Differences Between Wakeboarding and Wakesurfing
Looking for a fun way to spend some time out on the water this summer? Have you tried wakeboarding or wakesurfing yet? You might think wakeboarding and wakesurfing are the same sport, but they are actually quite different. They do share some similarities, but they are two very different sports with their own unique characteristics and equipment. This article will show you some of the differences between the two, so you can try the one that you would prefer.
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The most obvious way in which wakeboarding differs from wakesurfing is the manner in which the boat tows the person across the water. With wakeboarding, the rider is pulled along by the boat for the entire extent of the ride. With wakesurfing, the rider only gets started by holding on to the rope and then releases it, in order to “ride” the boat’s wake, as if you were surfing natural waves in the ocean. Wakeboard ropes tend to be long and thin without stretching. Wakesurfing ropes are thicker and shorter, making it easier for the rider. Some wakesurfing ropes have knots along the length of the rope, so the rider can decide how much rope they want to use during their ride.
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Although both wakeboarding and wakesurfing use a board to ride waves, the biggest difference between the two boards is the bindings (or lack of). Wakeboards require bindings and boots that attach a rider’s feet to the board. Wakesurf boards, however, do not have bindings and simply rely on the rider’s feet to grip the board. Wakeboards can also have up to 4 interchangeable short wake fins that are affixed to the underside of the board. If you’re an advanced wakeboarder, you can opt to have no short wake fins on your board. For wakesurfing, the boards are typically longer with more of a surfboard-like design. They also have interchangeable wakesurf fins with 1 to 4 fin set ups, based on the rider’s surf style. Since you’re not being towed by a boat, it is important for your board to have the right wakesurf fins, for better control when riding the waves and doing tricks.intense water-skiing tricks, boat builders like Correct Craft, among others, designed and built tow boats that excelled for their pulling power and minimal wake.
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As Boats used in wakeboarding are a little more complex. They’re either an inboard or outboard boat featuring large “wake towers” made of stainless steel and aluminum piping. These towers raise the rope’s pull point 6-7 feet higher than the surface of the water, allowing for greater maneuverability when performing in-air tricks. With wakesurfing, ski boats and jet boats are commonly used. Wakesurfing requires an inboard motor, where the propeller is under the boat. Many people use heavy objects to weigh the boats down even more to create a larger wake when wakesurfing.
Though close cousins, wakeboarding and wakesurfing are very different sports. Both involve riding behind a boat, but the former is truly a tow sport while the latter is primarily about riding the boat’s wave. Both are enjoyable watersports and whichever you decide to go for, make sure you make the proper preparations to find the right, unique setup that best suits you.
Rip Split Series Twin Set - Wake Surf Fins - Kracjen (3 5/8 inches)
Flyer Series Twin Set - Wake Surfing Fins - Monsters (3 1/3 inches)
Dimpster Deluxe Set - Includes Two Sets of "Dimpster" Style Wake Fins - Island Style