Below we’ve got a list of gear you’ll need to get started wakeboarding.
Remember, most parks offering wakeboarding lessons will allow you to hire the kit.
So, if you’re not sure whether wakeboarding is for you, go and have a few lessons before investing cash in equipment and gear.
Your board is going to be your biggest investment.
For beginners, a board that has lips at either end of the board (double-ended) is going to be most suitable.
Why? For a start, the double-end helps beginners ride switch much easier.
That’s going to make learning to carve, jump and do tricks, much easier in your early days.
Check out the best wakeboards for beginners here.
2. Boots & Bindings
Your bindings are locked onto the board, and are where you’ll slot in your boots so that when you ride, the board doesn’t disappear into the distance.
Essentially, boots are only there for comfort. Having bindings rubbing directly onto your feet is not going to feel comfortable, at all.
Like boards, there’s a tonne of boots and bindings available.
You’ll get a much better deal if you buy them together as a package.
Boots with a draw cord will allow you to adjust for comfort. And, you’ll want to durable but lightweight set of adjustable bindings to keep your feet rock solid.
Next, you’ll need a wetsuit.
You can wear a full wetsuit, or a shorty (basically, a one-piece short/t-shirt combo).
The type of wetsuit you need for wakeboarding is going to depend on water temperature.
All the best wetsuit brands will offer a range of different wetsuits, to suit various weather conditions.
They start with a 6/5/4 which is usually sealed. That’s for temperatures around 0°F – there’s no way I’d be wakeboarding in that.
They then jump to a 5/4/3 which is suitable for water in the 45°F range, and a 4/3 will be good to go in temperatures down to 55°F.
The most common wetsuit for wakeboarding comes in the 3/2 and 2/3 range. Basically, these are summer wetsuits.
If it’s particularly warm where you ride, then you might get away with a pair of board shorts, a wetsuit vest and an impact vest.
If you plan to wakeboard out on the ocean, you’ll want to check sea temperatures. Different seas are different temperatures, at various times of the year.
The outside temperature is not always directly related to the water temperature. You can check out sea temperatures for the UK and US here.
4. Impact Vest
Next, you’ll need an impact vest.
Your impact vest is a life-vest (or buoyancy aid) and body protection, in one.
If you ride park, and do tricks, this is going to protect you when you bail. But, it will also keep you afloat too.
Typically, an impact vest that’s designed for wakeboarding is going to be a lot lighter than a standard life jacket.
Wakeboarding manufacturers produce them to be as low profile as possible, so they don’t hinder body movement when you’re doing tricks.
There’s a range of brands selling them right now, and there’s a good deal on O’Neill impact vests at around $80.
Your last piece of safety equipment for wakeboarding comes in the form of a helmet.
Like the impact vest, this is going to protect you when you fall.
As a beginner, your falls are going to be small. But, as you progress, you’ll start using obstacles like rails. And, if you hit your head on a rail, it’s going to hurt; big time!
Most wake parks will demand you wear a helmet, or you won’t be able to ride.
Health & safety an’ all that!
6. Wakeboard Bag
A piece of non-essential kit.
But, if you are investing $200-300 into a wakeboard, you’ll want to make sure its kept in good condition.
A wakeboard bag is going to stop your board getting scratched up when you travel to the park.
7. Action Camera
Relive your best moments with an action camera.
Most cameras will come with (or, the manufacturer will allow you to purchase separately) helmet and board mounts, so you’ll be able to catch a range of shots on your day out.