What’s the Best Beginner Wakeboard of 2020? Reviews and Buying Guide

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If you are new to the sport, you’re probably asking yourself what is the best beginner wakeboard for you to learn and develop your skills.  It’s important to understand and appreciate that not all wakeboards are suited for every boarder.  As a result, it’s critical that you choose a model that suits your body type, skills and abilities.  Failing to do so will likely result in having a wakeboard that is difficult to control.

When you are just starting out, choosing a wakeboard designed for beginners will greatly enhance your ability to acquire the skills necessary to become a proficient wakeboarder.  Boards manufactured and designed for beginners are slower and less maneuverable. The construction is done purposefully to make it easier to control the board and maintain your balance.  They also are typically more reasonably priced.  

So how do you go about choosing your first wakeboard?  It can be an overwhelming process due to the large number of boards and variety of models available to choose from, so we put together a list of the 5 top boards for beginner riders.  In doing so, we used the following criteria in our research and review:

  • Stability: A critical feature for any beginner wakeboard is to provide stable performance.  The board should track on a straight line through the water. As a beginner learning to maintain your balance is important to your gaining confidence.  A beginner board should be very stable.

  • Bindings: Your wakeboard bindings should provide a secure hold while providing a comfortable fit.  Poorly designed or constructed bindings are sure to limit your success and confidence on your board.  

  • Design and Construction: As a newbie to the sport, your board is likely to take a pounding.  You will wipe out early and often, resulting in the quality of the board being tested.  A beginner board should be constructed of highly durable materials that will maintain the boards integrity and looks.  

Here are our 5 best beginner wakeboards:

Comparison Chart

Hyperlite New 2019 Wakeboard Machete with Destroyer Wakeboard Bindings Fits Shoe Sizes 7-14! (144 cm)
O'Brien System Wakeboard with Clutch 8-11 Bindings, 140cm
CTRL Standard Wakeboard Sz 139cm OT Bindings Sz L (8-11.5)
Humanoid Wakeboards 2015 Huxtable Wakeboard
Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard, Black, 56-Inch
Hyperlite New 2019 Wakeboard Machete with Destroyer Wakeboard Bindings Fits Shoe Sizes 7-14! (144 cm)
O'Brien System Wakeboard with Clutch 8-11 Bindings, 140cm
CTRL Standard Wakeboard Sz 139cm OT Bindings Sz L (8-11.5)
Humanoid Wakeboards 2015 Huxtable Wakeboard
Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard, Black, 56-Inch
Hyperlite New 2019 Wakeboard Machete with Destroyer Wakeboard Bindings Fits Shoe Sizes 7-14! (144 cm)
Hyperlite New 2019 Wakeboard Machete with Destroyer Wakeboard Bindings Fits Shoe Sizes 7-14! (144 cm)
O'Brien System Wakeboard with Clutch 8-11 Bindings, 140cm
O'Brien System Wakeboard with Clutch 8-11 Bindings, 140cm
CTRL Standard Wakeboard Sz 139cm OT Bindings Sz L (8-11.5)
CTRL Standard Wakeboard Sz 139cm OT Bindings Sz L (8-11.5)
Humanoid Wakeboards 2015 Huxtable Wakeboard
Humanoid Wakeboards 2015 Huxtable Wakeboard
Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard, Black, 56-Inch
Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard, Black, 56-Inch

Best Beginner Wakeboard Reviews

1. ​Hyperlite Machete Wakeboard 

Hyperlite New 2019 Wakeboard Machete with Destroyer Wakeboard Bindings Fits Shoe Sizes 7-14! (144 cm)

Review

The Hyperlite Machete Wakeboard is a great beginner board that provides all the basic needs for a first time rider.  This board will not only meet the needs of individuals new to the sport but will continue to provide a quality board as you attain more advanced skills.  

This Hyperlite features 3 Stage Rocker, bindings designed to fit most foot sizes (8-14) and has a two year warranty.

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PROS

  • ​Provides good stability and excellent maneuverability
  • ​High quality construction and materials
  • ​Bindings designed for comfort and response
  • 4 removable fins for exceptional control
  • Lightweight and durable
  • Great beginner board that will continue to provide a quality board as your skills advance
  • 2 year warranty

CONS

  • ​Some customers felt the dark design was hard to see in the water
  • ​Wide design makes it less desirable for advanced wakeboarders

2. ​O'Brien System Wakeboard

O'Brien System Wakeboard with Clutch 8-11 Bindings, 140cm

Review

The O’Brien System Wakeboard is an excellent wakeboard for beginners.  It provides ease in handling the board whether you are putting in or taking it out of the water.  The ride is very stable making it ideal for individuals new to the sport.

The O’Brien features a continuous rocker, providing great stability, dual molded channels at the tip and tail, and dual zone laces.
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PROS

  • ​Available in 4 different board sizes
  • Easy to control due to the continuous rocker
  • Dual molded channels direct water under the board
  • ​Cinching lace locks make getting in and out of bindings easy and provide a snug fit
  • ​Ultra light and open toe bindings

CONS

  • ​Not an ideal board for doing tricks or for advanced riders
  • ​Best suited for individuals under 230 pounds

3. ​CTRL Standard Wakeboard

CTRL Standard Wakeboard Sz 139cm OT Bindings Sz L (8-11.5)

Review

The CTRL Standard Wakeboard proclaims they are the “most beginner friendly boards to learn on” and we would agree that this is a great beginner board.  The board is constructed of extremely durable material and has a progressive rocker profile that provides a responsive yet forgiving ride, making it ideal for riders new to the sport.

The CTRL Standard features a progressive rocker, molded fins, soft EVA foam footbeds and a speed lace closure system.

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PROS

  • ​Solid and durable wakeboard
  • Ergonomic shape that maximizes control and minimizes effort.
  • Easy to use speed lace closure system for quick and secure fit.  
  • Bindings fit a wide variety of riders with a range of different feet size.

CONS

  • ​This CTRL board design is not for the more advanced riders

​4. ​Humanoid Huxtable Wakeboard

Humanoid Wakeboards 2015 Huxtable Wakeboard

Review

The Humanoid Huxtable Wakeboard is a brand that is manufactured and distributed right here in the United States.  The board is a quality design, is durable and a learner profile, making it ideal for beginners.  

The Humanoid Huxtable features a continuous rocker, a tapered tip and tail, and is lightweight and flexible.

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PROS

  • ​Comes in a wide variety of lengths, widths and stance widths.
  • ​Lightweight and flexible.
  • ​Tapered tail and tip.
  • Deep base channels, diverting water under the board.
  • Durable, high quality construction.

CONS

  • ​Older model

​5. ​Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard

Hydroslide Black Widow Wakeboard, Black, 56-Inch

Review

The Hydroslide Black Widow is designed for the beginner, as well as the intermediate wakeboarder.  The versatility provided by this board makes it an excellent choice for the beginning rider. This board has a quad channel, which provides for stability and a twin tip design that will support the novice rider.  

The Hydroslide Black Widow features adjustable bindings, a secure fit and twin tip that maximizes maneuverability. 

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PROS

  • ​Modified twin tip design provides great maneuverability.
  • ​2 point adjustable bindings.
  • ​Lace Up Chaser bindings.
  • Fits youth to adult shoe sizes (5-12).
  • Bindings provide a secure fit.

CONS

  • ​Some customers felt the binding bolts came loose too easily
  • ​Not recommended for advanced wakeboarders

Buyers Guide: Beginners Wakeboard

Determining the best wakeboard for a beginning rider can be a challenge.  This Buyers Guide will provide you with some basic information for what you should be looking for in a wakeboard.  The following are some features and suggestions for you to consider:

Length

 The length of your board will be dependent on your weight and skill.  The length of the boards will range from approximately 50 to 60 inches.  The following is a basic guide for choosing the length of your board:

Body Weight ​

100 pounds and under                  ​

100 to 150 pounds ​

150 to 180 pounds   ​

180 to 240 pounds ​

230 to 280 pounds​  ​

​Board Length

​50 inches or less    ​

​50 to 53 inches              ​

​53 to 55 inches              ​

​​55 to 57 inches            ​

​​57 to 60 inches

​Rocker

The term rocker refers to the curve from the front to the rear of the board.  Wakeboards provide three options, either a 3 stage rocker, a continuous rocker or a hybrid.  The 3 stage rockers have a cupped, distinct bend that is designed for getting air and intended for doing tricks.  The continuous rockers have a smooth, gradual curve making the board fast and easy to handle. The continuous rocker is typically found on most beginner boards because they provide a smoother, more predictable ride.  

Fins

Fins enable the rider to steer the wakeboard.  The longer and deeper the fin the more stability they provide, making them ideal for beginners.  As you become more skilled shallower fins will provide you with the ability to make faster and sharper turns.

Edges

For beginners a squared edge provides more control and stability.  Sharper edges allow the rider to accelerate and gain more speed, compared to rounded ones that are more forgiving for beginners.

Bindings

For the beginner, it is important that you having bindings that are secure and comfortable.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What size wakeboard do I need?

As stated previously, your bodyweight is the primary determining factor.  Refer to the chart in the Buyers guide for recommendations on board length.  Additionally, the type of wakeboard you choose will be determined by your riding style and your skills and abilities.  

If multiple people will be using the wakeboard it becomes a bit more challenging to decide. As a general rule, we would suggest getting a board that will accommodate the heaviest rider.  Typically, the longer your board is, the easier it is to ride.

What maintenance is required for a wakeboard?

After riding your wakeboard, especially if you were in saltwater, you should thoroughly rinse your board with fresh, clean water.  Either hand dry or ideally allow your board to air dry. Once it is completely dry, store in a wakeboard bag, out of direct sunlight and in an area with controlled temperatures.

How can I improve and become a more skilled wakeboarder?

As with any sport or athletic skill, it comes down to practice, practice and more practice.  There are several videos you can access to give you tips and suggestions to increase your knowledge and understanding of techniques.  Additionally, it’s always worth either taking lessons or finding an experienced wakeboarder who is willing to work with you.  

​Final Thoughts

Wakeboarding is an amazing sport that gets you out on the water, enjoying a sunny day and getting an adrenaline rush.  Finding the right board for your skill level, abilities and body size will be a critical piece to your success and enjoyment.  We have provided you with our 5 top recommendations for a beginner wakeboard, along with a Buyers Guide with some basic factors to consider in your search.

We hope the information we have provided will assist you in your search.  Seek out the input of your local wakeboard experts and ask to try out a few boards before making a purchase.  Please let us know in the comments section how your search goes and what board you choose.

What’s the Best Beginner Wakeboard of 2020? Reviews and Buying Guide

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