Anyone can wakesurf. It’s easy to learn and wakesurfing is the perfect activity for the middle of the day when the water is choppy. With more inboard boats on the water with big wakes and automatic ballast systems than ever before, wakesurfing is taking the watersports world by storm. There are more surfers than ever on the market and it can be difficult to find the right one for you. Use this buyer’s guide to find the perfect machine to slash and carve that endless wave.
The length of board you choose in wakesurfing is nowhere near as important as it is in wakeboarding and waterskiing. Wakesurfers have a lot more surface area than a wakeboard or ski which means almost anyone can get up on any length board. So rather than height and weight, choose wakesurfer size based on your ability level and the style of surfing you want to do (read more on style below).
If you’re a beginner look to wider, longer length wakesurfers that easily pop you out of the water and carry enough speed to sit you in the sweet spot.
Advanced wakesurfers will enjoy smaller sizes in any style of surfer, which are a little harder to keep on the wave but turn aggressively and are easier to perform tricks.
TIP FOR KIDS: Because wakesurfers are so big, young rippers will have no trouble getting out of the water on an adult sized board. But kids are so light they can struggle to control such a large surfer. If your groms are getting into their surfing consider a kids specific wakesurf board that is easier to surf the wave.
Style is everything in wakesurfing and every board will produce something unique from your surf wave. Deciding on which shape wakesurf is right for you depends mostly on the style of surfer you wish to ride. Here are a few of the most common types:
THRUSTER STYLE SURFERS are the most common type of wakesurfer, being one of the easiest to ride. Thruster style boards are designed to ride your surf wave exactly the same as you would at the beach. They’re fast boards perfect for big turns and slashing cutbacks off the wash. Thruster style wakesurfers are mid length in size and rounded on the rail so the board smoothly rolls onto edge like a traditional surfboard. They run twin or tri fin setups and feature a super wide or fish tail for heaps of bottom end grip and drive.
Try a SKIM STYLE SURFERif you’re looking for something a little different to traditional surfing. They're short, twin-tip surfers with sharp rails and a single fin making them perfectly suited to spin and flip tricks. Skim style surfing is generally recommended for more advanced riders as short length boards are harder to hold in the sweet spot and they react quickly to rider input.
Skim/thruster HYBRID SURFERS are a popular design if you want a wakesurfer that will do everything. Hybrid designs lose the wide/fish tail and are usually shorter than a thruster but aren’t quite as short or sharp on the edge as a true skim-style surfer. They have multiple fin options so you can ride with a single fin for a loose skim feel or double fins for more speed and grip. They are a versatile all-round style of board but lack the commitment to a certain style of wakesurfing.
LONGBOARDSare great for everyone to ride as the most stable and forgiving platform to learn wakesurfing. They are the longest and widest wakesurfers making for easy starts for beginner or heavier riders. If you like a cruisy ride with some sneaky hang fives a longboard is the perfect board. A longboard wakesurfer is also the best for small boat wakes. The large surface area means you’ll sit in the sweet spot consistently and have everyone throwing the handle back first go.
TIP FOR BEGINNERS: Thruster and longboard style surfers make life so much easier for first-timers and heavier riders. If you want a wakesurfer for everyone to use, longer sizes in thrusters and longboards give you a stable ride that’s easy to learn on.
The most basic construction of wakesurfer is a soft foam and fibreglass blend that makes learning to wakesurf safe and won’t damage your boat if a first timer kicks it into the back. Because they’re soft they are quite forgiving but lack the performance of compression molded or epoxy surfer.
Compression-molded fibreglass is the same construction method used in making wakeboards. This makes a stiff surfer with sharper rails that turns and edges far better than soft foam. Fibreglass is more cost effective to manufacture than epoxy but adds to the overall weight of a wakesurfer making the board slower.
High end wakesurfers are constructed from epoxy/carbon fibre composites much the same as a modern surfboard. They’re more expensive but so lightweight you’ll have better response and a way better time on the wave. The downside is that like a surfboard these wakesurfers can be quite fragile. It’s definitely worth the performance, you just have to look after it.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU NEED?
Big expensive wakeboard boats these days don’t need a lot of help to get you surfing. With automatic ballast and in-built surf gates these boats will put out an impressive wave all on their own. If you don’t have an inboard boat with a surf system there’s a lot of products out there to help you build your wake up to wakesurf standard.
BALLAST BAGS which can be manually filled and drained using a pump will add weight to your boat and pump up the volume of your wake. You can try this out on the boat yourself using people in place of ballast bags. The more people you pile in the bigger the wake!
The next step is get a WAKESURF SHAPER. A wedge attaches to the back corner of your boat at the waterline to help redirect water, giving your surf wave better shape and more power. Check out our BOAT BALLAST BUYER'S GUIDE for more information.
We hope this guide has helped you to find the perfect surfer. If you’re still not sure, don’t forget about our demo program which allows you try before you buy. As always if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to CONTACTour friendly staff.