf-Style Boards
Modeled on their oceangoing brethren, surf-style boards are thicker and more buoyant and typically feature multiple long, surf-style fins that provide tracking and control. As a result, they're a good fit for the following riders: larger, heavier riders; those who want a mellow board for cruising; those using boats with smaller waves; and most beginners.

Skim-Style Boards
Designed for spins, airs and skate tricks like pop shuv-its, skim-style boards are thinner and shorter with smaller fins that are easy to break free for tricks. As a result, they're better suited to more advanced riders as well as lighter, smaller riders who don't need the buoyancy of a surf-style board.

Hybrid Boards
As their name implies, hybrid boards blend characteristics of surf- and skim-style boards. In general, hybrid boards blend the speed and push of surfstyle boards with the freedom and maneuverability of a skimstyle board.