A friend of mine just bought a family runabout, the first boat he’s ever owned, and when he called me for some advice, he didn’t ask about docking or trailering or breaking in the engine. He asked what kind of wakeboard he should get. It’s a question I get all the time from new boaters looking to have a little watersports fun with their kids. So, I asked the same question to Greg Nelson, the VP of marketing for Hyperlite, one of the top makers of wakeboards. Using his example of the State 2.0 Remix deck and bindings combo (he also shared the women’s Eden 2.0 with Jinx combo), here’s what to look for in an entry-level wakeboard.
Wakeboarding is a lot like snowboarding because beginners need an adjustment period in order to learn how to use the board’s edges to cut, turn and generate speed to come into the wake to perform tricks. Once a rider learns to get up, much of what he or she can do depends on the ability to ride the edges.
According to Nelson, the most important aspect to look for in a beginner’s wakeboard is an asymmetrical shape, with one edge shorter than the other. In the case of the State 2.0, Nelson pointed out that Hyperlite designed a shorter leading edge on the rider’s toe side. This makes it easier for a beginner rider to engage the toe-side edge while cutting to the wake and initiating jumps and tricks.
The heel-side edge is longer and more traditional, allowing the rider to maintain more natural stability, as well as avoid losing pop from a reduced surface area.
While many advanced boards have adjustable fins that can be swapped in and out to the rider’s preference, the State 2.0 features molded-in fins, which create less drag in the water and also release better when initiating a jump.
MOLDED-IN TOE-SIDE RISERS
The molded-in toeside foot-bed risers help beginner boarders generate more leverage when applying toe or heel pressure to initiate tricks or turns.
While binding systems for more advanced riders now consist of separate binding and boot pairings, Hyperlite outfits the State 2.0 deck with more traditional Remix bindings. The bindings have an adjustable lacing system and an open toe that can fit different foot sizes. It is easy for beginners to slide in and out of them and tighten to a comfortable fit. The bindings also sit on an adjustable plate and can be moved on the board to suit the rider’s preferences.