Whether you’re towing behind a wake boat or tower, you’re going to need a rope.
And wakeboard rope length is a lot more important than most people think. Buy a rope that’s too short, too long or has too much stretch? You’re going to find it hard to get up on a wakeboard, carve, do tricks, and end up landing too long or short.
Our quick-fire guide covers exactly how long a wakeboard rope should be and why.
5 Factors To Help You Choose and Buy The Best Wakeboard Rope
Ability is the first factor to consider before choosing a particular rope length. Wakeboard ropes will generally sit in the 60ft to 90ft range. In general, the longer the rope, the more experienced the wakeboarder.
Beginners tend to start off with a shorter rope, and progress to a bigger rope as they gain experience. Why? Because as wake is created by a boat, it beams out in a V shape. The further away you are from the wake boat, the bigger the gap between the wake, and therefore, the bigger distance you’ll need to cover to land tricks.
A wakeboard rope length of approximately 70ft is perfect for beginners, and those leaning towards being an intermediate wakeboarder.
Although ability plays a major factor in rope length, so does the size of the wake. Not all wake boats create the same size wake. This could be due to their size, power and ballast.
Where possible, try and borrow a rope before buying one. You might find your boat creates a much bigger or smaller wake than average. A bigger than average wake size, means you’ll want a slightly shorter rope, whereas a smaller than average wake created by your boat means you’ll want a longer rope.
The towing speed will also affect the rope you need. Unfortunately, beginner riders will struggle to get up and stay stable at higher speeds, but it’s the higher speeds where the wake is bigger and cleaner.
If you can wakeboard at a consistent towing speed of 15-20mph, then you’ll be able to buy what’s classed of an average sized wakeboard rope, so that’s around 70ft for a wakeboarder that’s progressing to an intermediate rider and beyond.
Landing Short or Long
Not sure if the rope you’re using is right for you? Well, landing too long or short is going to give you a good indication. If you’re doing either of the above, the wakeboard rope length you’re currently using, simply isn’t correct.
If you’re landing too short, you’re too far away from the boat, and the wake you’re trying to jump is too big. You need a shorter wakeboard rope.
If you’re landing too long and on the flat, you’re too close to the boat. That means you’ll need a shorter wakeboard length.
On a side note, a rope that stretches could be your problem. You need a wakeboard specific rope (i.e. not a waterski rope), that’s made from Dyneema, PE or Solin. Any stretch in your wakeboard rope is going to hinder you when it comes to carving, doing tricks and jumping the wake.
It’s worth spending a little extra to get ropes that are adjustable. Generally, they’ll be removable sections, of 3ft to 5ft.
Bought a rope that’s slightly too long? No problem. Remove a section that helps you get a little closer to the boat. Once you progress and start landing too long, you can add a section to the rope to make it longer.
Purchased a rope that’s too short? Simply add one of the removable sections, and keep doing so as you get more experienced.
And that’s it. A beginner to intermediate rider should be looking for a wakeboard rope length of approximately 70ft. However, if you can buy something around the 80ft mark that has removable sections, you can make it 70ft for now, and have 10ft to play with as you get better.
Remember to take into account wake size, towing speed and ensure you pay that little extra to get a wakeboard rope that’s adjustable; you won’t regret it!
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Wakeboard Rope FAQ
What is the best wakeboard rope?
You’ll be fine with a rope from any leading wakeboard brand, such as Liquid Force or Hyperlite. But remember, the more important thing here is the actual length.
What size wakeboard handle do I need?
Wakeboard handles vary in sizes from 5” to 15”. The bigger the handle, the easier it is to grab when doing tricks, so we tend to recommend handles in the 13” to 15” range.
Can I use waterski rope for wakeboarding?
You can, but we wouldn’t. Waterski ropes tend to stretch, and that destabilizes wakeboarders, not just on the wake, but in the air too. The sudden snap will fire you forwards unexpectedly. Buy a rope that’s specific to wakeboards and is the correct length instead.