Similar to a surfboard, a wakeboard begins with a core constructed out of foam or polyurethane. It's then wrapped in a mixture of fiberglass and graphite -- the same lightweight, buoyant and difficult-to-break composite used to make water skis. Length-wise, wakeboards range from around 4 feet (1 meter) to 5 feet (1.5 meters). Their width can be anywhere from 15 inches (39 centimeters) to 17 inches (43 centimeters). As the board gets longer, its width increases too [source: Dick's Sporting Goods].
So how long does your board need to be? Basically, the bigger you are, the longer your board ought to be, no matter what your experience level is. This is because, quite simply, extra board provides additional support for your frame. However, no matter if you're a big person, little person or medium person, if you're new to wakeboarding, choose a longer board. That extra board provides more stability, especially when starting and turning. It also makes learning easier. As you gain experience and hone your skills, then you can opt for an increasingly shorter -- and less forgiving -- short board.
For more information on wakeboarding and other water sports, follow the links below.
Related HowStuffworks Articles
- Kalman, Bobbie. Extreme Wakeboarding. Crabtree Publishing Company. 2006.
- Dick's Sporting Goods. "Wakeboard Buyers Guide." (Accessed December 16, 2009)http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/info/index.jsp?categoryId=222798.
- Kovach, Brad. "10 Tips for Choosing a Wakeboard." Boater's World, use by permission on DiscoverBoating.com. (Accessed December 16, 2009)http://www.discoverboating.com/resources/article.aspx?id=378
- Tomlinson, Joe and Leigh, Ed. Extreme Sports: In Search of the Ultimate Thrill. Firefly Books. 2004.
- USA Waterski. "USA Wakeboard: History of Wakeboarding." (Accessed December 23, 2009)http://www.usawaterski.org/pages/divisions/wakeboard/WakeboardHistory.htm
- WaterSki Magazine. "How to Choose a Wakeboard." (Accessed December 16, 2009)http://www.waterskimag.com/features/2001/06/14/how-choose-to-a-wakeboard/