How to Choose A Wakesurf Board

Wakesurfing is the newest boardsport to hit the waterways, but it’s quickly becoming the most popular watersport because of the amazing feeling that comes from being pushed by the wave left behind by your boat.

The sensation of being propelled by a wave is no longer relegated to people that live in coastal areas. Wakesurfing has opened up the this amazing sport to anyone with access to a boat and some water. If you've never experienced the joy of riding an endless wave behind a boat, now is the time to start.

Board Length

Most boards range from 4' to 6' in length. There are benefits to both big wakesurf boards and small wakesurf boards and we will do our best to explain which one will work best for you.

Big Wakesurf Boards 5' and up: Bigger wakesurf boards have more surface area, more float, and generate speed more easily. This makes them a great option for bigger riders and riders who are riding behind a smaller wake. The increased float also makes them a good option for beginners.

Ronix Koal Thruster Wakesurf Board in 5'1 and 5'7- From beginners to advanced riders, everyone can have fun on this playful and buoyant shape. Multiple fin adjustments give you the option to ride it with 3 fins for a tighter feel or a single fin for a looser and more playful ride.

Liquid Force Happy Pill in 4'4 and 4'8- The Liquid Force Happy Pill is a shorter shaped board with a ton of surface area, so it rides like a longboard.

Small Wakesurf Boards 5' and under: Smaller wakesurf boards are great for advanced riders and lightweight riders. These smaller boards are easier to maneuver and air out of the wave, making them the board of choice for most advanced riders. These boards don't offer as much surface area as bigger boards, so they usually require a larger wave with more push.

Ronix Koal Power Tail Wakesurf Board in 4'5 and 4'11- The Koal Power Tail is one of the most fun boards we've ever ridden. This board delivers the speed and agility of a small board with the push of a larger wakesurfer due to the increased size of the tail.

Liquid Force Chase Sixer Wakesurf Board in 4'4 and 4'8- Re-designed for 2015, the new Chase Sixer is faster and it offers a ton of different fin configurations. Ridden and designed by World Champion Wakesurfer Chase Hazen, the 2015 Sixer can handle anything you throw it's way.

Skim, Surf, Or Hybrid Shape?

Most wakesurf boards come in one of three different shapes: Skim, Surf, and Hybrid.

Skim Style boards are thinner and less buoyant. They are generally better for doing spins (180's & 360's) because they feature shorter fins and less overall resistance. We recommend skim style wakesurfers for more advanced riders because they offer less floatation and control. The Phase 5 Matrix and the Slingshot Skim Bender are both good examples of  skim style wakesurf boards.

Skim Wakesurf Board Shape

Surf Style boards are similar to their ocean counterpart. They are thicker, more buoyant and they feature longer fins for a more controlled feel on the wake. We recommend surf style boards for beginners because they are easier to learn on. The Ronix Koal Thruster is a good example of a surf style wakesurf board.

Wakesurf Board Shape

Hybrid Style boards are a blend between the two most popular shapes: surf and skim. The goal of the hybrid shape is to offer the playfulness of a skim style board with the feel and board responsiveness that only a surf style board can give. The Ronix Carbon Surf Skimmer is a good example of a hybrid style board.

Hybrid Wakesurf Shape

Construction Styles

Compression Molded wakesurf boards are made using the same construction as a wakeboard. This makes them a great option for beginners because they are more durable than surf constructed boards. Compression molded boards tend to be heavier and less responsive that surf constructed wakesurf boards so they are generally regarded as a beginner board.

Epoxy Fiberglass/Surfboard Construction boards are made from a foam core and covered in a layered glass. This makes the boards lightweight, but they are also much more fragile than compression molded wakesurf boards. The speed and performance of these boards makes them a favorite for more advanced riders.

Hybrid Foam construction is when a manufacturer uses a blend of construction styles. The Ronix Mellow Thrasher is a good example of this because it features a soft foam top and compression molded construction. These boards are great for beginners and kids because it offers them a forgiving platform to learn on. The performance is more sluggish than compression molded and surf constructed boards because the foam top dampens the reaction between your feet and the board.

Wakesurf Board Construction Types

Rocker Lines 

Rocker lines play a big role in how a wakesurf board rides behind the boat. In general, boards with less rocker ride smoother and faster on the water and boards with more rocker are a bit slower but they work better for steeper waves.


Just like a wakeboard, the rail on a wakesurf board gives you the "bite" or forgiveness you need. Boards with a thin rail offer more grab and response behind the boat and boards with a thicker rail are typically slower to respond to your body movement.

Ropes & Handles

Often overlooked but definitely a must-have for safety reasons, wakesurf specific rope and handles feature prevent injury from catching the rope with your arms, legs or even neck. These ropes are around 25 feet in total length and there are a few different design options. Shop for Wakesurf Ropes and Handles>>

Boat Speed

Finding the right speed for wakesurfing is essential to creating a good wake that has enough push for riders to drop the rope. Most boats perform best for wakesurfing when driven at 9-12mph. You will want to play around with your speed until you find the optimal speed. Finding the right speed for your boat is a huge part of building a great wake. If you are driving too slow the wake will appear "washy" and not have enough push, and if you are driving too fast the wake will flatten out.

Weighting Your V-Drive Boat for Wakesurfing

Want to surf without the rope? Of course you do. Click here for our guide on "Weighting Your V-Drive Boat For Wakesurfing".

Wakesurfing Safety

The first rule of wakesurfing is to never surf behind an outboard or inboard/outboard (I/O) boat. To safely and properly wakesurf you will need an inboard boat. Inboard boats have the propeller tucked under the boat and in front of the rudder. Surfing behind an outboard or I/O boat can cause serious injury or even death.

Previously mentioned above the second rule of wakesurfing is to always use a surf specific handle. Wakesurf specific handles and ropes are smaller than wakeboard and waterski handles so they help to prevent a rider from getting their head or other body parts caught in the handle opening.

Another thing to be aware of is Carbon Monoxide (CO) poisoning. It's a common concern while boating, so you need to be aware of the risks and symptoms associated with CO poisoning. If you feel dizzy or light-headed at all while surfing or boarding we highly recommend taking a break.

 Need more information on weighing your boat for wake surfing? Send us an email at or (888) 338-6085