Best Wakesurf Board for Beginners

We were once beginners too.  It is hard to know what the best way to start with it all the while just learning how to stand and stay up.  You’ll certainly need to feel your way around to get comfortable.  These boards will ease the pain and are a bit more forgiving.  That being said make sure your board has a 3 fin configuration to give you more control of the board as you begin surfing.  We go more into depth at the bottom of this article about how to choose the right wakesurf board, but you’re probably most interested in our list of the best wakesurf boards for beginners so without delay here it is.

Hyperlite Broadcast Wakesurf Board | Editor’s Pick

Without mincing words, when I was brand new to wakesurfing and this is the board I learned on. I love this board! I have advanced beyond it and now using a Phase 5 Diamond CL, but this is the board that got me up. This is the board I got for my kids. I can’t speak highly enough from personal experience with this board.

The 3 – 2 inch fins make staying in control easy once you are up. Once you are ready, you can remove the fins, giving you the ability to do more tricks. The machined EVA traction pad is great and really increases your grip and feel of the board. This board also has a dual concave base feature and new rocker line which gives a speedy responsive ride. Do yourself a favor – click the link above or go to your local shop and get this board. It is the best beginner board out there, hands down.

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CWB Connelly Ride Wakesurf Board | Budget Pick

Designed using compression construction technology, the CWB Connelly Ride Wake-surfer offers its rider the ability to catch and ride waves with ease. Equipped with a two piece EVA pad, the Connelly is a great beginner/intermediate board for anyone looking to get started with wake-surfing. What makes this a great beginner board is that it is considered to be a surf style board and is relatively long in length (62″). The excess length provides extra stability and control for beginners to get up and stay up while surfing. Reasonably priced, makes it one of the most affordable boards on the market for beginners. A great ride for lake or ocean.

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Driftsun Throwdown Wakesurf Board | Reviewer’s Favorite

The Driftsun Throwdown Wakesurf Board provides a beginner / intermediate rider with the feel of a professional wakesurf board. The board uses a quad fin setup supplemented by a pair of interchangeable fins for future installation. Its dual concave base and rocker line allow the rider to adapt freely to wave patterns. Most importantly, the board is designed to age with the rider, so that when the rider improves they will not be limited by their board’s design. Thus, the Driftsun Throwdown Wakesurf Board will empower the rider to ride up and down the wake, while still being able to carve out and do a giant bottom turn. While the price tag is a little heftier, the value of the board is more beneficial for the rider as the Driftsun model may offer more capable longterm usage.

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ZUP You Got This 2.0 All-in-One Board – Best Multi Use

Now live on the market, ZUP 2.0 offers riders of all-ages the opportunity to experience kneeboarding, wakeboarding, wakeskating, and wakesurfing all in one board. The ZUP has two foot straps for riders still getting comfortable with balance when riding the board at higher speeds. Rated one of the most user friendly boards, the ZUP 2.0 is multifunctional, allowing the rider to experiment with different riding postures and gain better control of riding while practicing. Well designed, reasonably priced, the ZUP 2.0 is a great choice for kids or adults learning to wakesurf.

ZUP all in one
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Phase Five XB Wakesurf Board | Best For Big Guys

The Phase Five XB Wakesurf Board is a versatile board that can accommodate anyone regardless of their surfing abilities. It comes with a wide tail so that you can rip turns when riding without losing your speed. This board is a good option for anyone looking for a fast, stable and high-performing board that can cut through any wave. Constructed with E-glass wrap and high density woven multiple layers, we know that it’s a strong board made to last. 

We noticed that from nose to tail, this board maintains the same thickness of 5/8 inches or what is referred to as the continuous core. This allows for some float when riding the wakesurf board. It is made with the widely used Polyester resin in the composite industry.

It also comes with the signature Tuffcoat gloss finish that all Phase Five molded composilite boards come with. This is helpful if you are looking to hand paint some graphics on the board without ruining the board.

Shaped as a directional cruiser, the Phase Five XB Wakesurf Board 2020 comfortably stays in the wave and allows for a lot of push. This hybrid, skimboard style responds in medium time. It is recommended for beginner-intermediate ability level but can still take on advanced riders.

Made in the USA, this board comes with 3 fins and takes up to 250 rider weight. At 58 inches, this board made it to our list of wakesurf boards we recommend.

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Driftsun Fifty-50 Wakesurf Board – Best Hybrid Style

Similar to the majority of the boards here, the Fifty-50 board has customized fin setup. This attribute is key to rider experience and getting the most out of your board as you practice and train at wake-surfing. Like the few, this has the traditional EPS core setup with natural wood stringers, and of course, interchangeable fins. Some of the best aspects of the Fifty-50 is its unique and feel, making it another board for beginners to standout from the rest. Even more exciting is that this board supports growth development where riders are able to make modifications to their board design as they improve overtime. Standing at 4 feet 9 inches, the Fifty-50 Wakesurfer offers great potential for new riders looking to start training with this excellent hybrid board design. This board covers the market with all the needed necessities for beginners starting off with wake-surfing. 

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Lib Tech Manna Tee Wakesurf Board – Best Surf Style

The Lib Tech Manna Tee Wakesurf Board bears Lib’s legendary tough construction, a smooth rocker and dynamic rail line from nose to tail. It is made with Lib’s new construction material – Magnesium Basalt Carbon (MBC) which helps to bring out the board’s liveliness. Aside from that, the main benefit of this construction (a blend of epoxy and polyester for dampness and flex) is that you get a board that is not only durably but performs optimally. 

While testing out the board, we found that it has good impact resistance. This means that truly, they added magnesium fiber as they claimed. Unexpectedly, this board matches the flex of most of the high performing boards. No doubt it’s the carbon composite stringer at work.

The Lib Tech Manna Tee comes in a “surfy” round tail design for good control and aggressive carving. It also features two single foil fins and one lead fin. And then there is the two double foiled trailing fins.

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Connelly Cuda Wakesurf Board | Best Dual Tail Board

With its old school look of the 60s and 70s as well as its fish surf style makeup, the 2020 Connelly Cuda is a great option for beginner wakesurfer’s. Known for its excellent reviews by rider’s, the Connelly Cuda is surprisingly affordable. Like the rest, it also is designed with an EPS foam core and natural wood stringer platform. Only a dual fin board, the Cuda should excel at turns and wave traversing. The board design reduces the distance between the both tail points, enabling the board fins to act as two separate tails. It also has a strong “push” factor, which allows the rider to surf all sized waves, edge to edge. 

Connelly Cuda
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How To Choose The Right Wakesurf Board

Whilst there are no set length recommendations, rider weight and wake size are effective guidelines. Other factors that influence this decision are the board shape, rail, and tail shape. Here is some further information that should assist you when choosing between different sizes.

Larger wake surf boards have increased surface area with increased float and are therefore best suited to larger riders. If trailing a boat that produces a smaller wake, pick a bigger board. Large wakeboards move much slower through the water and are therefore easier to control, ideal for beginners.

Smaller wake surf boards are more playful and can manoeuvre faster on the wave. These make for an ideal choice for more advanced riders and lighter riders. Bigger waves will suit a smaller board.

Wakesurf Board Size Chart

Rider WeightSurf StyleSkim StyleHybrid Style
Up to 110 lbsUp to 4′Up to 4′Up to 4′
100 – 170 lbs4′ – 4’8″4′ – 4’4″3′ 9″ – 4′ 8″
150 – 200 lbs4’8″ – 5′4’4″ – 4’10”4′ 8″ – 5′ 3″
190 – 250+ lbs5’+4’10″+5’+

Length

Boards that are longer in length are usually better for beginners since they are much easier to control thanks to simplified front-back weight distribution. This factor alone makes catching waves much easier and prevent nose-diving. Despite this, advanced riders may also opt for a longer board if they are particularly tall or heavy. Longer boards are more difficult to carve on due to their larger turn radius.

Board type (Skim, Surf or Hybrid)

Wake surf boards can come in three different styles: surf, skim, and hybrid. Figuring out which style suits your needs best is the first step to obtaining the best board for you. Let us discuss each board style to help you work out which style best suits your requirements. 

Surf style wake surf boards

The surf style board is the most popular style that people go with when purchasing a wake surfboard. This style closely resembles the boards that you will often see at the beach, however, these are slightly smaller and are designed to effectively wake surf following a boat. This style is often regarded as the most user-friendly due to its sturdy construction and ability to reach higher speeds at a faster rate. That said, this style is perhaps more ideal for beginner surfers because they offer stability and can catch waves easier than the other board styles. More advanced riders choose this style to enjoy the high-speed manoeuvrability it delivers and execute big turns, slashes, and jumps. Although they are not as suited to performing tricks as the skim style board, the surf style board is still more than capable of executing 360’s.

Skim style wake surf boards

The skim style board is considered the most playful of the three styles and is preferred by riders looking to perform tricks and gain airtime trailing the boat. This style board is usually smaller in size compared to the surf style board, with smaller fins that create a looser experience on the wake, allowing the rider to execute big jumps and perform spins and various tricks behind the boat. This style board is best suited to a rider that has the experience and is comfortable surfing the wake, therefore, this style is a good choice for intermediate-advanced riders.

Hybrid style wake surf boards

The hybrid shape alludes to a board that encompasses qualities of both the surf and skim styles. This style aims to incorporate the best features of each board to create a board that is capable of fulfilling most requirements. The board features the stability and user-friendliness of the surf combined with the playfulness of the skim style to create a board that can do both. Hybrid boards are available in a variety of shapes and sizes and since they offer a bit of everything, they are ideal for those who want to experience both sides of the wake.

Fin Setup

The fin setup of the board is often undervalued but it plays a huge role in the riding experience and overall feel of the board. The modern boards have much more emphasis on the wake surf fins, and as a result, today’s boards glide better and provide a much higher quality experience on the wake. Fin systems can range from high-quality carbon fins to the newer tool-less fin setups, the majority of boards on the current market feature the most advanced fins which significantly improves the surfing experience.

Once you have deciphered which style you would like, the next thing is to understand which fin setup will provide you an optimal ride. Various factors influence this decision such as riding style, ability and wake size. Here we discuss the different fin setups, how they influence the ride and the board styles that most commonly feature each setup.  

Single fin

The single fin style is most common on boards with a skim style but sometimes features on longboard surf style ones also. It performs a similar role to a rudder, offering stability and lots of control whilst not compromising the playfulness of the board. This means that the board can still perform tricks. The single fin is best suited for use on medium to large-sized waves.

Twin fin

The twin fin provides the rider with a playful ride but offers enough hold for turns whilst still being capable of executing 360’s. This setup usually comes as standard on most surf or hybrid boards with many also featuring three fin setups. With these boards, the centre fin can be removed to use the board as a twin fin. This setup performs very well against waves of many sizes.

Thruster

The thruster setup is the most popular setup with most surf style wake surf boards featuring it. The outer fins play a key role in generating speed as you progress across the waves whilst the middle fin keeps things stable and controlled. This setup is very versatile, removing fins can turn it into a single or twin fin setup. This setup is capable of use on all wave sizes.

Quad fin

This particular fin setup is exclusively found on surf style boards. The quad fin setup provides the rider with serious speed with the fins enabling the surfer to pump and generate speed quickly. The setup is also versatile with the option to remove two fins and ride as a twin setup. It excels when faced with bigger waves.

Five fin

This is a rare setup, but it provides an endless amount of options. It is also exclusive to surf style boards. This fin setup offers upmost versatility, allowing the rider to surf using any fin combination they desire. It is not wise to ride with all five fins since this will introduce increased drag and significantly slow down the board’s progression. It can be used on waves of all sizes.

Tail shape

There is more to your board’s tail shape than just aesthetics. Since the inception of wake surfing, the tail shape is something that has been extensively experimented with to discover optimal shapes that perform on a variety of wave types. The tail shape directly influences hydrodynamics, controlling the way the board feels on the water surface, but do not worry, we will not delve too deep into the physics here.

By far the most common tail shape on surfboards is a big, wide tail which catches the wave easily and gives the rider more push to surf the wave. The increased push that a square or large, rounded tail offers affords the rider with additional acceleration and speed. This makes for a great option for those who do not have a massive wave trail behind the boat.

A small, round tail shape has much more responsiveness when turning and has a looser playful feel on the surface. These round tails are found on pretty much all board styles, but skim style boards feature a much smaller, pointy tail which is perfect for executing spins and tricks. The round tails are most suitable for medium to large waves; however, they do not provide the same push that a larger, square tail does.

The final tail shape is the fish (or swallow) tail. This shape has been a staple in surfing for decades and now many wake surf board manufacturers are jumping on the bandwagon. It provides a good amount of push due to its wider tail whilst also being responsive in controlled turns. This is the best option when tackling waves that are smaller and do not possess much push.

Rail design

The rail on a wake surf board is vital since it influences the flow of water past the board and therefore plays a significant role in how the board rides when making turns. Typically, a thinner, sharper rail provides increased speed and is more responsive whilst a thicker, rounded rail offers a more stable, controlled experience. The following rail types contribute to unique rides, so you need to find which one best suits you.

Full rail

The full rail is featured on the majority of surf style boards. It is very user-friendly for beginner to advanced riders due to its stable, controlled profile whilst taking turns. The softer, larger rail hugs the wave better, making wave riding easier and increasing overall speed.

Hard rail

The hard rail is featured on the majority of the skim style boards. This rail features a harder edge which cuts through the water much easier providing increased board speed but breaks free easily to perform spins. This rail does not provide the same hold as the softer, full rail and so it feels much looser and playful to ride.

Blended rail

A blended rail is a hybrid of both the full rail and hard rail designs. It is found on a lot of the hybrid style boards. It represents a good versatile option that offers stability but still maintains enough playfulness to spin the board and execute 360’s.

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