When you are out looking for a wakesurf board, you might be looking for a lot of different elements in your board. But have you considered how the design itself can affect the performance of a board? If you haven’t yet, now is the time.
What is Design?
Let’s begin by looking at what constitutes design. When we talk about design, we are not referring to the colour of your board or how it looks. Design for us means the dynamics of the board and how you can choose a plank that really will work for your individual needs as a rider. Design ultimately affects how the water flows underneath the surfboard. Generally, the design of the board is what affects your performance and is nothing to discount when it comes to shopping for the perfect wakesurf board.
The Design Elements
There are quite a few design elements that you should look at when you are shopping for a wakesurf board, including the nose, the rails, the tail, and the overall shape of the board.
When we refer to the nose of the board, we are looking at the first third of your wakesurf board as it melts into the rest of the board. Usually, you measure the nose width from 12 inches from the tip. The shape of the nose will affect how your wakesurf board is able to watch waves. When you have a rounder, wider nose, you will have more surface area than with a pointier nose. With more surface area, the front of the board will stay up higher while you are paddling. This is a good choice for longer boards and for those of you who would like to glide on softer waves.
Meanwhile, the pointier noses are better for performance. The pointier noses will give you a curve to the rail line of the board so that the board will fit in the pocket of a wave much better. You will also be able to duck dive easier since you will have less foam.
The rails are another huge factor in how well your wakesurf board is able to performance. The rails go across the entire length of the board from the tip to the tail. They require a lot of attention to detail and have tons of different combinations about how they can be blended to achieve the right kind of movement in the water. Typically, you can choose between a soft or hard rail and a tapered rail or a full rail. A soft rail is found on longer boards and provide a lot more stability and much more forgiving, making them a nice choice for new riders.
The hard rails, on the other hand, are built for performance. They have a hard edge that will help you bite straight into a wave and give you more hold on a critical surf. You will have more control over turns with a hard rail since they do have less volume and more hold. Regardless of hardness, a full rail will give you more buoyancy and stability while a tapered rail will sink more into the water and are much less forgiving.
The tail of your wakesurf board will also impact your performance. The wide tails provide a higher level of stability and will give you better float. As a result, you will plane a lot faster. The narrow tails are easier to roll around on and will help you hang onto a steep faced wave. The round tails will hang onto water more to give you better control, which is a nice choice for anyone who is less experienced out on the water. The round tails are a good choice if you are tackling bigger waves as well.
There are a lot of different categories of tails out there, because there are many different fine-tuned aspects to them. The squash tail is one of the most common shapes that you will find, because it has a square tail with a nice blend of hold and release of water. The square shape is not too different than the squash tail, but it has a more skateboard feel about it because of the harder corners. The list goes on, but you will need to consider the tail shape before committing to a board.
Finally, let’s look at how shape affects performance. Generally, wakesurf boards come in surf style, skim style, or hybrid. Surf style is the most popular since it resembles a full-sized surfboard. They are user friendly, making them nice for beginners, but also have speed that makes advanced riders happy. Skim boards are better for doing tricks and hybrid boards are in-between the two.
Regardless of your wakesurfing needs, pay attention to all design aspects in order to find the best board for you.