How to Choose a Wakesurf Board


Looking for a new wakesurfer, but not sure where to start? In order to narrow-down your selection, pay attention to the board’s style, number of fins, and rail design. With this in mind, combined with your skill level, you’ll be able to stay on track while searching for your next board.

Wakesurf Board Styles

There are three main types of wakesurf board styles—surf, skim, and hybrid. In order to find the right wakesurf board style, keep in mind how you plan to use your board and your wakesurf skill level.

Surf-style wakesurf board



With a surf-style wakesurfer, the shape resembles a surfboard you would ride in the ocean. If you’re new to wakesurfing, this style of board will be the best option to learn thanks to its large, thick design making it more buoyant and stable. This style of board often has a wider tail to make riding the wave easier and offers more push when dropping the rope. Plus, the wider tail shape on this wakesurf board helps to quickly increase speed.

A skim-style wakesurf board



The skim-style wakesurfer is ideal for an intermediate to advanced rider. With a thin profile, this wakesurf board sits low in the water giving you more control along the edge and quicker response time. The symmetrical shape allows wakesurfers to move both forward and backward, while the smaller, pointed tail makes this board ideal for tricks and spins on medium to large waves. 

A hybrid-style wakesurf board



If you’re looking for an option that’s in between a surf-style and skim-style wakesurf board, look into a hybrid-style wakesurfer. This board style is for intermediate to advanced riders who want a balance between tricks and riding. With a hybrid wakesurf board, there are a wide range of options to choose from for your next ride.

All the different styles of wakesurf boards

Wakesurf Fins

The next part of the wakesurf board to pay attention to are the wakefins on the bottom of the board. Your ride will feel different based on the number of wakefins attached to your board. Most surfboards allow these wakefins to be removed to provide a different feel of ride. Keep in mind your riding ability, riding style, and size of waves you’ll enjoy while wakesurfing. 

  • Single Fin: Acting as a rudder for your wakesurf board, the single wakefin adds a little stability and control to your skim-style wakesurf board. 
  • Twin Fin: With two fins, you’ll enjoy a controlled ride with the ability to easily spin 360-degrees. 
  • Thruster: Most surf-style wakeboards feature this type of fin set-up. Being the most popular wakefin option, the two outside fins provide enhanced speed, while the middle fin offers control and stability.
  • Quad Fin: When there are four fins on a wakesurf board, you’re looking at a surf-style board. This fin set-up is focused on increasing speed.

Wakesurf Board Rail Design

When water sports enthusiasts talk about the rails on their new wakesurf board, they are referring to the edges. There are three different rail designs—full, hard, and blended. Each of these designs affect how the water flows over the edges of the wakesurf board to offer a slightly different feel in and out of the wake. 

Full rail design wakesurf board


A wakesurf with a full rail design offers a stable and consistent feel throughout the wake while maintaining speed. This rail design is ideal for beginners because it’s not nearly as responsive as the other designs which allows for slight mistakes without ruining your ride. Most surf-style wakeboards feature a full rail.

hard raild design wakesurf board


If you’re looking at a skim-style board, you’ll most likely notice a hard rail design. With this edge, your wakesurf board will cut the water for increased speeds and easily breaks away from the wake for tricks and spins. With this type of rail design, you don’t have nearly as much control of your wakesurf board making it more of a challenge for riders. 

blended rail design wakesurf board


Last, the blended rail design offers the stability newer wakesurfers need while being able to allow the board to spin. A blended rail design is what most hybrid wakesurf boards feature. 

Wakesurfing Accessories

Once you’ve locked in your choice of board, you’ll want to make sure that you have all the necessary accessories for a fun day wakesurfing on the lake. The most important accessory is a properly-fitting life jacket for safety. To move easier while riding and completing tricks, many wakesurfers enjoy wearing a competitive-style life jacket. If you’re wondering what size of life jacket you should wear, check out this blog about how to choose the right life jacket. You’ll also need the right length of wakesurf rope. When wakesurfing, you want to use a shorter length tow rope so it’s easy to toss into the boat without snagging, while still allowing you room to get up on the plane. For riding a better wave, you may want to consider adding a wake shaper or ballast bag to your boat. A wake shaper is a removable device that merges two wakes to form a bigger, cleaner wave. A ballast bag also creates a larger wave but by sinking the bottom of your boat; however, you want to make sure an experienced driver is steering the boat for safety. Last, protect your wakesurf board by using a wakesurf sock or wakesurf bag. These protect your wakesurf board while in storage or during transport so you don’t have to worry about scratching or damaging your water board.  

If you have any other questions regarding wakesurf boards or wakesurf accessories, contact your local SCHEELS to speak with a water sports expert.