Home » Wake » Wakesurfing

Wakesurf Board Guide + Wakesurfing Explained

by Grant Draper
SkiSurfWak is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Bottom Line

Below, we’ll cover the difference between wakesurfing, wakeskating and our picks for the best wakesurf boards.

Want to get into the finer details yourself? You can jump past our best wakesurf section, and read up on board sizing, whether you need a skim or regular shape deck, as well as which rail and rocker setups will suit your riding style.

Want the short story? We trawl the web constantly for wake, surf and snow gear. And from all the wakesurf boards we researched, we’d be picking the Lib Tech Crack’n. You can get a cracking deal on it here

Wakeskating vs Wakesurfing

Buying a wakesurf board isn’t a small cash outlay. It’s worth jumping over to our wakeskate board guide to ensure you want to start wakesurfing, rather than wakeskating.

The difference between the two? Put simply...

Wakeskating involves being towed behind a boat. As the boards are typically shorter and wider than wakesurf boards, they offer more resistance in the water. They’re great for doing tricks, but you won’t be able to keep momentum up on the wake without being towed.

Wakesurfing however is different. Once you use your wake boat to get up to speed, you can let go of the rope. As wakesurf boards are sleeker and more aerodynamic in the water, you’ll be able to keep up your momentum by using the power of the wake, just as you would when surfing a swell.

Neither discipline involves being fixed to your board via bindings like you would be when wakeboarding.

You can see the difference between wakeskate and wakesurf boards here.

The Best Wakesurf Boards 

After tons of researching, short listing and product comparisons, we’ve whittled our list of the best wakesurf boards down to 3, and they include the best:

  • Overall
  • For those on a budget
  • For kids

Top Pick: Best Board (Overall)

Lib Tech Crak'n 

the best wakesurf board from lib tech

We might as well pre-warn you, whilst the Lib Tech Crak'n is our pick for the best wakesurf board overall, it doesn’t come cheap. You won’t be getting much change from $700. If you’re looking for something cheaper, check out the Hyperlite mentioned below instead. 

If you’re looking for the absolute best and have the budget, you won’t be disappointed with the Lib Tech Crak'n.

The nose on the Lib Tech Crak'n is wider than most, meaning it’s easier to get up, but the straight rail means once you’re up, it’s easy to start shredding. It’s aggressive setup means it’s best suited to those that aren’t complete beginners. Whilst beginners will be able to ride it, they won’t be able to get the most out of it (in terms of carving and doing tricks) like an intermediate or expert will. The cheaper Hyperlite mentioned below would be more suitable.

With a tail rocker and Quad RRIP'S fins, the Lib Tech is about as close to surfing without, well, surfing.

It rides good, but will it last the test of time? Lib Tech seems to think so. You’ll get a free 1-year warranty complete with your purchase. 

You can grab our top pick here at a discount

The Best Cheap Wakesurf Board

Hyperlite Wakesurf Board - Landlock

new landlock wakesurf board from hyperlite

Looking for a cheap wakesurf board from a leading brand to add to your “toy” collection? Look no further than the Hyperlite wakesurf boards. In particular, we’re focusing on their new release, the Hyperlite Landlock.

The Hyperlite is ideal if you’re looking for an all-rounder. You’re looking for something that can be used by beginners, intermediates and pros. But, you’re also looking to do everything from general wakesurfing, through to tricks. That’s something that a board with a specific deck (skim or surf decks for instance) can’t do. The Landlock feels like the best compromise between the two, so essentially, is a hybrid.

You’ll get a tri-fin, and that helps to make this one of the most stable boards on the market. And, the EPS core means it offers plenty of flex and pop at the same time, with durability not compromised. 

But, how much does the Hyperlite Landlock wakesurf board cost? In our opinion, not a lot. If budget was no question, we’d be heading for the Lib-Tech. But, that’s going to set you back close to $700. 

The Hyperlite? You’ll be getting change from $350, meaning this is actually one of the cheapest wakesurf boards available; offering ridiculous good value for money. 

From our research, this store offers some of the best deals on Hyperlite boards.

The Best Kids Wakesurf Board

Ronix Super Sonic Space Odyssey Fish

best kids wakesurf board from ronix

Let’s face it. No “top” wakeboard list is complete without a Ronix on it. And the Ronix Super Sonic Space Odyssey gets our vote for the best kids wakesurf board. 

We’ve chosen this as it’s the best allrounder for kids. But, bear in mind Ronix does make the Super Sonic Space with a skim deck too, that’s going to turn quicker and be easier to do tricks on. But, that’s only useful if your kids are intermediate to expert riders already. 

The Ronix costs under $350. In our opinion, a quality kids board from a leading brand costing so little, is an absolute steal. But, is it worth it? 

Well, if your kids are looking for a different wake experience that’s as close to surfing the swell, then this board is going to be the one you want; it’s based on their top seller, the adult fish profile board. 

It’s got a full rail and generously sized rocker. That means this can be used by all the kids in your family; it doesn’t matter if they’re a beginner, intermediate or expert. 

The best deal we could find on the Ronix wakesurf board for kids is here.

The Best Wakesurf Board Brands

Looking for a board with a different design, rocker or rail? No problem. There are plenty of cool products out there. All we’d suggest is sticking to leading brands. We’d only be purchasing wakesurf boards from brands such as:

  • Wake Foamies
  • Lib Tech
  • Liquid Force
  • Phase 5
  • Hyperlite
  • Slingshot
  • Ronix

You can grab boards from all these brands here

Choosing a Wakesurf Board

Loving our picks for the best wakesurf boards, but want to know how we picked? Check out the different things you need to consider before buying a wakesurf board below.

Wakesurf Board Size Chart

First up, is size. Picking the right wakesurf board size is mega important. 

Too big? You won’t cut into the water correctly; even a simple carve in the wake is going to be extremely difficult, and tricks are out of the question!

A size too small? You’ll essentially be “sunk” into the water more than you should. This is going to make even the simplest things (like getting up behind a wake boat), ridiculously hard. 

But what size wakesurf board do you need? Check out the sizing chart below.

Wakesurf SizeWeight (lbs)
4ftUnder 110
4-4.8ft110-170
4.8ft-5ft170-200
5ft or bigger200+

Choosing a Deck Type

You’ll see that most stores offering wakesurf boards for sale offer three different types of deck:

  • Surf
  • Skim
  • Hybrid

Below is a quick explainer for each, and the type of rider it’s suited to. And you can see what the different decks look like here.

Surf

A surf deck is a scaled down version of a regular surfboard. And, like a normal surfboard, you’ll get the option of different fins. You’ll also get the option of different tails (fish or square).

A wakesurf board of this type is a good all-rounder, but mainly designed for easily keeping up momentum on the wake; it’s suited mainly to beginners but can be used by intermediates and experts too.

Skim

Skim wakesurf boards are designed for one thing; low speed maneuverability. In short, that means quick small carves and doing tricks. If you’re an intermediate to expert wakeboarder and you want to do tricks on the wake, a skim wakesurf board is for you.

Bear in mind, it’s going to be a lot harder to keep up momentum on a skim wakesurf board in comparison to one with a regular surf deck.

Hybrid

If wakesurfing is a side hobby to be used alongside wakeboarding, the hybrid wakesurf board would get our vote. 

Why? It’s the perfect balance between a surf and skim deck. So, it means you’ll have a decent amount of low speed maneuverability, but it’s also reasonably easy to keep up momentum on the wake. 

Hybrid boards are better suited to intermediate and expert riders, but can be used by beginners that have done wakeboarding a few times fairly easily too. Here's the cheap hybrid we like.

Board Features

When choosing the best wakesurf board to suit your riding style, you need to determine two things:

  • Rail type you need
  • How much rocker suits your riding style

Rails

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Thin rails give better maneuverability; it’s easier to carve aggressively
  • Thick rails give less feel, but are much more forgiving.

So, if you’re a beginner, a thicker rail will make wakesurfing easier. If you’re an intermediate or expert looking to do tricks, a thinner rail is going to be more suitable.

Rocker

If you put a wakesurf board on a flat surface, you’ll be able to see the rocker. No rocker means the board will be flush with the ground. The more rocker you have the more the board will be curved; with the front and rear not touching the ground. 

Here’s what you need to know:

  • Less rocker gives more maneuverability; it’s easier to aggressively carve and do tricks (but aimed at inter-expert riders)
  • More rocker gives less feel but makes the board much more forgiving and easier to control (aimed at beginners).

Aim for as little rocker as possible if you’re an intermediate to expert looking to do tricks. If you’re a beginner, you’re going to want plenty of rocker!

In Summary

And that’s it, our guide to getting started with wakesurfing, and our picks for the best wakesurf boards. We like the Lib Tech if budget isn't a question, but there’s a cheaper option with the Hyper Lite. And for kids, we like the Ronix here

Like this post? Bookmark our wake page and drop back soon, we’re constantly updating our site with fresh tips and gear reviews.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *