With scarce information on which wakeboards are optimal for the entry-level rider, we have done our research and come up with what we think are the best choices for men’s wakeboards for beginners (women’s coming soon, don’t worry!). There are several factors and board features that went into our research and results.
But before getting into all the detailed features that we considered when making our choices, in summary, we were looking for the best boards that a beginner rider could grow into and progress with, that had the optimal combination of stability, speed, durability, edge-to-edge responsiveness, affordability, and the trick ability for down the line. If you are not familiar with the sport, read more about wakeboarding before trying or buying a board.
- The Best Wakeboards for Beginners 2021 – The Factors considered
- 1: The Ronix Vault
- 2: RAVE Sports Impact Wakeboard
- 3: Liquid Force 2020 Rhyme Wakeboard
- 4: The Hyperlite State 2.0
- 5: The Liquid Force Re-Verse
- 6: Hyperlite Wakeboard Machete
- 7: Liquid Force Trip Wakeboard
- 8: The O’Brien System
The Best Wakeboards for Beginners 2021 – The Factors considered
Our process for narrowing down our choices began first with only considering top-end brand boards, as we wanted to keep as up-to-date as possible.
The next step was to narrow down the boards that had the favorable features about the following attributes:
When we say affordable price, our target pricing was between the $200-$300 range, although we did look at wakeboards for beginners up to over $400. The majority of boards over $300 ended up primarily being made for the intermediate to advanced rider anyways, so there wasn’t much of a hard decision to be made when considering pricing, and our top choices based on performance fell into our target range anyways.
Continuous or very mellow 3 stage rocker
A continuous rocker gives the rider a fast, smooth, and easier to handle ride than a 3 or 5 stage rocker. Additionally, when attempting to clear the wake, it shoots the rider out further making it easier to do so for a beginner, as opposed to straight up, which is primarily what the 3 or 5 stage rockers are made for. Wakeboards with mellow 3 stage rockers that weren’t significant enough to feel too loose on the water were considered although, the majority were continuous rockers.
We were looking for edge technology that increased holds, especially on the toe-side (beginners typically aren’t at toe-side let’s face it), while not going overboard and overdoing on the sharpness so the rider could still have versatility when getting ready to spin, butter, etc., later on.
The deeper the fins the more stable and speedy in the water the board will be, although if they are too deep, the rider will experience drag. Therefore, we considered everything from low-profile built-in fins to deep removable center fins.
This included type of laminate, edge fibers, etc.
Any other unique features that a beginner could benefit from
This included things like easy stance adjustment systems.
After considering all options that were qualified, our favorite picks for the best wakeboards for beginners were the Ronix Vault, RAVE Sports Impact Wakeboard, Liquid Force Rhyme, Hyperlite State 2.0, Liquid Force Trip, and the O’Brien System, with our personal top choice being the Ronix Vault with a close runner-up by the RAVE Sports Impact Wakeboard. Here’s why these are our top 6:
1: The Ronix Vault
The Ronix Vault is a real special, one of the best wakeboards for beginners and an exciting board that a beginner can grow into and progress, and has features that any advanced rider can appreciate just as much. The Vault has a mellow and continuous rocker for speed and an extra shoot-out, especially when clearing smaller and more mellow wakes.
The toe-side edge has an extra hold due to the thinned-out rails and a longer and deeper fin on that side, which is something we have seen beginners struggle with probably more than any other factor (besides initially getting up).
Although the toe-side has a deeper and sharper edge, the heel-side has a slightly smoother and more shallow fin for a more forgiving turn if a rider wanted to gear up and pre-spin earlier off their heel side as they progress.
The bottom of the board is made of a sintered base that doesn’t lose speed on the water, yet sacrifices no durability and is easy to maintain. It also has an elliptical concave, making the transition from edge to edge as smooth as can be.
Lastly, the bottom has four low-profile molded-in fins, with additional 1.7-inch fiberglass fins that give the rider a stable hold into the water while not producing drag that would sacrifice speed in any noticeable way.
With a near-perfect combination of durability, turning, speed, stability, trick potential, and affordability we feel the price range of $220 – $280 retail price is awesome for the quality of a board like this one that will last a long-time and not prevent a rider from advancing themselves.
Read our in-depth review of the Ronix Vault Wakeboard.
2: RAVE Sports Impact Wakeboard
The RAVE Sports Impact Wakeboard is an excellent choice, a 2021 design specially made for beginners and children. It has a continuous rocker that keeps the board stable, easy to control, and provides softer landings. A strong, flexible, and lightweight board that is built to last and constructed of high-quality materials, RIM molded PU with Fiberglass reinforced edges and a high-density laminate core, including a foam core for extra buoyancy.
Beginners will find this board very easy to learn to better use the rail for edge control thanks to the 2 removable fins. The removable fins for easier transport and storage also offer the options to ride without them.
The oval design of the Jr. Impact youth wakeboard is forgiving and easy to learn. It has two-point adjustable Charger Boots (for the left or right foot in the back) that fit most child shoe sizes and are made for riders under 125 lbs.
RAVE Sports Impact Wakeboard specs
|Model||Junior Impact Wakeboard with Charger Boots||Junior Impact II with Charger Boots|
3: Liquid Force 2020 Rhyme Wakeboard
A very close runner-up to the Ronix Vault was the Liquid Force 2020 Rhyme Wakeboard. Liquid force Rhyme, much like the Vault has a continuous 3 stage rocker and awesome edge control with its split-tip shape that can plow through any water condition and gives the rider an excellent hold. A stepped Deck puts all of the weight under your feet giving you an ultra-flexible tip and tail with reduced swing weight for effortless spins.
The Rhyme’s core is made of Precision CNC’d Full Wood, and what that is, is a full paulownia wooden core that gives lively rebound, response, and flexes with improved core life.
A feature that makes the Liquid Force Rhyme especially cool though is the Force 4D mounting system that makes it super easy to adjust the stance, so multiple people can share the board and position their bindings exactly how they want to in minutes, or a rider can simply figure out the best stance for themselves with some trial and error.
The Liquid Force 2020 Rhyme, is not so expensive, nor the cheapest choice but worth’s the extra bucks. It’s an excellent choice for any beginner rider.
4: The Hyperlite State 2.0
The Hyperlite State has always been an awesome entry wakeboard for beginners looking to advance over the years, and the State 2.0 does not let down. The State 2.0 has an abrupt continuous smooth rocker for a smooth ride. The toe-side optimized edges as well as mellow toe-side risers make toe-side riding as easy as possible for a beginner by providing a stable hold.
The board is constructed out of a layered glass laminate which makes it ultra-durable and long-lasting. Lastly, it is more affordable board than the two choices above at a retail price range of $200 – $300.
5: The Liquid Force Re-Verse
The Liquid Force Re-Verse is an awesome choice for beginner riders looking to get their tricks in down the line. It’s a facelift of the previous Verse model, board of choice by the “King of the Cable” Tom Fooshee. The Reverse features a new plan shape with reverse sidecut ends and a triple concave with vee tip channels which allows the board to be ridden without fins yet keep a solid edge.
It has a progressive 3 Stage Rocker and FSC full wood profiled split core, giving you some serious pop while making it harder for a beginner to catch an edge and forgiving for a more advanced rider to butter or start your spins earlier.
Made of FSC Certified Full Wood Profiled “Split Core” and three-position M6 Inserts.
- New Planshape w/ Reverse Sidecut Ends
- Rounded Squaretail Shape – 138, 143 & 148cm
- Aggressive Continuous Rocker
- Three-position M6 Inserts
- FSC Certified Full Wood Profiled “Split Core”
- Triax Glass Layup
- Triple Concave w/ V Tip Channels & Center Venturi Slot
- Beveled LiquidRail Sidewalls
- Designed for LF 6X Bindings And All 6” Bindings
It is an all-around board for any beginner to intermediate rider and at a retail price range of $270 – $330.
6: Hyperlite Wakeboard Machete
The Hyperlite Wakeboard Machete is another great entrance to our best wakeboards for beginners list. With a 3 stage hybrid rocker, enduro base, and 4 removable fins, inspired by pro riders Shaun Murray and Rusty Malinoski, the Machete is a combo of their pro models.
Featuring 4 removable fins for exceptional control and true step-down edges for ultimate speed towards the wake, this board creates ease for zipping in and out of turns. You can also say goodbye to the days of working to pop out of the wake since it includes a three-stage rocker.
The rail has a mellow edge under your feet that sharpens and cups in the tip and tail allows for catch-free flat riding and forceful edge hold when turning.
7: Liquid Force Trip Wakeboard
This year, the Liquid Force Trip Wakeboard series is the perfect combination of novice and aggressive to be one of the most versatile and one of the best wakeboards on the market for all riders. Whether you are a beginner or the most advanced rider, you will get the value you want from the Trip. If you’re a beginner, it’s the perfect wakeboard to learn with because it starts you out at a steady pace and lets you develop your skills.
When you become more advanced, this wakeboard will be able to adapt and evolve along with you. For advanced riders, this wakeboard will have no trouble keeping up with you right from the beginning making it the perfect wakeboard, no matter your experience level.
Read our in-depth review of the Liquid Force Trip Wakeboard Review 2021
8: The O’Brien System
The O’Brien System has everything a beginner needs to ride: stability, edge hold, durability, 4 molded-in side fins, and most of all comes at a very affordable price of usually around $200 or less. The only downside is, is once a rider starts getting into spins or tricks, they will likely grow out of this board, as the other four choices a more advanced rider would appreciate due to their additional features, flex, lightness, and versatility advantages.
But if you’re a recreational rider that wants everything you need up to doing advanced tricks across the wake and at an awesome price, this might be the board for you.
Thanks for reading our review on the Best Wakeboards for Beginners and good luck with your choice! Feel free to drop a question, or comment and let us know what you thought of our selections and yours.
If you liked what you read, don’t forget to share it. It helps us a lot.
Stay tuned for more wakeboard reviews. Sign-up for our newsletter!