Choosing your wakeboard can be confusing at times, especially for a girl. There is a whole mix of contradicting information out there, and it can leave is feeling somewhat confused at the moment when we want to make the investment in what is to become our weapon of choice! Choosing our board that is going to take us through the next season of sessions and good times, it’s a big decision, so let’s take a look at some of the critical points:
How to choose your wakeboard
When choosing your wakeboard, size is probably the most important factor that you will be looking at, and times have changed a bit. Generally now, we are riding longer board, with a skinnier stance (less distance between your feet). So if you are looking to progress, take our advice and get a bigger board. For your wakeboard, the average size board that most girls will be comfortable on is 136/137 cm. Unless you are particularly small, then aim more around the 134 cm range. Most brands now have some awesome girl specific boards. When we say girl specific, there is more to it than just the girlier graffics. The boards are designed for riders of lighter weight, and riding a girl specific board can help you progress well with your riding. The perfect example is the Slingshot Pearl, that comes in the best sizes to suit each girl.
Wakeboards can vary a lot in construction. The have different flex, different core (foam or wood). The grindbase is the layer under your wakeboard that allows you to slide good on rails and kickers. People have different preferences here, some like the board to feel a little more sticky on the rails, which will give you more comfort and allow you to press your board more. Some people prefer a more slippery and smooth board, this is really a personal preference for each girl. Your wakeboard should have a rocker (bananna shape) which give the board more pop, allows smoother landings, and helps press on the rails. Some wakeboards have channels and others don’t. This also depends on whether you are choosing your wakeboard for cable riding or boat riding. There are many cable specific options on the market, but you can also find plenty of wakeboards that are suitable for both.
Lets take a closer look at the Slingshot Pearl, which has a wood core.
It provides quite a different feeling to a foam core board. It feels heavier and stiffer generally. It also allows better landings, and are more durable. A stiffer board also gives you better pop. Foam core boards a generally more flexible, so easier to press on rails.
So, in order to choose your wakeboard, take all the factors into account. Where will you be riding? Do you prefer a lighter or heavier board? Do you want smoother landings, or prefer a board that has more flex? And lastly… make sure it looks awesome! 😉
How to choose your bindings
Now let’s take a look at the other crucial matter… your wakeboard bindings.
When it comes to your boots, we definitely recommend, as usual, that you choose a girl specific products. Generally, our feet are smaller and narrower, so you want to make sure that your bindings feet nice and snug. Nothing worse than your foot sliding out of your binding in the worst possible moment. Ankle injuries happen when your boots are not tight enough, so make sure whatever model you choose, that you can tighten them up well, and easily. Generally, laces makes this easier than full velcro.
When you first try your boots, choose the ones that feel tighter. They always loosen up after a few sessions, and can end up feeling too big for you if they weren’t really snug in the beginning. Even if they feel small for first couple sessions, they will definitely loosen up. If you choose some boots that are too big, you will spend your sessions pulling and yanking at them to tighten them as much as possible, and you will destroy them before the end of the season.
The velcro and laces combo is always good to have, and if you tighten them well, your feet will not come out and your ankles will be safe.
Try not to let other people use your bindings! It can mess them up, and everyone has different shaped feet. Let your bindings mould the shape of your own feet, not someone elses!
For the best durability, try to let them dry well after each session, keeping the laces tight so that they keep the shape. Always make sure that your laces are in good conditions when starting a session, or travelling somewhere! If you can, try to always keep a spare pair with you, as it can definitely ruin your session or your trip if they break!
How to set-up your board
Let’s try to understand how to choose your stance and how to angle your bindings. Again, it’s a very personal decision, but here are some points that we want to cover;
Don’t go too wide! Many bad knee-breaking stories happened with a wide stance, as it makes it easier to twist your knee. Want to avoid 9 months off the water, rehab and having to wear a knee brace? Don’t go too wide! Skinny stance maybe the trend right now in wakeboarding, but be sure not to go too skinny either! Find a happy medium, and one that feels comfortable. Generally speaking, if you have inserts on your board, go for the middle one. For the angle, again try not to go extreme. You don´t have to put the same angle on the inside as on the outside of your bindings, but do make sure you choose the same angle for both boots. Have a play around and find the stance that is most comfortable for you. Normally for kiteboarding you would angle your boots more than you would for wakeboarding, so if you do both sports, don´t think that your angle needs to be exactly the same on both your wakeboard and your kiteboard, as it probably won’t. If you ever feel pain in your knee or feet while riding, it could be that the angle you are riding is not good for you, so pay attention to it and change it as needed.Do you need to ride same brand boots and board? Well, not necessarily, but it looks better,and will normally save you time and hassle when you are screwing your boots in, as they are made specifically for that board.
So that was just a little advice from us! Feel free to ask for more advice if you need it, and above all, have fun trying your new gear!