Wakeboard vs Wakesurf

Wakeboard vs Wakesurf: Learn the Difference

What do you know when comparing wakeboard vs wakesurf? A lot of people think that wakeboarding and wakesurfing are the same. Well, they can be forgiven since these two water sports can get very confusing especially for those who do not go to the sea often. Just by checking their names, you can easily generate the idea that they are the same and they also both require tailing the wake after a boat. Regardless of that, it has to be made clear that these two water sports are completely distinct. Let us comprehend the difference between them.

How do they Differ?

There are several points that wakeboard and wakesurf differ. Here are some of their distinctions:

The Equipment

Checking it from afar, it may seem that a wakeboarder and wakesurfer are using exactly the same gear and equipment. However, when you get the chance to examine the equipment on a closer look, you will see the distinction between them.

In a wakeboard, the rider will have his feet leashed into the boots attached to the board. If you happen to know snowboards, it is comparable to that. However, with wakesurf, the feet of the rider is free to shift position over the board, similar to surfing.

The sizes of the board are moreover unique between wakeboarding and wakesurfing. The boards used in wakesurf are likely to be shorter or longer. For instance, the surf-type wakesurf board is lengthier compared to a wakeboard. The skim-type wakesurf board comes in a shorter size when compared to a wakeboard. Generally, the majority of the wakeboards exhibit a shape that is similar to a snowboard.

The Manner the Rider is Released into the Water

Perhaps the most discrete way that makes wakeboarding unique from wakesurfing is the way the rider is released into the water. When wakeboarding, the person is dragged along with a motorboat during the whole time of the sea adventure. On the other hand, with wakesurfing, the rider only commences by gripping on the rope then let go of it at some part to ride out the wave.

The Space between the Rider and the Boat

The waves created by the motorboat develop only the required waves. The system of making and drifting the rides suggests another distinction between wakeboarding and wakesurfing. With the latter, the rider normally has to be very near to the boat to maximize the waves being created. Wakesurfing is considered to be an eminent social recreation given the fact that the rider and the boat are very close, and a lot of the friends of the rider would cheer.

On the contrary, wakeboarding can get more daring.  Given the fact that the rider is unceasingly being dragged by the rope, accelerated speeds can occur and the rider may see himself being thrown into the air on a specifically huge wave while his friends enthusiastically yell.

The Length and Usage of the Rope

Another distinction between the wakeboard vs wakesurf is the usage of the rope that is connected to the boat. Wakeboarders will have to hold the rope the whole time to carry on with the ride. Wakesurfers, on the other hand, takeoff gripping the rope, although they can opt to shove it back to the boat once they can gain balance. When wakesurfing, you can continue moving forward through surfing the wakes created by the boat.

Moreover, you should also know that there is a distinction in the length of the rope for wakeboarding and wakesurfing. The length of the rope when wakesurfing is around 10 to 20 feet. Since the rope does not require thorough utilization, it would be beneficial to the rider to be near enough so he can throw back the rope. It could be inconvenient if the rope is left in the water especially if the rider happens to fall and knotted in.

With wakeboarding, on the other hand, uses a much longer rope. The length of the rope should be anywhere between 65 to 85 feet. Since the rider will grip the rope the whole time, he doesn’t need to be very close to the boat. It is also important when jumping through waves, which is an exciting part of wakeboarding. You surge over one wave and rest on the downside of the next wave.

The Kind of Boat and its Speed

When wakesurfing, it is recommended to use a V-drive boat. The propeller is positioned safely underneath the boat hence there is minimal chance of mishap for the rider. With wakeboarding, the rider is quite distant from the boat, hence, it is not required that you use a V-drive boat.

There is a slight difference too in the speed of the boat when wakeboarding or wakesurfing. When doing the first, the boat must run at a speed of 15 to 25 mph. This speed is enough to develop a firm wake. It helps the rider obtain more comfort to leap and practice tricks. Although for newbies, wakeboarding 2 or 3 miles under 15 mph is an ideal place to begin.

When wakesurfing, it is not necessary to use intense speed. The boat can run at a speed of 10 to 14 mph. Ideally, the driver must go slow and increase the speed gradually. Another thing to remember, skim-type wakesurf boards, work best when the speed of the boat is at the low end. Surf-type boards, on the other hand, work best when speed is at the high end.


You now know the difference between wakeboard vs wakesurf. These two sports are completely different from one another. Nevertheless, both of them exhibit attraction and dominance. Whatever you choose between wakeboarding and wakesurfing, you can have a lot of joy to learn.

Both water sports can be very exciting in their own rights. It all depends on how you describe a certain level of excitement. You can master these sports by constantly rehearsing your skills. It may not execute them perfectly in an instant, but once you familiarize their execution, you will know that your efforts paid off.

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