How Your Wakesurf Board Works

World champion caliber wakesurfer Keenan Flegel shares some insight into how your wakesurf board works.

KF: Today I’m going give you the inside scoop on how your wakesurf board works. I have been designing my own boards for about 8 years now.  I have found that as I learn more and more about my equipment, I feel more comfortable and confident while riding. There are many factors that are relevant in the functionality of your wakesurf board. I hope that this basic guide might help you identify features on your own board that you like or dislike.

To kick things off, lets talk about surface area (Height x Width). A larger board with more surface area will be more stable and support a heavier rider on any given wave. A beginner or someone with a smaller wave might prefer a bigger board with more surface area.

Next, rocker is the curve running vertically through the board. More rocker will make a board turn more easily but will compromise the speed of the board. On the other side of the spectrum, a flat board with minimal rocker will be faster, but won’t turn as easily. Extra rocker in the nose will give you some resistance to nose diving and extra tail rocker will help with the way the board turns. Too much rocker in the tail will make a board very slow. As a rule of thumb, you should be able to stand comfortably in the pocket of your wave without the rope and without pumping. If you are not able to do this and must fight to stay in your wave, your board either has too much rocker, or not enough surface area.

Another factor that plays a role in your board function is moving width. Moving width plays a roll mainly because of the way it impacts the outline of the board. The more curvature in the rail of the board, the more easily the board will turn or spin. A straighter rail line will track straighter and add a small amount of speed due to reduced drag. I have found that it is helpful to have extra width in the tail of a Wake Surf board to allow a comfortable stance without constantly having to lean forward.

Furthermore, the thickness of a board will impact the float of the board and the responsiveness of the board. A thinner board will be more responsive because there is less distance between your feet and the water. A thicker board will provide more float.

Also, volume is the amount of foam in the board measured in liters. The volume of a board can be measured by the amount of water displaced when submerging the board. (Surface Area X Thickness = Volume)

Additionally, the concave is the amount of curve running horizontally through your board. This is typically a subtle feature that requires a close look to notice. There are a few different types and combinations of concaves. Most skim style boards have little to no concave. The most common concave in surf style boards is a single concave. That is just one continuous curve running horizontally across the board from one rail to the other. Concave funnels the water through the center of the board increasing the speed and maneuverability. If you have too much concave it may cause your board to feel wobbly and unstable.

Lastly, the Rail of a board is the edge. Typically surf style boards have more of a rounded rail while skim style boards have a hard and sharp rail. A sharp rail will help grip into the wave in the absence of large fins. A rounded rail will give the board a looser feel and allow it to move up and down the wave more freely.

Ultimately these tips are just the basics, when it comes down to it personal preference trumps everything else. Hopefully this information will help you make a more educated selection on your next board!

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