Your Summer Wakeboarding Checklist

Guy flipping on wakeboard

I can think of no better way for you to spend the rest of the summer than on a wakeboard. This wonderful, and increasingly popular, watersport is a cross between water skis, surfboards, and snowboards – plus, it’s wicked fun.

Given this, it’s no surprise that wakeboards and wakeboarding have become one of the most popular activities on the water. You can even wakeboard without a boat at parks around the country.

Before you are ready to hit the wake, you’ll want to gather the gear and read the tips in your summer wakeboarding checklist:

The Wakeboard

Image from Overton’s

You can’t go wakeboarding without a wakeboard, and there are plenty of options out there. These choices will get you up on the water and enjoying yourself. 

Hyperlite State 2.0 Wakeboard

The Hyperlite State 2.0 Wakeboard is super lightweight, and it also features design features that make it much easier to jump the wake. It’s great for more advanced wakeboarders but will work well for anyone. 

O’Brien Valhalla Wakeboard

The O’Brien Valhalla Wakeboard is perfect for those of you who have tried a bit of wakeboarding and want to level up. Featuring a feather core, it is one of the lightest wakeboards on the market while still giving you the flexibility to execute intermediate/advanced level jumps.

O’Brien System Wakeboard

The O’Brien System Wakeboard is a great option for beginners. It’s designed to keep you going smooth and steady, so you can focus on improving your wave crashing.

A Good Life Vest

O'neill life jacket
Image from Overton’s

When wakeboarding, you want maximum freedom of movement while also enjoying maximum safety. Fortunately, most wakeboarding vests are designed to provide both of these.

When you’re shopping, bear in mind that you’ll usually want to look either for a wakeboarding life jacket or just an impact vest. As a bonus, they’ll provide extra padding for the inevitable wipeout. Here are a few of my favorites:

O’Neil Assault Life Jacket

The O’Neill Men’s Assault Life Jacket is an ideal vest if you plan to spend a lot of time on the water. Featuring extra lumbar support, it’ll keep you boarding in safety and style all day.

Liquid Force Ghost Competition Life Jacket

The Liquid Force Men’s Ghost Competition Life Jacket is slick-looking and form-fitting. But don’t let that fool you; it’ll give you the protection you need when wipeouts come your way.

O’Brien Biolite Traditional Life Jacket

The O’Brien Men’s Biolite Traditional Life Jacket is a more traditional-style vest, but it’ll still provide you with lots of impact protection and plenty of movement. It’s also one of the most budget-friendly vests for wakeboards.

Wakeboarding Boots and Bindings

Boots for a wakeboard
Image from Overton’s

Wakeboards need to have bindings on them – these are essentially boots and straps that hold your feet on the board. They are waterproof and more flexible than the bindings you’ll find on snow skis or snowboards.

Depending on the board you buy, these may be included, or you may have to purchase them separately (you’ll usually save by buying them together). Either way, you’ll need these, so your feet stay put on the board. Here are a few bindings for you to check out:

  1. O’Brien Nova Wakeboard Bindings 
  2. O’Brien Clutch Wakeboard Bindings 
  3. O’Brien Connect Wakeboard Bindings

A Wakeboarding Helmet

wakeboarding helmet
Image from Overton’s

While it may not make for a style statement, a helmet is an absolute must for wakeboards, especially when you go to a wakeboarding park and there are different ramps that you’re looking to jump. In fact, most wakeboarding parks will require you to have a helmet. Here are a few to look at:

  1. Liquid Force Flash Helmet
  2. Liquid Force Hero Helmet

Best Places to Wakeboard

A guy jumping some wake
Jack Van Tricht via Unsplash

The beauty of wakeboards is that you can use them even without a boat. This is because lots of wakeboarding parks have sprung up in recent years. Instead of a boat, these parks feature a line that will pull you around the water and even up and over obstacles such as ramps.

Also known as cable wake parks, there are locations all around the world. We’d recommend doing a quick search in your area for wakeboarding parks. There’s also an interactive map of park locations created by wakeboarders which you can find at uscablewakeparks.com/

How to Improve Your Wakeboarding

Guy flipping on wakeboard
Steve Welch via Unsplash

No matter what stage of wakeboarding you’re at, the chances are strong that you want to get better. Here are the best tips from folks who use their wakeboards often:

  1. Keep your core strongYou’ll up your game significantly if you add a regular workout routine that focuses on your core. Arms and legs play a role in wakeboarding, but the magic happens at your core. The more you can build your core off the water, the better you’ll board on the water. 
  2. Steadily up your gameThey say that all progress happens just outside your comfort zone, so the best way to get better at wakeboarding is to constantly try new maneuvers. We’re not saying to try a flip on your first day, but doing things like moving further into the wake and trying small jumps will help you to up your game every time you go out.
  3. Eat rightIt’s easy to let the diet go during lake season, but those extra pounds won’t help you make bigger and better jumps on wakeboards. Keep yourself lean and mean if you want to rock it on the water.

With all of this information, you should be able to get out on the water with your wakeboard and have a lot of fun.

Have any questions or concerns? Leave a comment below!


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