Wake Surfing is an extreme sport that requires you to use some specialized wakeboarding equipment. Many of these items can be bought at your local store or online. But if you’re serious about the sport, you should consider spending the money to buy your equipment. This way, you can be sure that it’s exactly what you need and that you will be using it for many years to come. Here are the four most important pieces of wakeboarding gear that you need to start with.
If you plan on spending any substantial time out on the water, make certain that you’re wearing a PFD at all times. The simplest way to understand this is to keep them in your boat at all times. On the days that you won’t be using your wakeboard, have them in the boat so that you can always be breathing air. And last, but by no means least, personal floatation devices (often called a board handrail, a floatator, or a board tank) – these are a vital part of every good, proper wake surfing gear set.
You cannot skate, hang out, or jump in a lake without falling off and getting hurt. Similarly, you cannot walk, stand, drive, or ride a bicycle on a lake without getting hurt. Wakeboarding is the same way. To get a great, safe experience out on the water, you must wear the proper wake surfing gear, which consists of:
These are your wakeboarding shoes. Wakeboards are made from three major components: the deck, the foam, and the platform (where you stand). The best boards feature a natural foam upper with a non-slip grip tape. To protect your feet, you should also wear a thick wetsuit and a couple of high-quality straps (one to attach your board to your cardboard). Other essential wake surfing gear items include an anti-rotation gusset, ankle support, knee supports, a full-body harness, and a flotation device. You should never ride alone in a lake without bringing along your wakeboarding gear.
This is your wake surfing helmet. It should be shaped like a bag, not like a beer can. Make sure your helmet is shatterproof, have straps made of anti-rot materials, and fits snugly. Many experienced riders carry their disposable wake surf rope (sometimes known as a “wet kit”) with them at all times, just in case something goes wrong during a surf session.
If you think your hands are ready for the waves, you should invest in a pair of gloves. Wakeboarding gloves are great for doing acro yoga on the water and practicing snorkeling. They’re also excellent for warming up before and after a surf session. If your hands hurt from gripping the handles of your surfboard, you may want to consider investing in a pair of mono-filtered foam chopsticks. These chopsticks are washable and offer very little friction against your palms. Once your skills are enhanced, you may find that you no longer need your chopsticks.
These are two items that you absolutely cannot do without at a Wake Surfing camp. If you haven’t been woken up from your sleep by a giant wave crashing down, then you’ve never seen a bad wakeboard. The tow rope is the rope that holds the ballast on top of the boat. It attaches to the boat via a line, and if properly used, can propel you thousands of feet out of the water.
Wakeboardingers use skimming equipment to catch the wakes and send them into the air. Surfing equipment such as skim care and wetsuit come in various shapes and sizes and are made of different materials. There are open-faced models or more solid, closed faces that work to catch the choppy, turbulent water on the top of the surf. Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, a good set of skimmers can improve your performance immensely and give you a new lease on life.