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6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids

6 Best Wakeboards: Beginners, Experts, Women, Kids

If you’ve tried kneeboarding or kayaking, chances are you’ll love wakeboarding. Before you try it, though, you’re going to need a wakeboard. When it comes to choosing your wakeboard, size, style, edges, and core all make a difference. To help you make this important decision, we reviewed the six best wakeboards in categories like budget and kids, as well as the best wakeboard for beginners.

Maybe instead, you’re an experienced wakeboarder looking to upgrade to the latest model. If that’s you, keep reading because we have an expert pick as well. No matter why you’re here, wakeboarding is a fun and exciting way to spend a day on the water. With any wakeboard from our ranking, you’ll leave the shore and never look back.

Our Top Picks

Skim the surface of each wakeboard in our ranking.

Slingshot-2021-Windsor-WakeboardBest Overall: Slingshot 2021 Windsor Wakeboard.
Not only is the 2021 Windsor the best wakeboard available, Slingshot prioritizes sustainability in their manufacturing.
OBrien-2022-System-140-WakeboardBudget Pick: O’Brien 2022 System 140 Wakeboard.
Not only is the O’Brien 2022 System 140 affordable, it’s balanced, consistent, and easy to control.
Hyperlite-FranchiseBeginners Pick: Hyperlite Franchise.
With a variable edge design, the Hyperlite Franchise suits both beginners and advanced riders.
Hyperlite-Rusty-Pro-WakeboardExpert Pick: Hyperlite Rusty Pro Wakeboard.
With an abrupt continuous rocker and a full-length cupped rail, the Rusty Pro offers added pop and helps experienced riders save their landings.
Ronix-Quarter-Til-Midnight-Secret-Flex-WakeboardWomen’s Pick: Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight Secret Flex Wakeboard.
Although women can use whatever wakeboard they want, the Quarter ‘Til Midnight may help some make the most of the experience.
Slingshot 2021 Super Grom Kid's WakeboardKid’s Pick: Slingshot 2021 Super Grom Kid’s Wakeboard.
Start ‘em young with the Super Grom kid’s wakeboard from Slingshot.
 

A Closer Look: Best Wakeboards

Hit the wake because an in-depth look at each wakeboard in our ranking is coming up next.

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1. Slingshot 2021 Windsor Wakeboard

The best wakeboards overall.

Brand: Slingshot | Profile: Hybrid Rocker | Core: Vertically Laminated Wood | Edge: Tip to Tail Flex | Price: 💰💰💰💰

 By using clean solar energy and sustainable wood, Pacific Northwest-based Slingshot prioritizes the planet whenever possible. None of this would matter, of course, if the wakeboards weren’t also great, and they are. The Slingshot 2021 Windsor is one such example.

What earned the Windsor first choice in our ranking are features like flex tips for stronger transitions, and the atomic wood core adding flavor. We also like the light, responsive, and strong carbon bedrock inserts. 

Consistent, the board also offers pop without reducing speed due to the hybrid rocker profile, and it’s an especially good choice for cable riding, according to reports.

  • Withstands all surfaces
  • An all-around park board
  • Stiff center maintains pop
  • Best suited for air tricks
  • Maybe not for beginners

2. O’Brien 2022 System 140 Wakeboard

The best wakeboard on a budget

O'Brien 2022 System 140 Wakeboard

Brand: O’Brien | Profile: Continuous Rocker | Core: Biolite 3 | Edges: Even Curve | Price: 💰

To get into the popular sport of wakeboarding on a budget, we recommend the System 140 wakeboard from O’Brien. Not only is the board reasonably priced, it has a continuous rocker design, helping this well-balanced board stay consistent and easy to control. Roll up to the wake on the System 140 and expect a smooth and predictable pop, and overall, it stays very stable in the water.

What’s more, the board has foam core keeping it buoyant, which helps beginners get back up on it should they happen to fall (and they inevitably will). It’s also durable, with flank fins for easy tracking and better edging.

All around, it’s a great beginner board that will stay with a rider as their skills improve, according to reports, and extra stability is provided by the dual channels at the tip and tail.

  • Great look
  • Light and easy to maneuver
  • Nice step-up from a true beginner board
  • Shipping issues
  • Best for beginners
  • Some durability issues reported

3. Hyperlite Franchise

The best wakeboards for beginners.

Hyperlite Franchise

Brand: Hyperlite | Profile: Continuous Rocker | Core: Biolite 3 | Edges: Variable Edge | Price: 💰💰💰💰

Before choosing their board, wakeboarding beginners should consider first and foremost the edges, sometimes called rails. For speed, look for sharp edges. For control — which is especially important for those just learning — rounded edges are best. And for this reason, we like the soft edge Hyperlite Franchise for beginning riders of all ages.

What’s notable about the Franchise is that it’s narrow at the tip and tail with a dual-fin configuration for better edge hold, especially when approaching the wake. Also worth mentioning is the thin profile and the OT toe binding, blending both functionality with flexibility. 

And although the board is a great pick for new riders, experienced wakeboarders find plenty to like about the Franchise as well, calling it tough and durable due to the layered fiberglass construction.

  • Great foothold
  • Stable rider position
  • Both light and strong
  • Versatile, but best for beginners
  • Short/wide boards not for everyone
  • Hyperlite won’t ship outside the U.S.

4. Hyperlite Rusty Pro Wakeboard

The best wakeboard for experts.

Hyperlite Rusty Pro Wakeboard

Brand: Hyperlite | Profile: Abrupt Continuous Rocker | Core: Biolite 3 | Edges: Full-Length Cupped Rail | Price: 💰💰💰💰

For the most experienced wakeboarders, we like the Rusty Pro wakeboard from Hyperlite. Integrating a top and bottom fiberglass layer into one, durable layer, the Rusty Pro is an abrupt continuous rocker board with better kick and speed. But the tip and tail are also slightly exaggerated, adding pop. 

In addition, the full-length cupped rails help riders break free should they have to, or simply save a landing if they’re not quite on a target. 

Extremely light and responsive, the Rusty Pro offered one wakeboarder the best ride of their life, they said. While another added, “they killed it with this one.” What’s for certain, it’s grippy, snappy, and fast, according to feedback.

  • Quick shipping
  • Feels poppy and snappy
  • Good surface area for massive airs
  • Not cheap
  • Not for beginners
  • Too aggressive for some

5. Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight Secret Flex Wakeboard

The best wakeboard for women.

Ronix Quarter 'Til Midnight Secret Flex Wakeboard

Brand: Ronix | Profile: Hybrid-3-Stage Middle/Continuous Outer Rocker | Core: Secret Flex Construction | Edges: Variable | Price: 💰💰💰

Women, of course, should use whatever wakeboard fits them, but female wakeboarders with especially small frames should consider the Ronix Quarter ‘Til Midnight. 

This 5-star board is a hybrid 3-stage middle with a continuous outer rocker. It’s generally lighter while offering more flex than other boards, which suits some female riders better than others. 

But most notably, the bindings are designed for boots sized to fit most women’s feet. Nevertheless, riders should expect predictable take offs, wake to wake jumps, and smooth, low maintenance turns with high-speed wide open cuts.

  • Nice control
  • Different sizes available
  • Good strength to weight ratio
  • Only for women
  • Limit weight-bearing capacity
  • Best for intermediate to advanced

6. Slingshot 2021 Super Grom Kid’s Wakeboard

The best wakeboard for kids.

Slingshot 2021 Super Grom Kid's Wakeboard

Brand: Slingshot | Profile: Continuous Rocker | Core: Atomic Wood | Edges: Soft Flex | Price: 💰💰💰

And for kids just getting into wakeboarding, we like the Super Grom kid’s wakeboard from Slingshot. 

Learning edge control is often the most important lesson for young riders, and the Super Grom offers bolt-on fins to help keep control while they’re learning. 

Otherwise, it’s a hybrid continuous rocker, appropriate for beginning and advanced water experiences, and everything in between. And it’s designed to mimic the feel of a snowboard, offering softer flex, which is perfect for lighter body types, especially in the wake. 

Overall, it’s a great learning board, but sophisticated enough to keep kids interested as their skills improve. 

Youngsters particularly like the flashy graphics, but no fins are included, unfortunately. The Super Grom is alSO not well-suited for aggressive boarding, we learned and it’s a little slow for more experienced wakeboarders. Which is not usually a problem for kids.

  • Good flex
  • Stable ride
  • Soft landings
  • Not for grown ups
  • Some durability concerns
  • Bit pricey for a true beginner

Our Process

For this guide on the best wakeboards, our team spent 5 hours researching the most popular options from over 30 brands and manufacturers big and small. We then read about 5-10 user reviews per wakeboard (both positive and negative) to discover what shoppers thought about each one. After comparing this data, we narrowed our list down to the top 6 on the market. You can count on this research to guide you to a mindful purchasing decision.

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